Sickness and health, birth and death, disease and cure: medicine and our understanding of the workings of our bodies and minds are an inextricable part of how we know who we are. With the science of healing now more vital than ever, as our bodies face new challenges from the globalizationof disease, environmental change, and increased longevity, Great Discoveries in Medicine is a timely guide to medicine’s achievements and its prospects for the future.
An international team of distinguished experts provides an unrivaled account of the evolution of medical knowledge and practice, from ancient Egypt, India, and China to today’s latest technology, from bloodletting to keyhole surgery, from the theory of humors to the genetic revolution, from the stethoscope to the development of vaccines. They explain medicine’s turning points and conceptual changes in a refreshingly accessible way and answer some key questions: How has the bubonic plague influenced the course of human history? What effect did the birth control pill have on the lives of women and on society? What challenges does medicine face in our changing world?
William Bynum is a historian of science and medicine and has a particular interest in gardening and plants and their importance in human culture and society. Together with his wife Helen Bynum he has written or edited numerous books, including Remarkable Plants That Shape Our World and Botanical Sketchbooks.
Helen Bynum is a historian of science and medicine. She is coeditor with William Bynum of Great Discoveries in Medicine and the award-winning Dictionary of Medical Biography.