The ship María Pita departing from Coruña in 1803, engraved by Francisco Pérez

How Children Took the Smallpox Vaccine around the World

In 1803, nearly two dozen orphan boys endured long voyages and physical discomfort to transport the smallpox vaccine to Spain's colonies.
A man nursing a sick person, circa 1850

Blaming People for Getting Sick Has a Long History

Four major theories of disease transmission dominated scientific discourse in the nineteenth century. As one scholar writes, all were political.
Plague column in Vienna, Austria

How to Memorialize a Plague

Vienna's baroque Plague Column, completed in 1693, gave thanks for the survival of a city.
Photograph showing Waldemar Mordecai Wolffe Haffkine (1860-1930), Bacteriologist with the Government of India, inoculating a community against cholera in Calcutta, March 1894.

Anti-Asian Racism in the 1817 Cholera Pandemic

We should learn from, instead of repeating, the racist assignations of the past.
A typist wearing an influenza mask in 1918

How Tucson Enforced Its 1918 Mask Requirement

During the influenza pandemic, the Arizona city's police force fined and arrested people for not wearing face masks.
Graffiti that says "The Only Sustainable Growth is Degrowth"

What If a Shrinking Economy Wasn’t a Disaster?

The degrowth movement is building a vision of a society where economies would get smaller by design—and people would be better off for it.