Thursday, March 25, 2010

EPA Releases Public Database on Risk Assessments

WASHINGTON -- On March 24, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) database, a milestone in transparency. HERO provides access to the scientific studies used in making key regulatory decisions, including EPA’s periodic review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six major pollutants. It is part of the open government directive to conduct business with transparency, participation, and collaboration.

"The HERO database strengthens our science and our transparency--two pillars of our work at EPA. Giving the public easy access to the same information EPA uses will help open the lines of communication, increase knowledge and understanding, and open the doors of EPA," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Americans have a right to know the background of decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods. We're taking a big step forward in opening government to the people.

"The publically accessible HERO database provides an easy way to review the scientific literature behind EPA science assessments, which are used to support agency decision-making. The database includes more than 300,000 scientific articles including the authors, titles, dates, and abstracts. In addition, through a simple keyword search, anyone can see information from the articles that were used to develop specific risk assessments.

HERO includes peer-reviewed literature used by EPA to develop its Integrated Science Assessments (ISA) that feed into the NAAQS review. It also includes references and data from the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), a database that supports critical agency policymaking for chemical regulation. Click for more information on the HERO database and the IRIS database.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Call for Manuscripts: Rochester Studies in Medical History

The University of Rochester Press is seeking manuscripts for its series Rochester Studies in Medical History (RSMH). The Editor of the Series is Theodore M. Brown, Ph.D., Professor of History, Community and Preventive Medicine, and Medical Humanities at the University of Rochester. He is assisted by a panel of distinguished scholars from a variety of institutions. The editorial board is seeking a mix of titles and formats, ranging from monographs by a single author to edited volumes representing many authors and points of view.

The series has three major foci: the history of public health and health policy; the history of clinical and investigative medicine; and the history of the social and cultural significance of medicine and disease. Special interests include the history of measures aimed at controlling disease in populations, biomedical and epidemiological research and their applications in practice, and the cultural implications of medicine and its institutions.

Anyone interested in making a submission for consideration is requested to send a project proposal or prospectus. The project proposal should include: 1) a brief but detailed synopsis of the work, outlining its intended contribution to the existing literature; 2) an abstract of 300 words or less, summarizing the work's content; 3) a complete Table of Contents; 4) one sample chapter. All scholars with an interest in submitting their work for consideration should contact the Editor.

Theodore M. Brown, Ph.D., Series Editor
University of Rochester

Send proposals to:

University of Rochester Press
668 Mt. Hope Avenue
Rochester, New York 14620

O'Malley Research Fellowships for the History of Medicine at UCLA

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and History & Special Collections for the Sciences, in the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, are pleased to announce the availability of the 2010-2011 Charles Donald O’Malley Short-Term Research Fellowships (Adobe PDF document) to further investigation into the history of medical thought and healing practice and art from the earliest times to the recent past. Two fellowships will be awarded, each of which carries a grant of up to $1500 to defray travel and residence costs for research conducted at UCLA special collections libraries between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.

U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a legal right to work in the United States who are engaged in graduate level, post-doctoral, or independent research are invited to apply. The fellowships are available to graduate students and independent scholars primarily interested in using History & Special Collections for the Sciences, the UCLA Library Special Collections unit located in the Biomedical Library. Other special collections on the UCLA campus also may be used, including the William Andrews Clark Library, Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections, and University Archives.

The award commemorates the work of Charles D. O’Malley, Ph.D. (1907-70), the Vesalian scholar and first full-time chair of the Department of Medical History at UCLA. O’Malley pioneered the study of the history of medicine at UCLA and facilitated its growth.

Applications must be received on or before May 15, 2010. For further information, visit the library's web site.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

President Signs Health Care Reform Bill

President Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010.

For a related post on the debate surrounding health care reform and the passage of Medicare in 1965, see "Operation Coffeecup and Socialized Medicine."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Women's History Month 2010

Women's History Month is celebrated every March, and International Women's Day every March 8th. In 1987, the National Women's History Project (NWHP) successfully petitioned Congress to expand Women's History Week to Women's History Month. The NWHP is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with the theme Writing Women Back into History. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have used this theme to jointly create an online project to highlight the many individual and collective contributions of women to history.

