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ARCHIVES TALK: A Tale of Two Heart Disease Control Programs in the 1950s In-Person

In the period immediately after the Second World War, America's public health was flush with new funding for and concern about chronic disease, especially heart disease. Join presenter Nicolas Rasmussen, Professor of Programs in History and Environmental Humanities in the School of Humanities and Languages in Sydney, Australia. 

He explores the origins and fate of two of the most prominent, innovative heart disease control programs of the era, multiple screening and group psychotherapy for weight loss. Never well supported by evidence of efficacy, group weight loss became the main de facto American response to the perceived heart disease crisis, Rasmussen argues, due largely to the political conflict over national health insurance occurring at the time. 

The era casts light on the larger picture of how postwar American public health gravitated toward interventions centered on individual behavior and may offer lessons for obesity interventions today.


This Archives Talk is brought to you by UCSF Archives & Special Collections. Free and open to the public. Refreshments provided while supply lasts.


Nicolas Rasmussen is a Professor in the School of Humanities at the University of New South Wales. He has higher degrees in history and philosophy of science, developmental biology, and public health.  

His research has dealt with the role of instrumentation in shaping scientific knowledge, the history of biotechnology, molecular biology and its cultural and intellectual history, the history of drug abuse and pharmaceuticals in the United States since 1900, and the influence of industry sponsorship on biomedical research.  He has been the principal investigator on several NSF (USA) and ARC grants.  

His current major project concerns obesity research and public health policy in the 1950s USA. 

Thursday, Jun 7 2018
12:00pm - 1:15pm
Time Zone:
Pacific Time - US & Canada (change)
Lange Room - 5th Floor
  Archives and Special Collections  
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