Joho the Blog[2b2k] TIL: Edward Jenner's smallpox paper was rejected by the Royal Society - Joho the Blog

[2b2k] TIL: Edward Jenner’s smallpox paper was rejected by the Royal Society

Edward Jenner is credited as the discoverer — or perhaps inventor would be the more apt word — of vaccination as a technique to prevent smallpox. That’s pretty much all that I knew, except for the story about milkmaids who got cowpox not getting smallpox. But I just read a really interesting article about the history of small pox at the National Institute of Health, by Stefan Riedel.

“TIL” is Reddit-speak for “Today I learned.” And today I also learned that “As early as 430 BC, survivors of smallpox were called upon to nurse the afflicted” in order to protect them. Today I also learned that “Inoculation…was likely practiced in Africa, India, and China long before the 18th century, when it was introduced to Europe.” And today I also learned that “It was the continued advocacy of the English aristocrat Lady Mary Wortley Montague that was responsible for the introduction of variolation [inoculation] in England.”

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One Response to “[2b2k] TIL: Edward Jenner’s smallpox paper was rejected by the Royal Society”

  1. The guy who wrote the Hot Zone wrote just about the scariest essay ever about the devastating potential of smallpox in germ warfare…it was in the New Yorker maybe ten years ago and I can still recall the terrifying implications in vivid detail. I’m guessing the essay was excepted for a book.


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