Below are some additional resources that focus on the achievements of women in medicine and science, as well as the women's suffrage movement in North Carolina and nationally. The UNC online catalog also offers up many library resources related to women's history, both electronic and print; see, for example, subject searches for Women Physicians; Women Scientists; Women's Rights; and Women's History.

Among many examples of prominent women represented in Special Collections at the Health Sciences Library are the medical pioneers Florence Nightingale and Susan Dimock:

:: Florence Nightingale [1820-1910], known as the “Lady with the Lamp” for her service during the Crimean War, was a pioneering nurse, statistician, author, and educator. In 1860 she opened the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in London, for which her book, Notes on Nursing (1859), served as the cornerstone of the curriculum. Several of her handwritten letters from Special Collections have been digitized and are available online; many of her published works are also available in the library.

:: Susan Dimock [1847-1875] of Washington, North Carolina, was a pioneer among women physicians in America. Denied access to medical education, she pursued her studies abroad, graduating from the University of Zurich in 1871; her dissertation on puerperal fever, written in German, is available online as part of the International Theses Collection at HSL. In 1872, Dr. Dimock was appointed the resident physician of the New England Hospital of Women and Children, and played a key role in developing a formal training program for nurses. This same year she was granted honorary membership in the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina--it's first female member.

See also related entries on Women's History on the Carolina Curator blog.

:: Women Nobel Laureates (Nobel Foundation)
The Nobel Prize and Prize in Economic Sciences have been awarded to women 41 times between 1901 and 2009. Only one woman, Marie Curie, has been honoured twice, with the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. This means that 40 women in total have been awarded the Nobel Prize between 1901 and 2009.

Ten women have won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the first being Gerty Theresa Cori in 1947 for her contribution to the "discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen," and the most recent being Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider in 2009, for their work on "the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase."

:: Profiles in Science (National Library of Medicine)
This site celebrates twentieth-century leaders in biomedical research and public health. It makes the archival collections of prominent scientists, physicians, and others who have advanced the scientific enterprise available to the public through modern digital technology.

Rosalind Franklin [1920-1958] -- A British chemist and crystallographer who is best known for her role in the discovery of the structure of DNA.

Barbara McClintock [1902-1992] -- An American geneticist who won the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of genetic transposition, or the ability of genes to change position on the chromosome.

Florence Rena Sabin [1871-1953] -- An American anatomist and medical researcher. Her excellent and innovative work on the origins of the lymphatic system, blood cells, and immune system cells, and on the pathology of tuberculosis was well-recognized during her lifetime.

Maxine Singer [b. 1931] -- A leading molecular biologist and science advocate. She has made important contributions to the deciphering of the genetic code and to our understanding of RNA and DNA, the chemical elements of heredity.

Virginia Apgar [ 1909-1974] -- An American physician who is best known for the Apgar Score, a simple, rapid method for assessing newborn viability.

Mary Lasker [1900-1994] -- Medical philanthropist, political strategist, and health activist. Lasker acted as the catalyst for the rapid growth of the biomedical research enterprise in the United States after World War II.

:: Online Exhibitions (National Library of Medicine)

Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America's Women Physicians

"That Girl There Is Doctor in Medicine": Elizabeth Blackwell, America's First Woman M.D.

:: Women's History in North Carolina (UNC's Documenting the American South)
North Carolina women have proven themselves to be pioneering, revolutionary, and industrious. From the Edenton Tea Party to the Civil War to World War I fundraisers, and beyond, they have agitated relentlessly for social improvement and against injustice.

:: North Carolina and the Struggle for Women's Suffrage (UNC's Documenting the American South)
The flyers, speeches, and documents summarized here, dated from approximately 1915 to 1920, represent the controversy surrounding the final push for women's suffrage in the United States. Proceedings of the Second Annual Convention of the Equal Suffrage Association, a publication of the Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina, illustrates in detail the goals and operation of the suffrage group.

