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The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 6: The early transfusion experiments

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

It wasn't until 1660 that anyone thought of putting blood back into patients.

For almost 2,000 years in the West, medical men had been taking blood out of their patients to cure them. It wasn't until 1660 that anyone thought of putting blood in!

A major new narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

6/30. The early transfusion experiments

For almost 2,000 years in the West, medical men had been taking blood out of their patients to cure them. It wasn't until 1660 that anyone thought of putting blood in!

Andrew Cunningham explores how William Harvey's important and controversial discoveries of the circulation of the blood and the pumping force of the heart led to ideas of 'extending the circulation of the blood beyond the boundaries prescribed for it by Nature' and to pass blood from one person to another.

The readers are David Rintoul, Peter Capaldi, Jason Watkins and Scott Handy.

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

In the 17th Century, fevers were the main concern of physicians.

In the 17th Century, fevers were the main concern of physicians, who believed that nature had a natural way of responding to any disease by eliminating offensive matter in the body.

A major new narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

7/30. Fever

In the 17th Century, fevers were the main concern of physicians, who believed that nature had a natural way of responding to any disease by eliminating the offensive matter in the body.

But it was through the pioneering work of 'The English Hippocrates', physician Thomas Sydenham, who rejected all current theory, that gave us some of the first accounts of the symptoms and the fevered course of each epidemic disease. Trial and error would lead to some impressive cures.

The readers are David Rintoul, Peter Capaldi, Jason Watkins and Scott Handy.

The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 8: Learning from the illiterate

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Smallpox was taking between 10-15 per cent of all lives in Europe.

By the early 18th Century, smallpox was taking between 10-15 per cent of all lives in Europe and physicians were constantly arguing about how best to cure it.

A major new narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

8/30. Learning from the illiterate

By the early 18th Century, smallpox was taking between 10-15% of all lives in Europe and physicians were constantly arguing about how best to cure it. But a new method of treatment was gradually coming to attention – something which peasants and slaves had known for centuries.

This episode explores the work of the inoculators which would force medics to contradict all that they had learned. But would their work guarantee safe long-term protection from smallpox infection?

The readers are Tamsin Greig, Annette Badland, David Rintoul, Scott Handy and Jason Watkins.

The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 9: The Coming of the GP

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

The clash between old guard physicians and a new breed of general practitioners.

A dramatic siege took place in 1767 outside the Royal College of Physicians in London between old guard physicians and a new breed of general practitioners from Scotland.

A major new narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

9/30. The Coming of the GP

Samuel Foote's riotous hit comedy The Devil Upon Two Sticks offers intriguing insight into a dramatic siege that took place in 1767 outside the Royal College of Physicians in London between old guard physicians and a new breed of general practitioners from Scotland.

The individual practices of physicians, surgeons and apothecaries were now under threat. It was to mark a major change in the skills and qualifications of medical men with the coming of the general practitioner, and as we discover, a violent outbreak of class war within medicine.

The readers are David Rintoul, Peter Capaldi, Jason Watkins and Scott Handy.

The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 10: Anatomy and the Invisible Hand

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

How did this period come to be known as 'the perfection of anatomy'?

How did this period come to be known as 'the perfection of anatomy' and secure one of the few medical disciplines that would survive the upheaval that was about to engulf Europe?

A major new narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

10/30. Anatomy and the Invisible Hand

Anatomy teaching was big business in the 1700s. Anatomists such as the ambitious William Hunter hoped to profit by supplying anatomical teaching – but in doing so created a huge and unsavoury demand for fresh bodies for use by medical students.

Amid rivalry and huge public debates, every anatomist wanted to make some new discovery and build a reputation. So how did this period come to be known as 'the perfection of anatomy' and secure one of the few medical disciplines that would survive the political upheaval that was about to engulf Europe?

The readers are David Rintoul, Peter Capaldi, Jason Watkins and Scott Handy.

Things We Forgot to Remember

Series 2 Episode 4: Magna Carta

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Michael Portillo examines overlooked but noteworthy historical events. 3/4: Magna Carta.

Michael Portillo presents a series revisiting great moments of history which often conceal other events of equal but forgotten importance. 3/4: Magna Carta.

