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Disease Eradication + Hebrew Manuscripts

Books + Ideas, — April 2010

I went to two very different but fascinating events today. Paul Fine (an old friend) gave a talk at the Jenner Institute on "Vaccines, herd immunity and eradication programmes", looking at the post-war attempts to eradicate Yaws, Malaria, Smallpox, Polio, Guinea Worm, and Rinderpest. This was an excellent overview of both some basic epidemiology and the practical and political problems involved with applying it.

The Bodleian Library has regular exhibitions. Unfortunately I missed one on manuscripts of Tolkien's The Hobbit - it was only on for one day! - but today I visited the longer-running Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts as a Meeting-place of Cultures.

The web site has an overview, so there's no point my describing the exhibition in any detail. It looks at the connection of Hebrew manuscripts to early Biblical studies, to scripts (the different Hebrew scripts more closely resembled those of local languages than each other), the transmission of science, Christian illustration traditions, and so forth.

Definitely worth a visit if you're interested in medieval books and learning - but it's only on for another two weeks, finishing on May 3rd.

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  1. [...] The Jenner Museum has a 20 minute video on Jenner (which is somewhat hagiographic, claiming that Jenner's ideas were rapidly accepted by the medical establishment when in fact they sparked a bitter and divisive conflict). Downstairs there's one room with objects from and displays about Jenner's life and another with a recreation of his study as it was on his death. Upstairs there are two rooms with general information about immunology - this looked like quite a nice presentation, but not one with anything a textbook wouldn't offer - and a room with displays about the eradication of smallpox. (This was a nice complement to a talk we'd been to earlier in the year on disease eradication.) [...]

    Pingback by Uley Bury + the Jenner Museum - Oxford Blog — November 2010

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