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The Circulation of Penicillin in Spain


The Circulation of Penicillin in Spain

Health, Wealth and Authority
Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Modern History

von: María Jesús Santesmases

95,19 €

Verlag: Palgrave Macmillan
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 18.12.2017
ISBN/EAN: 9783319697185
Sprache: englisch

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Beschreibungen

This book reconstructs the early circulation of penicillin in Spain, a country exhausted by civil war (1936–1939), and oppressed by Franco’s dictatorship. Embedded in the post-war recovery, penicillin’s voyages through time and across geographies – professional, political and social – were both material and symbolic. This powerful antimicrobial captivated the imagination of the general public, medical practice, science and industry, creating high expectations among patients, who at times experienced little or no effect. Penicillin’s lack of efficacy against some microbes fueled the search for new wonder drugs and sustained a decades-long research agenda built on the post-war concept of development through scientific and technological achievements. This historical reconstruction of the social life of penicillin between the 1940s and 1980s – through the dictatorship to democratic transition – explores political, public, medical, experimental and gender issues, and the rise of antibiotic resistance.
1. Introduction: the West, Spain and the early circulation of penicillin.- 2. Fleming in Spain: the hero, the antimicrobial and the politics of public acclaim.- 3. Manufacturing penicillin: health, industry and gender.- 4. Smuggling: The management of scarcity and trade of penicillin as a post-war commodity.- 5. Modern Times: screening antibiotics and the factory line.- 6. A new promising drug: bacteria, antibiotics and marketing.- 7. Beyond healing: antibiotic resistance and regulatory regimes as agents in the Spanish transition to democracy.- 8. Penicillin in Spain, 1940s-1980s: Circulating health, research and gender.- 9. Final reflections.
María Jesús Santesmases is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Philosophy at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid. She is a historian of biology and has published on the twentieth-century history of molecular biology and biochemistry, genetics, antibiotics and women scientists. She is co-editor with Teresa Ortiz-Gómez of Gendered Drugs and Medicine (2014), and with Edna Suárez of A Cell-Based Epistemology: New Historical Approaches to Human Genetics, a special issue of the journal, Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2015).
This book reconstructs the early circulation of penicillin in Spain, a country exhausted by civil war (1936–1939), and oppressed by Franco’s dictatorship. Embedded in the post-war recovery, penicillin’s voyages through time and across geographies – professional, political and social – were both material and symbolic. This powerful antimicrobial captivated the imagination of the general public, medical practice, science and industry, creating high expectations among patients, who at times experienced little or no effect. Penicillin’s lack of efficacy against some microbes fueled the search for new wonder drugs and sustained a decades-long research agenda built on the post-war concept of development through scientific and technological achievements. This historical reconstruction of the social life of penicillin between the 1940s and 1980s – through the dictatorship to democratic transition – explores political, public, medical, experimental and gender issues, and the rise of antibiotic resistance.
Provides an in-depth analysis of the history and circulation of penicillin in SpainBrings together scientific, medical, social, political and industrial historiesConsiders the circulation of penicillin and other antibiotics in terms of scientific exchange, industrial production and social perception 
Provides an in-depth analysis of the history and circulation of penicillin in SpainBrings together scientific, medical, social, political and industrial historiesConsiders the circulation of penicillin and other antibiotics in terms of scientific exchange, industrial production and social perception 
“This is an excellent study on travelling concepts, material and practices that form the heart of modernity in the scientific culture that joins biology and medicine and pervades political, industrial, professional and popular domains. Focusing on Spain, as one of the national geographies which shared the process of knowing, making, using (and abusing) and firstly worship penicillin, it benefits from a dissective gaze to unravel the multiple layers of meaning associated to that scientific, therapeutic and symbolic object. Based on a thorough search in archives and the press, armed with a most pertinent critical bibliography and beautifully written the result is a magnificent work which illuminates the set of agents that participate in the circulation of penicillin and its significance for health, research and gender.” (Esteban Rodríguez-Ocaña, University of Granada, Spain) “In this fast-paced account, Santesmases applies her detective-like archival skills to unearth the fascinating history of penicillin – as miracle drug, research object, media phenomenon, commercial product, black market commodity, and global traveler – in post-war Spain. Marshalling the tools of science studies, gender analysis, and critical historiography, Santesmases brilliantly expands our understanding of the important role of antibiotics not only in the history of medicine and public health, but also in the political economy of Spain during Franco’s dictatorship and the subsequent transition to democracy.” (Elizabeth Siegel Watkins, University of California, San Francisco, USA)

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