Biennial Kass Lecture in the History of Medicine with Thomas Schlich

December 12, 2018

Anatomy Lecture Theatre
King’s College, London
5.30-7 pm

Safe Surgery: Statistics and the Rise of Modern Surgery, 18th-20th centuries
Thomas Schlich, Professor in the History of Medicine, McGill University

This lecture explores how the acceptance of surgical healing strategies was connected with the production and use of statistical information on the outcomes of surgical interventions. Thus, the rise of modern surgery was intertwined in interesting ways with the concurrent rise of statistical thinking, resulting in the concept of “Safe Surgery” around 1900. This account looks at the origins and contexts of the production and presentation of population-based numerical data in surgery. It analyses the controversies its use engendered, and describes how, in combination with other kinds of medical knowledge, statistics enabled the rise of modern surgery as a ubiquitous and largely unquestioned practice of modern medicine.

A reception will follow from 7-8 pm.

The event is free, but to attend please register here.

Any questions, please contact

Posted: November 27, 2018