Raw beef cure

The Long Tradition of Dangerous “Cures”

Medical cures are usually too good to be true. Numerous doctors wrote to the prestigious British Medical Journal, reporting on their prescription of raw meat juice to patients.
Sir Humphry Davy

When Scientists Perform Experiments on Themselves

More than one self-experiment has resulted in a Nobel Prize. Against all odds, and sometimes in spite of the damage they cause, these crazy gambits pay off.
Charles Knowlton portrait

Charles Knowlton, the Father of American Birth Control

Decades after Charles Knowlton died, his book would be credited with the reversal of population growth in England and the popularization of contraception in the United States. 
Bioethics research hospital

Bioethics: Key Concepts and Research

Two experts in bioethics have curated a reading list of over 20 JSTOR sources on selected issues like: gene-editing, research and treatment, reproduction, disability, genetics, genealogy and race.
pharmaceutical advertising

Should Drug Makers Advertise?

Drug advertising is a longstanding issue in the U.S, tangled with patients’ rights to make their own decisions, doctors’ professional status, and the ethics of profiting from powerful drugs.
dental surgery ether painting

19th Century Anesthesia and the Politics of Pain

Many doctors embraced anesthesia, but critics in the medical community protested its use, giving rise to what's known as the “ether controversy.”
pluripotent stem cell

Rethinking Bioengineered Skin

A boy with a rare condition was losing his skin, until a medical team was able to produce artificial skin. Healing damaged skin has long been a challenge.
Lydia Pinkham products

Was Lydia E. Pinkham the Queen of Quackery?

She developed an immensely popular, if questionably effective, herbal remedy for “female complaints.” Pioneer in alternative medicine or...?
colorful pills on black background

Paying People to Take Their Pills

The majority of medication-related hospital admissions were caused by noncompliance—when patients, for one reason or another, don't take their drugs.
Portrait of Sir Thomas Browne

Sir Thomas Browne’s Vulgar Errors

If you're suffering from exhaustion, hallucination, or a coma, then you have Sir Thomas Browne, dead 335 years now, to thank.