Learning from the illiterate

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A major new narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

8/30. Learning from the illiterate

By the early 18th Century, smallpox was taking between 10-15% of all lives in Europe and physicians were constantly arguing about how best to cure it. But a new method of treatment was gradually coming to attention – something which peasants and slaves had known for centuries.

This episode explores the work of the inoculators which would force medics to contradict all that they had learned. But would their work guarantee safe long-term protection from smallpox infection?

The readers are Tamsin Greig, Annette Badland, David Rintoul, Scott Handy and Jason Watkins.

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15 minutes

Last on

Wed 14 Feb 2007 15:45