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  1. Cycles and Circulation: A Theme in the History of Biology and Medicine.Lucy van de Wiel, Mathias Grote, Peder Anker, Warwick Anderson, Ariane Dröscher, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Lynn K. Nyhart, Guido Giglioni, Maaike van der Lugt, Shigehisa Kuriyama, Christiane Groeben, Janet Browne, Staffan Müller-Wille & Nick Hopwood - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-39.
    We invite systematic consideration of the metaphors of cycles and circulation as a long-term theme in the history of the life and environmental sciences and medicine. Ubiquitous in ancient religious and philosophical traditions, especially in representing the seasons and the motions of celestial bodies, circles once symbolized perfection. Over the centuries cyclic images in western medicine, natural philosophy, natural history and eventually biology gained independence from cosmology and theology and came to depend less on strictly circular forms. As potent ‘canonical (...)
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  • ‘Birth, life, and death of infectious diseases’: Charles Nicolle and the invention of medical ecology in France.Pierre-Olivier Méthot - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):2.
    In teasing out the diverse origins of our “modern, ecological understanding of epidemic disease” Greater than the parts: holism in biomedicine, 1920–1950, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998), historians have downplayed the importance of parasitology in the development of a natural history perspective on disease. The present article reassesses the significance of parasitology for the “invention” of medical ecology in post-war France. Focussing on the works of microbiologist Charles Nicolle and on that of physician and zoologist Hervé Harant, I argue that (...)
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  • Nowhere to run, rabbit: the cold-war calculus of disease ecology.Warwick Anderson - 2017 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39 (2):13.
    During the cold war, Frank Fenner and Francis Ratcliffe studied mathematically the coevolution of host resistance and parasite virulence when myxomatosis was unleashed on Australia’s rabbit population. Later, Robert May called Fenner the “real hero” of disease ecology for his mathematical modeling of the epidemic. While Ratcliffe came from a tradition of animal ecology, Fenner developed an ecological orientation in World War II through his work on malaria control —that is, through studies of tropical medicine. This makes Fenner at least (...)
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  • Introduction: Microbes, Networks, Knowledge—Disease Ecology and Emerging Infectious Diseases in Time of COVID-19.Mark Honigsbaum & Pierre-Olivier Méthot - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (3):1-9.
    This is an introduction to the topical collection Microbes, Networks, Knowledge: Disease Ecology in the twentieth Century, based on a workshop held at Queen Mary, University London on July 6–7 2016. More than twenty years ago, historian of science and medicine Andrew Mendelsohn asked, “Where did the modern, ecological understanding of epidemic disease come from?” Moving beyond Mendelsohn’s answer, this collection of new essays considers the global history of disease ecology in the past century and shows how epidemics and pandemics (...)
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  • ‘Tipping the Balance’: Karl Friedrich Meyer, Latent Infections, and the Birth of Modern Ideas of Disease Ecology.Mark Honigsbaum - 2016 - Journal of the History of Biology 49 (2):261-309.
    The Swiss-born medical researcher Karl Friedrich Meyer is best known as a ‘microbe hunter’ who pioneered investigations into diseases at the intersection of animal and human health in California in the 1920s and 1930s. In particular, historians have singled out Meyer’s 1931 Ludwig Hektoen Lecture in which he described the animal kingdom as a ‘reservoir of disease’ as a forerunner of ‘one medicine’ approaches to emerging zoonoses. In so doing, however, historians risk overlooking Meyer’s other intellectual contributions. Developed in a (...)
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  • René Dubos, Tuberculosis, and the “Ecological Facets of Virulence”.Mark Honigsbaum - 2017 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39 (3):15.
    Reflecting on his scientific career toward the end of his life, the French-educated medical researcher René Dubos presented his flowering as an ecological thinker as a story of linear progression—the inevitable product of the intellectual seeds planted in his youth. But how much store should we set by Dubos’s account of his ecological journey? Resisting retrospective biographical readings, this paper seeks to relate the development of Dubos’s ecological ideas to his experimental practices and his career as a laboratory researcher. In (...)
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