Reviewing recent, overlapping work by historians of medicine and health and of environmental history, this article proposes a further agenda upon which scholars in both fields may converge. Both environmental and medical historians can seek to understand the past two centuries of medical history in terms of a seesaw dialogue over the ways and means by which physicians and other health professionals did, and did not, consider the influence of place—airs and waters included—on disease. Modernizing and professionalizing as well as new styles of science nourished attendant aspirations for a clinical place neutrality, for a medicine in which patients’ own places didn’t matter to what doctors thought or did. The rise of place neutrality from the late nineteenth century onward also had close and enabling historical ties to the near-simultaneous formation of place-defined specialties—tropical medicine, bacteriological public health, and industrial medicine and hygiene.


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pp. 1-45
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