Thackray Museum of Medicine Insights Lecture Series: Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya

Join Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya from the School of History as he presents 'The Politics of Pandemics' at the Thackray Museum of Medicine together with Dr Hannah Elizabeth.

Drawing on decades of research on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) smallpox eradication programmes and their implementation across South Asia, Professor Bhattacharya explores the deep divisions and historical misrepresentations that can be found in this area of study. He discusses the harmful and long-term impact of such an exclusionary practice and questions whether this complicated history can act as an inclusive compass for the future.

Disproportionately high cases of human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) in 1980s Edinburgh led to the city scrambling to meet the needs of HIV-affected women and families. Dr Hannah Elizabeth explores the emergence of collaborative activism amongst HIV-affected doctors, social workers and mothers, that spanned professional, political and personal boundaries. Through these deeply personal stories, they demonstrate how others can learn from the quiet and small-scale activism that shaped Edinburgh's response to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) crisis.

This lecture is part of the Thackray Museum of Medicine Insights Lecture Series 2023/24.


This lecture will take place at the Thackray Museum of Medicine, Beckett Street, Leeds, LS9 7LN.

Booking details

This is a ticketed event. Book your ticket and find out more about the series on the museum’s website. All tickets include mid-morning refreshments and access to the museum.