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Uses of a pandemic: Forging the identities of influenza and virus research in interwar Britain

Michael Bresalier Orcid Logo

Social History of Medicine, Volume: 25, Issue: 2, Pages: 400 - 424

Swansea University Author: Michael Bresalier Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1093/shm/hkr162

Abstract

This paper counters the tendency to retrospectively viralise the 1918–19 pandemic and to gloss the important historiographical point that, in Britain, such knowledge was in-the-making between 1918 and 1933. It traces the genesis of influenza’s virus identity to British efforts in 1918–19 to specify...

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Published in: Social History of Medicine
Published: 2012
Online Access: http://shm.oxfordjournals.org/content/25/2/400.full
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa27787
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last_indexed 2018-02-09T05:11:14Z
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spelling 2016-05-10T12:52:59.5682598 v2 27787 2016-05-10 Uses of a pandemic: Forging the identities of influenza and virus research in interwar Britain e0e22c7c5669800c4a2e3b6ccdf79808 0000-0003-1185-8574 Michael Bresalier Michael Bresalier true false 2016-05-10 AHIS This paper counters the tendency to retrospectively viralise the 1918–19 pandemic and to gloss the important historiographical point that, in Britain, such knowledge was in-the-making between 1918 and 1933. It traces the genesis of influenza’s virus identity to British efforts in 1918–19 to specify the cause of the pandemic and it examines how, in the 1920s, the British Medical Research Council used the connection between a virus and the pandemic to justify the devel- opment of virus research and to make influenza a core problem around which it was organised. It shows that the organisation of medical virus research was inextricably linked to the pandemic before the actual discovery of flu virus in 1933. Recognising that the relationship between the virus and the disease itself has a history demands we rethink the pandemic’s medical scientific legacy and the crucial role of virus research in shaping its history. Journal Article Social History of Medicine 25 2 400 424 31 5 2012 2012-05-31 10.1093/shm/hkr162 http://shm.oxfordjournals.org/content/25/2/400.full COLLEGE NANME History COLLEGE CODE AHIS Swansea University 2016-05-10T12:52:59.5682598 2016-05-10T12:36:17.6362372 College of Arts and Humanities History Michael Bresalier 0000-0003-1185-8574 1
title Uses of a pandemic: Forging the identities of influenza and virus research in interwar Britain
spellingShingle Uses of a pandemic: Forging the identities of influenza and virus research in interwar Britain
Michael Bresalier
title_short Uses of a pandemic: Forging the identities of influenza and virus research in interwar Britain
title_full Uses of a pandemic: Forging the identities of influenza and virus research in interwar Britain
title_fullStr Uses of a pandemic: Forging the identities of influenza and virus research in interwar Britain
title_full_unstemmed Uses of a pandemic: Forging the identities of influenza and virus research in interwar Britain
title_sort Uses of a pandemic: Forging the identities of influenza and virus research in interwar Britain
author_id_str_mv e0e22c7c5669800c4a2e3b6ccdf79808
author_id_fullname_str_mv e0e22c7c5669800c4a2e3b6ccdf79808_***_Michael Bresalier
author Michael Bresalier
author2 Michael Bresalier
format Journal article
container_title Social History of Medicine
container_volume 25
container_issue 2
container_start_page 400
publishDate 2012
institution Swansea University
doi_str_mv 10.1093/shm/hkr162
college_str College of Arts and Humanities
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hierarchy_top_title College of Arts and Humanities
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hierarchy_parent_title College of Arts and Humanities
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url http://shm.oxfordjournals.org/content/25/2/400.full
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description This paper counters the tendency to retrospectively viralise the 1918–19 pandemic and to gloss the important historiographical point that, in Britain, such knowledge was in-the-making between 1918 and 1933. It traces the genesis of influenza’s virus identity to British efforts in 1918–19 to specify the cause of the pandemic and it examines how, in the 1920s, the British Medical Research Council used the connection between a virus and the pandemic to justify the devel- opment of virus research and to make influenza a core problem around which it was organised. It shows that the organisation of medical virus research was inextricably linked to the pandemic before the actual discovery of flu virus in 1933. Recognising that the relationship between the virus and the disease itself has a history demands we rethink the pandemic’s medical scientific legacy and the crucial role of virus research in shaping its history.
published_date 2012-05-31T03:39:11Z
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