Book: The Pathological Family

Dear WHOM colleagues,
I am pleased to write that my book, The Pathological Family: Postwar America and the Rise of Family Therapy, was published recently by Cornell University Press.  Here is the link to the CUP website.
Debbie Weinstein
Assistant Director, Pembroke Center
Director, Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies
Brown University
Box 1958
Providence, RI 02912
Published in: on June 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Exhibit: Extraordinary Women in Science and Medicine

Below, I’ve copied the press release for an exhibition that I suspect
will tempt many of us to go to New York this fall. I’ve had a chance
to look at some of Ronald Smeltzer’s collection, and it is truly
remarkable. Take him up on his offer of private walkarounds for small

Karen Reeds (with apologies for cross-posting)
Independent curator, museum consultant, historian of medicine
Princeton Research Forum, a community of independent scholars.

Press Release                                                                      Contact: Megan Smith
For immediate release                                            

Extraordinary Women in Science & Medicine: Four Centuries of Achievement
At the Grolier Club
September 18 – November 23, 2013

The Grolier Club is pleased to present a landmark exhibition exploring
the legacy of thirty-two remarkable women whose extraordinary
scientific accomplishments in physics, chemistry, astronomy,
mathematics, computing, and medicine changed science. Extraordinary
Women in Science & Medicine: Four Centuries of Achievement will
illuminate the often little-known careers and accomplishments of these
female scientists, examining their work and lives over four centuries.
More than 150 original artifacts, including books, manuscripts,
serials, authors’ separates, Ph.D. theses, and laboratory apparatus
(such as that used by Marie Curie during her earliest work on
radioactivity) will be on view, providing a remarkable overview of the
scientific contributions of this eminent group.
Included will be numerous items with special attributes and
provenance. Of particular interest will be Emilie Du Châtelet’s 1759
translation of Newton’s Principia with the bookplate of Talleyrand;
copies of all of her other scientific publications; a mathematics
workbook and a letter, both in her hand; and materials about her
fourteen-year relationship with Voltaire, including a book she
co-authored—although without her name on the title page. A scientific
breakthrough in genetics written on a brown paper bag is displayed.
The exhibition also serves to announce a falsely attributed first
edition due to a typesetters error in the seventeenth century and a
variety of other bibliographical discoveries.
Extraordinary Women in Science & Medicine: Four Centuries of
Achievement highlights such luminaries of the physical sciences as
Marie and Irène Curie, Marietta Blau, Lise Meitner, Maria Goeppert
Mayer, C.-S. Wu, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, and Rosalind Franklin in
physics and chemistry. Astronomers  include Maria Cunitz, the most
advanced scholar in mathematical astronomy of the seventeenth century,
and Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, whose Ph.D. thesis in 1925 was the
beginning of modern astrophysics. Among the mathematicians highlighted
are Sophie Germain, Sophie Kowalevski, Emmy Noether, Emilie Du
Châtelet, Maria Agnesi, and Florence Nightingale—for her work in
statistics. Grace Hopper, the creator of many fundamental concepts in
digital computing, is featured. Represented also are Laura Bassi,
Hertha Ayrton, Marie Meurdrac, Marie Thiroux d’Arconville, Elizabeth
Fulhame, and Ada, Countess of Lovelace.
Among medical scientists, the exhibition features Gerti Cori,
instrumental in unveiling the fundamental mechanism of metabolism;
Gertrude Elion, the first to design medicines effective in the cure of
cancer and viral diseases; Rosalyn Yalow, developer of the powerful
analytic tool, radioimmunoassay; and Florence Sabin, whose discoveries
form the basis for our current understanding of cellular immunity. Two
game-changers in medical science are Rita Levi-Montalcini, discoverer
of nerve growth factor, and Barbara McClintock who discovered that
genes are not fixed but move—the key paradigm shift in modern
genetics. Great and influential clinical physicians include Louise
Bourgeois Boursier, midwife to King Henry IV and Marie de Medici of
France; the pioneering pediatric neurologist Mary Putnam Jacobi; and
Helen Taussig, designer of the life-saving “blue baby” operation.
The exhibition is designed to pose questions about women’s
recognition—or lack thereof—in the sciences. Topics treated include
educational opportunities, role models, the use of social capital,
individual styles of doing science, and gender issues associated with
society norms of the periods. The viewer may consider such questions,
for example, as who deserved and who received Nobel Prize awards among
the modern women. The intention is to raise awareness about how
women’s roles have been limited in the development of the sciences.
The exhibition was organized by Curators Ronald K. Smeltzer, Ph.D.,
Paulette Rose, Ph.D., and Robert J. Ruben, M.D.,
LOCATION AND TIME:  Extraordinary Women in Science & Medicine: Four
Centuries of Achievement will be on view at the Grolier Club, 47 East
60th Street, New York, from Sept. 18 – Nov. 23, 2013. The exhibition
will be open to the public free of charge, Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m.
CATALOGUE: An illustrated catalogue in conjunction with the exhibition
will be available at the Grolier Club.

