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