:: The HerStory Scrapbook (New York Times)
The right to vote is a fundamental principle of democracy. From 1917 to 1920, the New York Times published over 3,000 articles, editorials, and letters about the women who were fighting for, and against, suffrage. The HerStory Scrapbook includes more than 900 of the most interesting pieces from that period. It is the equivalent of having had someone save articles from the Times in a scrapbook for prosperity.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

GrantSource Library Workshops and Resources

The GrantSource Library is part of the Office of Information and Communications, one of the Research at Carolina offices under the direction of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development. The library provides information and services to UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students seeking funding for research, collaborative projects, fellowships and other scholarly activities. It also provides assistance and instruction to groups and individuals on the best use of our resources, and offer a series of workshops:

:: Monthly Workshop Schedule for Graduate and Professional Students

:: Customized Workshops for Graduate and Professional Students

:: Departmental Workshop Schedule for Faculty, Postdoctoral Scholars, and Staff

:: Workshop Presentations [PowerPoint downloads]

The workshops cover the fundamentals of funding sources, tips for researching funding opportunities, and hands-on instruction in the best use of online funding resources, including the Community of Science (COS) funding database and customizable alert service.

For further information, visit the GrantSource Library web site, or contact staff by email ( or phone (919-962-3463).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bullitt Club Lecture: "The South's Secret Weapons: Disease, Environment, and the Civil War"

The next meeting of the Bullitt History of Medicine Club will be Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at the UNC Health Sciences Library in the 5th Floor Conference Room (527). Please join us at 5:30pm for light refreshments followed by the lecture at 6pm. Meetings are free and open to the public.

Dr. Margaret Humphreys, the Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine at Duke University, will be presenting a lecture entitled, "The South's Secret Weapons: Disease, Environment, and the Civil War."

Dr. Humphreys received her PhD in the History of Science (1983) and MD (1987) from Harvard University. She is the author of Yellow Fever and the South (1992) and Malaria: Poverty, Race, and Public Health in the United States (2001), books that explore the tropical disease environment of the American South, and its role in the national public health effort. She teaches the history of medicine, public health, and biology at Duke University, where she also edits the Journal of the History of Medicine. Her current research concerns the impact of the Civil War on American Medicine. The first book to emerge from that project, Intensely Human: The Health of the Black Soldier in the American Civil War, appeared in 2008.

For further information about the Bullitt Club, including the schedule for 2009-10 and mp3 recordings of past lectures, please visit the Bullitt web site.

Dean Gasaway Tribute Symposium: Digital Publication and Libraries

The North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology of the UNC School of Law presents:

The Dean Laura N. Gasaway Tribute Symposium: Digital Publication and Libraries

Please join us in honoring Dean Laura "Lolly" Gasaway's three decades of service to copyright, libraries, and the legal and scholarly community.

March 19, 2010
1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
The Carolina Inn
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Admission is free

The Symposium will comprise four consecutive panels:

:: Copyright and Libraries: The Challenge (Donna Nixon moderating)
Deborah Gerhardt - University of North Carolina
Julie Cohen - Georgetown University
Jessica Litman - University of Michigan
Sally Wiant - Washington & Lee University
Madelyn Wessel - University of Virginia

:: Copyright and Digital Distribution (Anne Klinefelter moderating)
Kate Spelman - Cobalt
Nancy Wolff - Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, LLP
Llew Gibbons - University of Toledo
Jon Baumgarten - Proskauer Rose, LLP

:: §108 and Google Book Search Revisited (Peter Hirtle moderating)
Laura Gasaway - University of North Carolina
Dick Rudick - Copyright Clearance Center
Glynn Lunney - Tulane University
Tony Reese - University of California at Irvine

:: §108 Lessons Learned (David Harrison moderating)
Mary Beth Peters - U.S. Register of Copyrights
Mary Rasenberger - Policy Advisor for U.S. Copyright Office & OSI
Kenny Crews - Columbia University
Ann Bartow - University of South Carolina

For more information, please visit the North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology web site.

