Thursday, January 28, 2016

POSTPONED: NLM History of Medicine Lecture

Due to the extensive difficulties in travel following the record-breaking snow-fall in the Washington, DC area, the NLM History of Medicine lecture by Eric Boyle, originally scheduled for Thursday, January 28, has been postponed.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

NLM History of Medicine Lecture

Dear Colleagues,
You are cordially invited to the next NLM History of Medicine lecture, to be held on Thursday, January 28, from 2 pm to 3pm in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD.  Eric W. Boyle, PhD, Chief Archivist of the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, MD, will speak on "In the Belly of the Beast: A History of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health."

The story begins in earnest in 1991, when a Senate Appropriations Committee responsible for the budget of the National Institutes of Health reported that it was not satisfied that the mainstream medical community had fully explored the potential of unconventional medical practices. In response, Congress mandated the creation of an office to investigate, evaluate, and validate unconventional health care systems and practices. The original Office for the Study of Unconventional Medical Practices, which eventually became the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) sought to obtain and disseminate knowledge about alternative medicine to practitioners and the public. But as one advocate of alternative medicine noted at a strategic planning session in September 2009, the challenges of studying complementary and alternative medicine at the NIH might be likened to working "in the belly of the beast." While skeptics have doubted the feasibility of this kind of research, practitioner-advocates have persistently warned about the dangers of alternative medicine being swallowed whole by the research behemoth. The central questions in this talk are how did the NIH meet its multifaceted mandate, and how did it tackle the challenges of investigating the field while addressing the priorities and demands of its harshest critics and most sympathetic supporters?

This presentation is co-sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, and the Office of NIH History.

All are welcome.
Sign language interpretation is provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate may contact Stephen Greenberg at 301-435-4995, e-mail, or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).
Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NLM Visitors and Security website:
Sponsored by:
NLM's History of Medicine Division
Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, Chief
Event contact:
Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD
Coordinator of Public Services
History of Medicine Division
National Library of Medicine, NIH