© 2018

Animals and the Shaping of Modern Medicine

One Health and its Histories

  • Funded by the Wellcome Trust, this book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license

  • Opens up a new perspective on the history of modern medicine in which animals and their diseases take centre stage

  • Explores the complex combined history of medicine and veterinary medicine

Open Access

Part of the Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Modern History book series (MBSMH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Abigail Woods, Michael Bresalier, Angela Cassidy, Rachel Mason Dentinger
    Pages 1-26 Open Access
  3. Abigail Woods, Michael Bresalier, Angela Cassidy, Rachel Mason Dentinger
    Pages 237-245 Open Access
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 247-280

About this book


This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.

This book breaks new ground by situating animals and their diseases at the very heart of modern medicine. In demonstrating their historical significance as subjects and shapers of medicine, it offers important insights into past animal lives, and reveals that what we think of as ‘human’ medicine was in fact deeply zoological.

Each chapter analyses an important episode in which animals changed and were changed by medicine. Ranging across the animal inhabitants of Britain’s zoos, sick sheep on Scottish farms, unproductive livestock in developing countries, and the tapeworms of California and Beirut, they illuminate the multi-species dimensions of modern medicine and its rich historical connections with biology, zoology, agriculture and veterinary medicine. The modern movement for One Health – whose history is also analyzed – is therefore revealed as just the latest attempt to improve health by working across species and disciplines.

This book will appeal to historians of animals, science and medicine, to those involved in the promotion and practice of One Health today.


Human health Medical research Biomedicine Animal testing Drug development One Health Public Health Zoological gardens Diseased Sheep Tuberculosis rickets inter-war medicine Calvin W. Schwabe Echinococcus tapeworm Healthy Cows Parasitological Pursuit Open Access

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryKings College LondonLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of HistorySwansea UniversitySwanseaUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Department of PoliticsUniversity of ExeterExeterUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

About the authors

Abigail Woods is Professor of the History of Human and Animal Health and Head of the Department of History at King’s College London, UK.

Michael Bresalier is Lecturer in the History of Medicine at Swansea University, UK.

Angela Cassidy is a Lecturer in the Politics department, University of Exeter, UK.

Rachel Mason Dentinger is a Scholar-In-Residence and Associate Instructor at the University of Utah, USA.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Animals and the Shaping of Modern Medicine
  • Book Subtitle One Health and its Histories
  • Authors Abigail Woods
    Michael Bresalier
    Angela Cassidy
    Rachel Mason Dentinger
  • Series Title Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Modern History
  • Series Abbreviated Title Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Modern History
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • License CC BY
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-64336-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-74118-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-64337-3
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVII, 280
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 5 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Science
    History of Medicine
    Modern History
    Animal Welfare/Animal Ethics
    Social History
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Both historians of medicine and advocates of One Health will benefit from its careful reconstructions of the intertwined histories of human and animal health and its incisive critiques of the conceptual and institutional borders that continue to separate them.” (Etienne S. Benson, Isis, Vol. 111 (2), 2020)

“This is a methodologically well-grounded book, full of documentation, on one of the major shifts in animal health history through the centuries. It illustrates a rarely explored aspect of current globalization that goes beyond internationalization, and illustrates the concept of ‘globality’ in the life sciences with the logical consequence of medicine being fundamentally as unitary as life. … a descriptive book that explores the development of a current phenomenon in society.” (Alain Touwaide, Doody's Book Reviews, November, 2018)

“Animals and the Making of Modern Medicine demonstrates the distance that can be traveled, and the depth of connections that can be revealed, when we break through disciplinary boundaries and challenge the norms that define – and limit – our scholarly pursuits.” (Georgina M. Montgomery, Journal of the History of Biology, Vol. 51, 2018)