1. Another Call the Midwife-post, because it doesn’t seem to be leaving me alone this week. Plus, I suppose I have the benefit of tweaking my work a little bit, such that I can (pretend to) look at history of medicine alongside history of science and science communication. (Besides, if this little den is where I get to talk about day-to-day research life, this television programme is a shark’s bite of it right now.)

    From a personal point of view, I find Call the Midwife a constant reminder of how good we have it right now, as well as the general fighting spirit of people improving their quality of life after a WWII, and how we should learn from that. So, here are a few other things spawned from the NHS in the decade that gave us the chest x-ray bus, but hopefully fewer tears: (source)

    • a clinic for dyslexia was set up at Barts Health Trust by Maisie Holt
    • a cancer diagnostic clinic for women was set up at the same hospital
    • in 1959 the hospital operated on craniopagus twins (that is, conjoined twins fused at the cranium)
    • The London (of the beastly Norman Hartnell uniforms) pioneered orthopaedic surgery, offering improved hip and knee replacements
    • it also premièred its first artificial kidney in 1959
    •  a £200 000 research centre opened in Whitechapel in 1956, and
    • following the decline of tuberculosis, new surgical prowesses were focused on heart and by-pass operations.

    …and that’s not even half of it, but it will do for now.

    Oh, and some pictures thrown in for good measure. The first because it was before all the tears, and I love the lighting. (And I cannot resist dimples on pretty much any human being, let alone a really really pretty one.) And the second because it randomly popped up during an internet search (on curtis brown’s page for Dorothy Atkinson) - have we seen this on screen yet? Is it new?

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