Physiology and medicine: First World War perspectives

7 November 2018 | Chloe Bowerbank

The First World War led to medical advances that have saved millions of lives. Ambulances, antiseptics, reconstructive surgery and anaesthesia, essential features of medicine today, all originated in the First World War.

Hear the stories of physiological and medical developments at our FREE public event in the Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds, United Kingdom on 16th November.

Talks will include:

 Combatting the worldwide influenza pandemic after the war
 The beginnings of the pharmaceutical industry in the UK
 Treating disease and infection in the military
 The challenges of gas warfare
 Talk by well‐known science writer and novelist Laura Spinney


10.00 Registration Opens, time to visit museum, look at selected objects
11.00 Tea, coffee and biscuits
12.00 Lunch
12.45 Welcome and Introduction
Jonathan Ashmore (University College London, UK)

Session 1

Chair: David Miller (University of Glasgow, UK)
13.00 Austin Elliott (University of Manchester, UK)
The Physiological Society on the eve of the Great War
13.20 Vanessa Heggie (University of Birmingham, UK)
Hearts at war: Recruiting and training healthy soldiers
13.40 The physiology of war trauma: shell shock and the Maudsley Hospital
Edgar Jones (King’s College London, UK)
14.00 Tea, coffee and biscuits

Session 2

Chair: Holly Shiels, University of Manchester, UK
14.30 Some powerful enemy positions stormed”: making and selling drugs in the first world war
Tilli Tansey (Queen Mary University of London, UK)
14.50 Michael Worboys (University of Manchester, UK)
“Almost Wright” and the Physiological School of Wound Treatment
15.10 A rude awakening: The 1918 influenza pandemic and its impact on health and medicine
Laura Spinney (Writer & science journalist)
15.40 Debate “Where did physiology have the greatest impact?” and questions
Chair: Jonathan Ashmore (University College London, UK)
16.20 Concluding Remarks and Close
Jonathan Ashmore (University College London, UK)

Find out more, and sign up for free tickets here

Organised by the Physiological Society