This article describes the sustained effort by American researchers between the mid-1930s and the mid-1950s to develop an effective influenza vaccine. From almost the beginning of this project, researchers succeeded in protecting laboratory animals from lethal influenza infection, and they believed that success with humans would follow quickly. Yet although they succeeded in producing a vaccine that proved effective in field trials in 1943 and 1945, that same vaccine failed to offer any protection in 1947. This vaccine failure forced researchers to reconsider the growing evidence of antigenic variation and challenged the model of the virus that had been taken for granted.
In the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, all intellectual pursuits in Europe were colored by the religious conditions of the age. Accordingly, investigations into nature were unable to avoid issues dealing with the workings of divine power. The reestablishment of the University of Copenhagen after the Reformation of 1536 in the joint kingdom of Denmark and Norway prompted the formulation of an official Lutheran program for the study of medicine and natural philosophy (including anatomy). This program was wholly based on the ideas of the German reformer Philip Melanchthon, the aim being to apply knowledge of, for example, anatomy in support of the newly reformed Lutheran society. Thus, the crown and the church officially sanctioned Melanchthon's thoughts on natural philosophy as a means to apprehend, first, the majestic glory of divine providence; second, that man was truly created and assigned his place by God; and third, that it was demanded of all men and women that they submit themselves to the will of God and the laws of the public authorities.
This paper deals with an important development of scientific pharmacology, focusing on the reaction of the German pharmacologist Walther Straub to the receptor concept, which was a new approach to explain the binding of drugs to cells in the young discipline of pharmacology after 1900. The article analyzes how Straub as an important representative of his field between 1900 and 1944 was influenced by nineteenth-century thinking, and how he developed a rival physical theory to combat the receptor concept. Straub is seen as a man of transition, who on the one side tackled a core question of drug research with modern experimental methods, but on the other side was hardly able to accept new results in chemistry.
For the ordinary doctor the taking of a medical patient history is and has been one of the fundamental procedures. This article looks at instructions on the taking of a history in medical texts, to delineate what happened to the position of the patient history in clinical assessment with the increased emphasis on physical examination that began around the middle of the nineteenth century. The analysis reveals that the taking of a history remained important, with a consistent approach from 1850 to the end of the twentieth century. The patient history became incorporated into the physician's examination as another set of observations and signs, thus producing two histories: a superficial, chaotic story presented by the patient, and a deep, "true" history revealed by the skill of the physician. Within pediatrics, the primacy of the physical examination appears to have been asserted well before the introduction of history-taking.
Child guidance was central to twentieth-century international programs of "mental hygiene," with the shift from an emphasis on children's physical health to concern with their mental health. In interwar Britain it was supported by American philanthropy and influenced by American practice, especially the latter's emphasis on the dominant role of psychiatry. In Scotland the psychiatric model undoubtedly gained purchase. But in a highly contested field this approach also encountered resistance from psychologists, while the powerful Catholic Church had strong views about the areas of child mental health and development into which psychiatry might be allowed to venture.