Library of Congress to Offer Junior Fellows Summer Internships

This summer the Library of Congress is once again offering special 10-week paid internships to college students. For a stipend of $3,000, the 2010 class of Junior Fellows Summer Interns will work full-time from June 7 through August 13 with Library specialists to inventory, describe, and explore collection holdings and to assist with digital preservation outreach activities throughout the Library. The focus of the program is on increasing access to collections and awareness of the Library’s digital preservation programs by making them better known and accessible to researchers including scholars, students, teachers and the general public.

The interns will be exposed to a broad spectrum of library work: preservation, reference, access standards and information management. The program is made possible through the generosity of the late Mrs. Jefferson Patterson and the James Madison Council.

In addition to the stipend (paid in bi-weekly segments), interns will be eligible to take part in programs offered at the Library. Interns are temporary employees of the Library, and as such are not eligible for federal employee benefits and privileges.

Applications will be accepted online only at, keyword: 1840256, from Friday, March 12, 2010, through midnight, Friday, March 26, 2010. For more details about the program and information on how to apply, visit Questions about the program may be sent to

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Anesthesia History Association to Meet in North Carolina

The Anesthesia History Association (AHA), in conjunction with the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, will be holding its 16th Annual Meeting on April 8-10, 2010, at the Brookstown Inn in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The featured speaker will be Dr. K. Patrick Ober, Professor of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest University and author of Mark Twain and Medicine: "Any Mummery Will Cure."

Annual meetings are held in various parts of the United States, and a brief interim meeting and dinner is held annually during the ASA Annual Meeting. Annual Meeting programs include plenary sessions devoted to targeted subject relative to anesthesia history or the teaching of history. "Free Papers" are devoted to historical events, trends, biography, etc related to medicine and to anesthesia.

This year's meeting will begin on Thursday, April 8, with a tour of Old Salem and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. The educational sessions will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday and conclude at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Additional information regarding the 2010 AHA spring meeting is available from Robert Strickland, M.D.,, (336) 716-4498, or Sherri Stockner,, (336) 716-2712; the AHA web site also provides further information.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Edward Tufte Named to Recovery Independent Advisory Panel

President Obama on March 5, 2010 named four members to the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel, including Edward Tufte, the noted expert on information design and visualization. The White House provided the following bio for Tufte on its blog:
Edward Tufte is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Statistics, and Computer Science at Yale University. He wrote, designed, and self-published The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations, and Beautiful Evidence, which have received 40 awards for content and design. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Society for Technical Communication, and the American Statistical Association. He received his PhD in political Science from Yale University and BS and MS in statistics from Stanford University.
On his own website, Tufte made the following comments on the appointment:
I will be serving on the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel. This Panel advises The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, whose job is to track and explain $787 billion in recovery stimulus funds:

"The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with two goals:

To provide transparency in relation to the use of Recovery-related funds. To prevent and detect fraud, waste, and mismanagement. Earl E. Devaney was appointed by President Obama to serve as chairman of the Recovery Board. Twelve Inspectors General from various federal agencies serve with Chairman Devaney. The Board issues quarterly and annual reports to the President and Congress and, if necessary, "flash reports" on matters that require immediate attention. In addition, the Board maintains the website so the American people can see how Recovery money is being distributed by federal agencies and how the funds are being used by the recipients.

Mission statement: To promote accountability by coordinating and conducting oversight of Recovery funds to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse and to foster transparency on Recovery spending by providing the public with accurate, user friendly information."

I'm doing this because I like accountability and transparency, and I believe in public service. And it is the complete opposite of everything else I do. Maybe I'll learn something. The practical consequence is that I will probably go to Washington several days each month, in addition to whatever homework and phone meetings are necessary.
The others named to the Panel include Steven Koch, Chris Sale, and Malcolm K. Sparrow.