Michael Portillo presents a series revisiting the great moments of history to discover that they often conceal other events of equal but forgotten importance.

4/4. Magna Carta

Nearly 800 years after it was signed, Magna Carta is still venerated as the bedrock of English justice and liberty. Yet in truth its impact was a good deal less far-reaching than is popularly believed.

Groundbreakers

In the Shadow of the Shipyard

BBC Two Northern Ireland
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1 hour Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Dan Gordon returns to his native east Belfast to explore the work of four writers.

Documentary in which Dan Gordon returns to his native east Belfast to explore the work of four writers with strong connections to this part of the city.

Dan Gordon returns to his native east Belfast to explore the work of four writers with strong connections to this part of the city.

In doing so he considers how these writers - St John Ervine, Thomas Carnduff, Sam Thompson and Stewart Parker - explored the experiences of Belfast's working class communities and brought their voices to a wider audience.

Credits

Presenter
Dan Gordon
Director
Brian Henry Martin
Executive Producer
Michael Hewitt
Executive Producer
Justin Binding

Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson

Series 1 A Precious Cargo

Audio Described
BBC Two
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56 minutes Available for 6 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

How the trans-Atlantic slave trade became the world's greatest wealth-generating machine.

Samuel L Jackson examines how, for over 400 years, the trans-Atlantic slave trade became the greatest wealth-generating machine the world had known and the engine that drove the global economy.

Samuel L Jackson - with journalists Afua Hirsch and Simcha Jacobovici - examines how, for over 400 years, the trans-Atlantic slave trade became the greatest wealth-generating machine the world had known and the engine that drove the global economy. Afua goes to Brazil, once the world’s greatest supplier of sugar, to discover how Europeans' insatiable appetite for this sweetener drove the explosion of the slave trade in the 17th century, leading to a constant demand for the supply of cheap trans-Atlantic labour to work the plantations. She then visits Bristol, revealing how the enormous profits generated by these enslaved Africans built much of the modern world we live in today.

Jackson reveals how slave owners came up with increasingly inventive ways to turn their losses into profits when trafficked Africans were lost at sea. As the economics of the slave trade began to unravel, one infamous British court case ultimately helped paved the way for abolition. Jackson teams up with DWP, Diving with a Purpose, a group of underwater investigators who view the ocean floor as a graveyard and a crime scene. They dive the Suriname river in South America in search of a Dutch shipwreck called the Leusden, scene of a horrific mass murder and a crime largely forgotten for 300 years.

Audio Described
BBC Two
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57 minutes Available for 6 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Samuel L Jackson travels through the US to tell the stories of those who resisted slavery.

Samuel L Jackson and the team travel through the US to tell the stories of those who resisted slavery, often making the dangerous journey to freedom in Canada.

Samuel L Jackson is joined by journalists Afua Hirsch and Simcha Jacobovici, along with Diving with a Purpose (DWP) – a group of underwater investigators dedicated to restoring their ancestors' lost history. Together, they investigate the individual stories and events that helped bring an end to slavery in the United States.

The slave trade is not just a story of victims, but of the heroes who fought for emancipation, held onto their culture and values and laid the foundations for future generations. The DWP divers explore the cold waters of the Great Lakes to better understand the history of the underground railroad and the freedom boats that helped fugitives flee slavery and cross the water to safety in Canada. Whole families risked the long, perilous journey across the United States, using a network of safe houses, coded messages and supporters to escape the plantations.

Journalist Simcha Jacobovici learns about the legendary Harriet Tubman, one of the most famous enablers on the underground railroad. Simcha also meets historians in South Carolina who reveal the history of black soldiers who served in the Union Army during the Civil War, helping to overturn slavery.

Samuel L Jackson travels to Nashville to hear the Jubilee Singers perform the resistance songs that contained coded messages to help fugitives find safe passage. He also explores the unique cultural legacy enslaved Africans brought to the United States with Grammy-winning musician Rhiannon Giddens in Africatown, Alabama.

Audio Described
BBC Two
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59 minutes Available for 6 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Samuel L Jackson and the team examine the events that ended the slave trade.

Samuel L Jackson and the team examine the events that ended the slave trade and piece together the heritage and identity taken from the descendants of millions of trafficked Africans.

