The Censored History of Smallpox: What Role Did Vaccines Play?
Episode 57 · March 2nd, 2023 · 46 mins 53 secs
About this Episode
The word "smallpox" used to evoke terror in many through the 1800s and early 20th century. Few people know the murky history of smallpox and how it was eventually conquered. Most people assume vaccination is what allowed our triumph over this once-feared condition. This "wondrous innovation" was the brainchild of medical pioneer and humanitarian Edward Jenner - wasn't it? That's the state-sponsored story we've been sold - but what if it's not QUITE what really happened? And what if Jenner wasn't all that? Do you know how the English city of Leicester eliminated smallpox? It's a dirty little secret of medical history. Today, our programmed fear of smallpox, flu, and other "dread diseases" is out of all proportion with reality, and shows that we have forgotten how potent basic, natural, common-sense measures can be in keeping individuals, and thus society, healthy. Take a tour with Brendan through the shocking history of smallpox and the unflattering background - and methods - of the godfather of smallpox vaccination, Edward Jenner.
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