Ode to Ingenuity

MADAS VII T Mechanical Calculator, 1940s [Photo: Kailee Mandel, UT Magazine]

Erich Weidenhammer is interviewed in the article “Ode to Ingenuity” in the University of Toronto Magazine. The beautifully illustrated article describes the importance of historical scientific instruments. Erich explains how an artifact can provide insights beyond what can be gleaned from scientific papers.

Erich is curator of the University of Toronto Scientific Instruments Collection which gathers, safeguards, researches, catalogues, and interprets the material heritage of research at the University of Toronto. It is one of the largest collections of historical scientific instruments in Canada.


Wondrous Transformations

Alison Li’s book Wondrous Transformations: A maverick physician, the science of hormones, and the birth of the transgender revolution was published September 26 by University of North Carolina Press. It is a biography of Dr. Harry Benjamin, a pivotal figure in the development of transgender healthcare.

“I’ve been hoping for a long time that somebody would write this book. Alison Li has produced a highly readable, authoritatively researched biography of Harry Benjamin, whose contributions to transgender medicine are not as widely known as they should be. A much-needed corrective.”

Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History

“With Wondrous Transformations, Alison Li has written a compelling and eminently readable biography that is at the same time magisterial in the scope and depth of its research. A must-read for anyone interested in the history of science, medicine, or trans iterations of the same.”

Jules Gill-Peterson, author of Histories of the Transgender Child

Alison is featured in an Author Profile in Quill and Quire.

Insulin 100 News

Macleod Special Issue of CJHH

We are delighted to announce that “J.J.R. Macleod, Reconsidered: Insulin and Beyond,” an issue of Canadian Journal of Health History (Volume 40, issue 2) is now live on the UTP journals site. It is available via Open Access, thanks to a generous grant from AMS Healthcare. This issue is co-edited by Alison Li, Christopher Rutty, and James Wright and includes articles by Kenneth McHardy, Edwin Gale, Christopher Rutty, and James Wright.

This special issue emerges from the historical workshop on JJR Macleod hosted by the Toronto Medical Historical Club on May 4, 2022, after the “Banting, Bliss, and Beyond” day-long symposium. The planning committee for the symposium consisted of John Dirks, Chair, Peter Kopplin, Secretary, Aubie Angel, Alison Li, Christopher J. Rutty, and Carol Sawka.

We invite you to read these articles which explore the life and career of Macleod, a scientist whose accomplishments have received relatively little attention and whose role in the discovery of insulin continues to be misunderstood.


Bring Your Cancer Stories to Life! Workshop

Charles Hayter will be presenting a workshop “Bring Your Cancer Stories to Life! Techniques to Improve Your Cancer Narratives” at the International Cancer Education Conference. The session will be held Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 7:30-9:00 AM at Marriott Downtown at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, 525 Bay St., Toronto. Advanced registration and fee is required.

Charles is the author of Cancer Confidential: Backstage Dramas in the Radiation Clinic, now available wherever books are sold.

Past events

Jane’s Walk 2023

Irv Rosen describes Norman Bethune's life and work [Photo: C. Rutty]

Members of the Toronto Medical Historical Club invited the public to join us on a 1.5 hour walking tour of key sites in our city’s medical history on May 5, 6, and 7. Peter Kopplin organized the tour and developed a script full of interesting details about medical discovery, art, architecture, and the people behind them.