Marjorie Howard Futcher Digital Photo Collection

The Osler Library of the History of Medicine and the McGill University Library are pleased to announce the launch of the online Marjorie Howard Futcher Photo Collection. This is a series of close to one thousand images arranged in two albums dating from 1890 to 1910 by Marjorie Howard Futcher (1882-1969), daughter of the former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Osler’s mentor R. Palmer Howard.

The site contains a number of photographs of medical people, including Sir William Osler (1849-1919), Dean of McGill Medicine Francis Shepherd (1851-1929), and even Dr. John McCrae (1872-1918), later famous for his poem In Flanders Fields. It also illustrates the social life of a young, well-connected Montreal woman during the period, including school days in England and Germany, and vacations in the lower St Lawrence area of Metis-sur-Mer, England, Scotland, Paris and Italy. The site provides an insight into the intersection of the worlds of elite medicine and wealth.

Viewers can virtually flip through the photo albums, replicating the experience of examining the originals and also seeing each picture in its larger context.

The original albums were donated to the Osler Library by Mrs Futcher’s son, Dr Palmer Howard Futcher of Baltimore, in 1998. We are grateful to the McGill Faculty of Medicine Class of 1978, whose generous class gift helped make this possible, and to those who contributed to this project.

For more information, please contact the Osler Library at or 514-398-4475, ext 09873.

Note: The image above (#FUT1_002-001_P) is from the Osler Library collection, and depicts Majorie Howard Futcher in 1900 at Métis-sur-Mer (Québec).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

UNC Launches First Global Health Challenge Competition

UNC is launching the first Global Health Challenge, an interdisciplinary case competition for UNC students of all levels. Students will work together on teams to develop innovative solutions to a topical global health situation. Teams of 4-6 students will present their recommendations to a panel of expert judges.
First Prize: $2,500
Second Prize: $1,000
UNC’s Global Health Challenge is developed and executed by a multidisciplinary student planning committee. The 2010 planning committee consists of students from the schools of public health, law, business, pharmacy and dentistry.

Key Dates

:: Registration will begin on Monday, March 1 and will close on Monday, March 15. The competition is limited to 10 teams and we expect the field to fill quickly.

:: Monday, March 22 is the mandatory kick-off event where registrants will receive important competition information and obtain the case materials. Teams may work on the case at their discretion over the course of the week.

:: Friday, March 26: Team work space and food will be provided from noon to midnight. Presentations are due March 26th at midnight.

:: Saturday, March 27, 9:00-3:00: Presentations and judging, and announcement of winners.

The Global Health Challenge is sponsored by Futures Group Global and Don and Jennifer Holzworth; the Kenan-Flagler MBA Healthcare Club; the Delta Omega Honor Society; and the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases.

For more information about the Global Health Challenge competition, contact Kristen Brugh, or visit the Global Health Challenge web site.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Registration Underway for 2010 American Association for the History of Medicine Annual Meeting

Registration is now underway for the 2010 American Association for the History of Medicine annual meeting in Rochester, Minnesota, April 29 to May 2.

:: Meeting Registration Information
-- Early registration fee on or before March 26: $185
-- Fee after March 26: $225
-- Student Fee: $125

:: Hotel Registration Information
-- Note that rooms at the conference rate are being booked quickly.

:: Continuing Medical Education

:: Preliminary Program [pdf]

Information for Students

The Student Section of the American Association for the History of Medicine will meet for its fourth annual luncheon on Saturday May 1st at noon at Victoria’s (located in the Kahler Hotel). Please sign up for the lunch on the conference registration form, and note that students will need to pay for their own meals.

The AAHM has generously secured student room rates of $59 (+ 11% tax) in rooms with either two twin beds or one queen bed. Ask for the student rate when contacting the Kahler Hotel. If you would like help finding a roommate, please contact Jacob Steere-Williams, University of Minnesota, Chair, AAHM Ad-Hoc Committee on Student Affairs (

The Student Section is again implementing the Conference Buddy Program, which introduces new members to seasoned veterans. If you are new to AAHM and would like to participate, please sign up on the registration form.