Example questions:

"Who, if anyone, prior to Blalock and Thomas attempted open heart surgery?"

"Between Galen and the Renaissance (say 1450AD), what evidence do we have for how Galenic humorism was applied by physicians in the Christian West, esp England and France?"

"In the West, physicians and surgeons were distinguished back into antiquity, and were being distinguished as late as the 18th century. How and when did the two professions merge?"

Proposal: History of Science And Mathematics

  • 3
    I don't see why not. Questions that are not so much about medicine as a science, like "when was the first hospital built", might be borderline.
    – Jack M
    Apr 29, 2014 at 14:09
  • I actually would not even mind the admittedly borderline "first hospital" hypothetical. It is roughly similar to "What was the first university to proffer PhD's in Mathematics with a concentration in The History of Mathematics" (probably borderline itself without some more detail). :)) In any case, a definite +1 on the History of Medicine as a part of this site where the focus is on the hard science aspects. The History of Medical Science is definitely the kind of science we are interested in here. Medicine is a straightforward application of the hard sciences with a rich history. May 15, 2014 at 22:52
  • @J.W.Perry "Medicine is a straightforward application of the hard sciences" You're not a clinician, are you. :) May 15, 2014 at 22:54
  • @Codeswitcher I am not a doctor (I just play one on TV ...not), although a medical doctor who was not a clinician, I would expect to be a theorist or research scientist. As a general topic, I can see some decent questions coming out of the topic. If you are driving at something spit it out. :)) May 15, 2014 at 22:56
  • Sorry, if I were unclear. Clinicians -- and even research MDs -- generally don't hold that medicine has a straightforward relationship with hard science, and would find the notion very amusing. But I don't disagree with you at all that many fine (and appropriate) questions might come out of that discipline. May 15, 2014 at 23:00
  • I was thinking in the sense of Biology, Chemistry, Genetics, and things of that sort. Apparently "hard" is an unideal term these days for a science brand, but I still use it to distinguish from, say for example, "The Social Sciences". I usually get no complaints on the term, but I might think about replacing it if I meet more resistance over time. May 15, 2014 at 23:03
  • Oh, I understood that to be what you meant wrt disciplines. No problem there. It's that medicine is not the straightforward application of anything, much less science. But you bring up an interesting point: does the "history of sciences" include the history of the social sciences? Has this already been hashed out? May 15, 2014 at 23:08
  • I am pretty sure from the sample questions that we are mainly focused on empirical hard sciences to reuse my term. Hash Social sciences out in a post other than this one if you please. It is actually not a bad question: "Is the history of...acceptable". We have had a few already as you see. I expect you would get a flat no there, but you could surprise me. Many of the social science history questions already fit extremely well on the History main site. May 15, 2014 at 23:22
  • @Codeswitcher Actually, on reflection, this is a good hash out on the topic of this post. Your comments bring to light the sort of History of Medicine questions that would not be appropriate here. Initially I was thinking about all of the questions that would be perfectly on topic in the subject, but I am now starting to think about the throngs of questions that would be absolutely off topic for this site proposal. Very good on you! May 15, 2014 at 23:30
  • 1
    I've posted a separate question about soft sciences. Let's see what happens. May 15, 2014 at 23:34


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