Thursday, October 3, 2013, 6:00 PM–7:30 PM: Collectors’ Forum.
Saturday, October 26, 2013, 12:00 PM–5:00 PM: Symposium.
October 16, 23 and 30, 2013, 1:00 PM–2:00 PM: Curator-hosted tours of
the exhibition.

For special visits with a curator as host, contact Ronald K. Smeltzer:


Published in: on June 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bibliography on Miscarriages

Dear WHOM,

The interdisciplinary entry I wrote on miscarriage for Oxford Bibliographies Online is now available:
Lara Freidenfelds, Ph.D.
Published in: on June 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Center for the History of Family Medicine Award Recipient Constance Putnam


Description: z-CHFM masthead for pubs_1






May 20, 2013


Description: CEP June 2012

Constance E. Putnam, PhD

Photograph © by Courtney May. Used with permission.

The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) announced today the winner of the 2013 CHFM Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine.


Constance E. Putnam, PhD of Concord, Massachusetts,  has been awarded the Third Annual Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine  for her project “Rural General Practice as Forerunner of Today’s Family Practice.”


Dr. Putnam is an independent scholar and researcher and is the author of numerous books and articles in the field of  Medical History, Bioethics, and Medical Education.  She holds a PhD from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and formerly served as an Instructor in Biomedical Ethics at Simmons College in Boston.




Dr. Putnam’s fellowship project, “Rural General Practice as Forerunner of Today’s Family Practice,”  will focus on a largely unexamined archive of letters and papers from Dr. Putnam’s personal collection that detail the life and career of a General Practitioner (GP) from rural northern New England who practiced during the middle decades of the twentieth century–a period often nostalgically referred to as a “Golden Age” in American medicine.


According to Dr. Putnam,  “For historians as well as for physicians, richer insights into the ways and extent to which the best of the GP era has or has not been retained in the Family Practice era should improve understanding of the potential and benefits of Family Medicine as a specialty today,” noting also that “I believe that the more patients in general understand about the nature of medical care—whenever, wherever, and however delivered—the better the whole system will work for all of us.”


Dr. Putnam plans to prepare two articles for publication from her resulting research, one for physicians and one for medical historians, and eventually intends to publish a book comprising a collection of letters from her archive. On receiving the fellowship award Dr. Putnam said, “I am gratified to have the CHFM recognize the potential value of my project, and I very much look forward to the opportunity to see how the archive of which I have custody meshes with the current archival holdings of the CHFM.”



The CHFM presently sponsors one $1,500 Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine each year. Interested family physicians, other health professionals, historians, scholars, educators, scientists and others are invited to apply for the 2013 Fellowship.


The successful applicant will be awarded a fellowship grant in an amount of up to  $1,500 to support travel, lodging and incidental expenses relating to conducting research on a project of their choosing dealing with any aspect on the history of General Practice, Family Practice, or Family Medicine in the United States.  For more information, please visit the Center’s website.


Housed at AAFP headquarters and administered by the non-profit AAFP Foundation, the Center for the  History of Family Medicine serves as the principal resource center for the collection, conservation, exhibition and study of materials relating to the history of Family Medicine in the United States.  For more information on the Center, please contact Center staff via telephone at 1-800-274-2237 (ext. 4420 or 4422), via fax at (913) 906-6095, via e-mail at, or visit our website.

Published in: on June 11, 2013 at 10:42 am  Leave a Comment