19 Jan 2007

The Open University reveals The Making of Modern Medicine

The Making of Modern Medicine

The Making of Modern Medicine

Tx: BBC Radio 4, 3.45pm, Monday February 5

From Hippocrates in 500BC to the first organ transplantations of the modern day via Smallpox, Florence Nightingale, Louis Pasteur and Penicillin, The Making of Modern Medicine - an Open University/BBC Co-Production for BBC Radio 4 - will examine the development of Medicine over the past 2000 years.

Written and narrated by Andrew Cunningham and using the vocal talents of Tamsin Greig, Annette Badland and Peter Capaldi among others, the 30-part series of 15 minute programmes will cover the whole narrative of medical history using diaries, letters, and dramatic reconstructions of events to illustrate the fascinating history of medical science.

Each programme in the series will focus on a different aspect of medicine or care. The series begins with the work of Hippocrates in 500BC and Galen in 200AD, moves onto Medieval medicine and the first surgery and re-examines the first cases of The pox, the world’s first sexual epidemic.

Later episodes also feature French advances, Semmelweis and childbirth, the advent of nutrition and cleanliness and the work of Pasteur, Koch and Osler.

The series covers until the mid-20th Century and the advances in drugs, machinery and Hospitals. There is also an episode on the abuses of medicine practised by the Nazi’s and the Soviets.

Debbie Brunton, Senior Lecturer in the History of Medicine at The Open University, said: “The strangest period of medicine, to modern eyes, comes before the late 18th Century, when practitioners accepted that the body’s four “humours” – blood, phlegm, yellow and black bile, determined if we were healthy or sick. But the individual care rich patients received from their doctors is something that modern medicine struggles to recapture. Much of the advice on diet – moderation in all things – handed out by physicians in Ancient Greece, is still applicable!”

Editor’s Notes

The Making of Modern Medicine is a BBC/ Open University co-production for BBC Radio 4.

It will broadcast at 3.45pm and weekly afterwards from Monday February 5.

The Editor for the BBC is Deborah Cohen and Executive Producer for The Open University is Catherine McCarthy. The Chief Academic is Debbie Brunton from The Open University.

The Open University and BBC have been in partnership for more than 30 years, providing educational programming to a mass audience. In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak time programmes with a broad appeal to encourage wider participation in learning.

All broadcast information is correct at time of issue.

For interview requests and information please contact Guy Bailey

Related Courses and programmes from the Open University:-

- A218 Medicine and Society in Europe from 1500 – 1930
- A103 An Introduction to Humanities
- A200 Exploring History: Medieval to Modern from 1400 to 1900
- A207 From Enlightenment to Romanticism c.1780 – 1830
- AA305 The Professions in Early Modern England c.1450 – 1880
- AS208 A Rise of Scientific Europe 1500-1800

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