Prof. Michael Bennett, Professor of History, UTAS will present The Sciences were Never at War: Edward Jenner, FRS, English cowpox, and the vaccination of Napoleonic France
in the Meeting Room, QVMAG at Inveresk
2.00 pm Sunday 23rd March 2014
Admission: $5 General Public, $3 Friends of the Museum, $2 Students
Free for members of The Royal Society of Tasmania
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RSVP by Thursday 20th March 2014:
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In 1798 Edward Jenner, FRS, published his findings showing the inoculation of cowpox provided immunity to smallpox. While the practice was still in its infancy in England, reports and samples of English cowpox “vaccine” were disseminated around the world. This talk considers the introduction of vaccination in Napoleonic France; a remarkable achievement in that Britain and France were at war, and the event involved a London physician, travelling on a special passport, bringing samples to Paris. In 1801 a French address to the Marquis Cornwallis at Amiens praised this action, declaring, “The friends of science never interrupt their fraternal intercourse; and while their governments wield the thunder of war, to decide their political contests, men of letters always remain in peace”.
Michael Bennett is Professor of History at the University of Tasmania and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities. The author of four books on late medieval and early modern England, he has published papers on European, Australian and Tasmanian history. His most recent project is the early global spread of vaccination, circa 1798-1815. He is currently completing a book on The War against Smallpox to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.
Professor Bennett will highlight the role of international collaboration in the global spread of vaccination during the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon himself was a great supporter of vaccination, and an admirer of Jenner.