History is often an academic side project for many people in science, as they characterize development and growth in their field over the course of several decades. Such reflection benefits many by neatly summarizing the emergence of a new technique, way of thinking, or acclaimed individual or group. We at Historia medicinae (HM) hope to maintain a different role in academia than these review-based approaches. Instead, we take the following belief: that scientists and physicians who are able to use an interdisciplinary mental approach in combination with their primary training, will be well-armed with the necessary tools to successfully communicate with other scientists and the public, thereby broadening the application of academic ideas and enhancing the value of federally and state-funded projects. To do this, HM seeks to engage graduate students and junior faculty from diverse academic fields in discourse centered on history and health.
At its founding, HM was a history of medicine journal run out of George Washington University Medical School that published articles on the topic of history and society of medicine. In a calculated moment of confidence and audacity, the journal’s founding editor Andrew Degnan convinced his peers to help him jumpstart a venture for studying history of medicine in the hopes that it might promote the field's growth. Degnan - a medical student at the time - observed a need, diagnosed its cause, and submitted a treatment. He and others hoped to bring graduate students from any field and institution to submit history articles based on medicine or health, its practices, and its effects. Indeed, HM succeeded in these early years to spread its name, recruit reviewers, and publish insightful works.
Today, HM exists to continue the strong tradition of historical analysis started by Degnan 5 years ago. Now seeking a more broad audience, we have altered our aims somewhat. In short, we aspire to bring together both graduate students and junior faculty from diverse disciplines through shared topics of history and health. Put another way, with HM as a medium we strive to promote scholarly analyses of subjects related to medicine, bioscience, public health, social science, and law, through a historical lens. Further, open-to-the-public history of medicine journals continue to be rare in student academia, making this journal part of an exclusive and exciting niche. We at HM hope to fill this niche for many years to come, so we encourage high quality manuscript submissions, reviewer applications, and readership. In total, we want to publish insightful articles aimed to elucidate facts on untouched historical events or to offer fresh perspectives on existing scholarship. It will be a pleasure working with you all.
John S. Runge, PhD Student in Genetics and Molecular Biology at UNC-Chapel Hill
Editor Emeritus, Historia Medicinae