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Science and medicine have become integral to our conceptions of race, gender and identity; national security, economic growth and natural risks; sex, death and illness. Science and medicine pervade politics, markets and culture to a larger extent than ever before.

Studying the history of science and medicine provides a critical entry into understanding these relationships between science, medicine and society. Indeed, history is not primarily about the past, but first and foremost about building intellectual tools to make sense of the world we live in today.