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Online Works

(newest to oldest)

Does Louis Pasteur Still Matter? 

Or will the scientist’s 200th birthday be his last soirée? 

Distillations, November 17, 2022.

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“The NYAM Library’s Contributions to American Medicine,” presentation on a virtual panel with Arlene Shaner and Melissa Grafe, “Then & Now: The Past and Future of Medical Libraries,” New York Academy of Medicine, October 18, 2022.  Video available on the Academy’s YouTube channel at (My presentation at 22:05.)

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Picturing Public Health—Turning Points in Public Health History Conveyed Through Prints (56 min. video recording in MP4), an illustrated lecture presented in celebration of National Public Health Week for the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library of the Yale School of Medicine, April 5, 2022.  Historical insights uncovered in hard-to-find old prints and ephemera, for public health efforts starting about 1850.  Some are shocking, many are humorous, and all bring us closer to the attitudes and awareness of Americans in past times. Welcome and introduction by Yale librarians Kayla Del Biondo and Melissa Grafe.  Direct access at .  (To access full captioning, click on the blue CC at the end of the timing line.)

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Overlooked Images of Medicine in America’s New Mass Media of the Late 19th Century is 30-minute video podcast, illustrating how medical history is documented in political cartoons, ca. 1890.  It was produced by the Consortium for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, with support from three foundations.

Direct access is at 

But for context or to see what else the Consortium is doing and to look at the 8-page Study Guide with bibliography linked under “Resources,” use this link instead.

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“Teaching Medical Students to Deliver Babies 150 Years Ago,” video recording of Virtual Grand Rounds Talk for Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and History and Philosophy of Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas, March 12, 2021, with introduction by Professor Christopher Crenner, MD, PhD.  (59 min., MP4 file size 91 Mb). Be sure to click on the Unmute button at lower right before hitting the Play arrow.  If you don't see the Play arrow, hold the cursor over the center of the image below and it should appear.

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“COVID-19 Health Passports: What’s Old Is New Again.”  Government and business leaders are pushing a modern version of a centuries-old idea.  Distillations (March 9, 2021) from Philadelphia’s Science History Institute, at .

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“New York’s Hospitals, Past & Present,” half-hour interview on internet radio show/podcast, “Rediscovering New York with Jeff Goodman” ( Rediscovering New York: New York's Hospitals, Past & Present on Apple Podcasts.   And the mp3 file will also play from the link here.

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“The History of Using Serum Therapy in Various Diseases Before A Vaccine Becomes Available,” Distillations (April 28, 2020), at


“How Renaissance Princes Pursued Beauty in Science,” an exhibit review of Making Marvels: Science and Splendor at the Courts of Europe (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).  On-line at Distillations (December 24, 2019), at .


“Smallpox and the Long Road to Eradication. It’s one thing to make a scientific discovery, but making it count is another thing entirely.” Distillations (November 12, 2019), at


“The medicine with greatest impact: rabies shots.”  Expert’s answer in weekly feature GizAsks at (August 9, 2019), at

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“Hennig Brandt and the Discovery of Phosphorus,” Distillations (July 30, 2019) at


“Medical History on the Silver Screen: Hollywood’s Ten-Minute Films about Medical Heroes,” Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanities (Winter 2018) at


On-line essay, “Recent Research on Louis Pasteur’s Connections with the Fine Arts,” posted on August 24, 2017, on the Pasteur and Brewing site, moderated by Brendon Barnett in Sacramento, CA, at

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“Our Mutual Friend: Candy Stores in the 19th Century Sold Sweets as Deadly as They Were Delicious,” Distillations Magazine (Summer 2017) at

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“Serendipity in the Discovery of New Vesalius Paintings,” Osler Library Newsletter (McGill University, Montreal), no. 126 (Summer 2017), 11-15.  PDF of this issue at

A two-part blog posted on the site of the Center for History at the New York Academy of Medicine.

            May 5, 2017, “The Architecture of Health Care (Part 1)” on the work of York and Sawyer, at .

            May 9, 2017, “The Architecture of Health Care (Part 2)” on the work of Charles B. Meyers, at .


“The Filter of Life,” Distillations Magazine 2:3 (Fall 2016), 6-7.  Pasteur-Chamberland filters as a key factor in the creation of virology was also posted (October 9, 2016) at .


“Science, Protector of the Common Good: Using Chemistry to Put a Lid on Unsavory Practices,” Distillations Magazine 2:1 (Spring 2016), 10-11, about Frederick Opper’s cover cartoon for Puck (March 12, 1884) was also posted (April 8, 2016) at .


“The Artist in the Laboratory: Flameng’s Engraving of Edelfelt’s Louis Pasteur,” Distillations Magazine 1:2 (Summer 2015), 12-13, was also posted (June 7, 2015) at .


A short interview about the research that led to my 2009 book Picturing Medical Progress was posted (June 3, 2014) at .


The Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia (now the Science History Institute) invited me to participate with graphic artist Jonathan Fetter-Vorn (author of Trinity, 2012) in a live webcast on January 22, 2014.  The joint interview, “Drawing History: Telling the Stories of Science through Comics and Graphic Novels,” was posted as a one-hour edited version found at .

"New Year's Luck--and How to Keep Safe, 1950s Style," a blog on the New York Academy of Medicine website (January 8, 2014), about "Lucky Safety" cards with famous characters from the newspaper comics of the time giving lessons on accident prevention and safety.  The Academy library holds 31 of the 48 published cards.


Distributed free in newspapers around 1953, these 2-by-4-inch cards featured characters from popular comic strips and offered ways to be smart and prevent accidents. Although children appear in the frame with such cartoon characters at Popeye, Dagwood Bumstead, and the Katzenjammer Kids, it seems likely the messages were aimed at adults as well since people of all ages read newspaper comic strips assiduously.  With vivid two-color printing and graphic styles characteristic of the time, these little collectibles vividly illustrate the history of a popular public health campaign in the decade after World War II. It may not be a coincidence that during the war, cartoon and comic strip figures had been used on health and safety posters and in military instruction and recruitment.


“Louis Pasteur:  Exploring His Life in Art,” The John P. McGovern Lecture for 2013 was presented in Tucson.  An abridged version was published in booklet form by the American Osler Society.  A reprint with color illustrations is available at .


“Party Spirits: A Daily Graphic Cartoon from 1882 Satirizing the Democratic Party,” Chemical Heritage 31:1 (Spring 2013), 17, was also posted (April 18, 2013) at .


“Political Potions: Alchemical Imagery in a Gilded Age Political Caricature from 1887,” Chemical Heritage 30:3 (Fall 2012/Winter 2013), 16, was also posted (January 29, 2013) at .


An article co-authored with Boaz N. Adler, “¡Stories of the Great Chemists!  History Comes to Life in Children’s Comic Books!  ¡ EN ESPAÑOL!  Published in México and Read All Across Latin America!” Chemical Heritage 30:1 (Spring 2012), 20-25 (featured on cover), was also posted (April 7, 2012) at


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