Great Discoveries in Medicine

From Ayurveda to X-rays, Cancer to Covid


This book is not yet published, but will be available from September 2022.

ISBN: 9780500291221 Category:

Helen Bynum


An unrivalled account of turning points and breakthroughs in medical knowledge and practice, from ancient Egypt, India and China to the latest technology.

Sickness and health, birth and death, disease and cure: medicine and our understanding of the workings of our bodies and minds are an inextricable part of how we know who we are. With science of healing now more vital than ever, as our bodies face new challenges from the globalization of disease, environmental change and increased longevity, this timely book is the best guide ever published to medicine’s achievements and its prospects for the future.

An international team of distinguished experts provide an unrivalled account of the evolution of medical knowledge and practice from ancient Egypt, India and China to today’s latest technology, from letting blood to keyhole surgery, from the theory of humours to the genetic revolution, from the stethoscope to the MRI scanner. They explain medicine’s turning points and conceptual changes in a refreshingly accessible way and answer some key questions: how has the plague influenced the course of human history? What effect did the pill have on the lives of women, and on society as a whole? What challenges does medicine face in our changing world?

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 12.9 x 19.8 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 September 2022
Number of pages 352
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 12.9 x 19.8 cm
Weight 300 g


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Helen Bynum is a historian of science and medicine and also has a particular interest in gardening and plants and their importance in human culture and society. Together with her husband William Bynum she has written or edited numerous books, including Remarkable Plants that Shape Our World and Botanical Sketchbooks, both published by Thames & Hudson.