JJR Macleod, Co-discoverer of Insulin: An Historical Workshop

Video Recordings of the Workshop

This half-day workshop of historical papers and roundtable discussion was held on May 4, 2022 provided an opportunity to re-evaluate the contributions of John James Rickard Macleod (1876-1935), Nobel laureate, and co-discoverer of insulin.

Location: Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON M5S 3K7

Please see “J.J.R. Macleod, Reconsidered: Insulin and Beyond,” an issue of the Canadian Journal for Health History 40, 2, which brings together papers from this workshop. It is available Open Access thanks to a grant from AMS Healthcare.

Program for May 4, 2022

9:00-9:10 Welcome and Introduction – John Dirks, Toronto [Video]

9:10-9:30 “J.J.R. Macleod: Aberdeen to Toronto, the making of a great physiologist and educator” – Kenneth McHardy, Aberdeen

9:30-9:40 Discussion

9:40-10:10 “Macleod: Misunderstood, Misinterpreted, and Maligned” – James Wright, Calgary [Video]

10:10-10:25 Discussion

10:25-10:45 BREAK

10:45-11:15 “‘I was only an impresario — the managing director’: J.J.R. Macleod and the pragmatics of the discovery and development of insulin” – Christopher Rutty, Toronto [Video]

11:15-11:30 Discussion

11:30-11:40 “J.J.R. Macleod, Regius Professor of Physiology back in Aberdeen” – Kenneth McHardy, Aberdeen [Video]

11:40-11:45 Discussion [Video]

11:45-12:15 General questions and discussion

12:15-12:30 Response and summary – Alison Li, Toronto [Video]

12:30-12:45 Consensus recommendations of the workshop – John Dirks

12:45-1:00 Conclusion and thanks – John Dirks and Peter Kopplin


Chair: Dr. John Dirks, Chair of the Toronto Medical Historical Club Insulin 100 Committee and Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Kenneth McHardy, Retired Diabetologist, NHS Grampian, Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen

Dr. James R. Wright, Jr. Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Professor of Paediatrics, Research Scientist, Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Centre, University of Calgary

Dr. Christopher J. Rutty, Professional Medical/Public Health Historian, Health Heritage Research Services, Adjunct Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Lead Response: Dr. Alison Li, Historian of Science and Medicine

Discussants: Drs Aubie Angel, Kathi Badertscher, Pat Brubaker, Jeffrey Friedman, Erling Norrby, Bernard Zinman