Samuel L Jackson is joined by journalists Afua Hirsch and Simcha Jacobovici, along with Diving with a Purpose (DWP) – a team of underwater investigators dedicated to restoring their ancestors' lost history. Together, they investigate the events that ended the slave trade and the heritage and identity that was taken from the descendants of the millions of trafficked Africans.

Outrage in Britain at the treatment of captured Africans gained momentum, and by the early 1800s, attitudes had changed. What was once a seemingly unstoppable trade was abolished in 1807. Samuel L Jackson and Afua Hirsh examine the petitions, books, prints and the work of activists that led to the end of 400 years of the slave trade, while the DWP divers explore the tragic history and wreck site of The London, a slave ship carrying slaves who had won their freedom and been re-enslaved.

Having discovered that he is descended from the Benga people, Samuel L Jackson travels to Gabon and is welcomed into the tribe by the king and the elders, who share their traditions and stories. The DWP continue their work to recover the history of the enslaved and piece together this lost heritage. They travel to a community in Costa Rica to help a team of young divers look for evidence to support the stories that their African ancestors escaped from two Danish slave ships.

Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson

Series 1 A People Stolen

Audio Described
BBC Two
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58 minutes Available for 6 months First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Samuel L Jackson and a team of journalists and divers explore 400 years of slavery.

Samuel L Jackson and a team of journalists and divers explore 400 years of slavery. What happened to the 12 million enslaved Africans who were stolen from their homes and shipped across the Atlantic?

Samuel L Jackson traces his ancestry to Gabon, visiting the coastal area of Loango National Park to see from where his enslaved ancestors were shipped in their millions to the Americas. But he wants to do more than tell the story of the enslaved who survived. The trans-Atlantic slave trade existed for well over 400 years, involving more than 45,000 voyages from dozens of outposts along the African coast. Over 2 million Africans died en route, and up to 1,000 slave ships ended up as wrecks, with only a handful ever having been identified. Jackson teams up with a group of underwater investigators who view the ocean floor as a graveyard and a crime scene. They dive the English Channel to find the 350-year-old wreck of an unidentified slave ship and discover its secrets. This is the oldest slave ship ever discovered, and deep on the dark ocean floor the divers make a remarkable find.

Witness History

The return of the beaver

BBC World Service
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9 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Why beavers were officially reintroduced to the UK 400 years after they were wiped out

Why beavers were officially reintroduced to the UK 400 years after they were wiped out.

In 2009, beavers were released into the wild in the Knapdale forest on the west coast of Scotland, some 400 years after they were wiped out in the UK. The Scottish Beaver Trial was the first official beaver re-introduction programme in the UK and was considered a landmark conservation project. The beaver is seen as a keystone species which can help shape and restore the environment. Alex Last spoke to Simon Jones, who was then the project manager of the Scottish Beaver Trial.

Photo: A beaver in Knapdale in 2011 © Steve Gardner (courtesy of the Scottish Wildlife Trust)

The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 11: Little Reading, Much Seeing and Much Doing

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

The French Revolution ushered in new ambition and a new scientific clinical approach.

The French Revolution ushered in new ambition and a new scientific clinical approach that is still taught to all medical students.

A major narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

The French Revolution ushered in new ambition and a new scientific clinical approach that is still taught to all medical students. Andrew explores this hugely significant moment in transforming medical thinking, training and practise in the early 1800s into an approach we recognise today.

Chemist Antoine Forcroy's demand for 'Little reading, much seeing and much doing' would have far reaching effects, as a new hands-on method to try to work out what was going on inside a patient's body began to get taken up.

The readers are David Rintoul, Peter Capaldi, Jason Watkins and Scott Handy.

The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 12: Making Signs

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Systematic post mortems revolutionised the study of disease.

Systematic post mortems revolutionised the study of disease. It enabled physicians armed with new instruments such as the stethoscope to detect the signs of disease.

Series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

Systematic post mortems revolutionised the study of disease. It enabled physicians armed with new instruments such as the stethoscope to translate the signs they were reading on the outside of the body into what was going on inside.

Andrew explores how doctors in the Paris hospitals could now link the symptoms of many different patients with particular diseases. But what did this mean for the patient who up until the 1800s had always expected to be seen as special and unique?

The readers are David Rintoul, Peter Capaldi, Jason Watkins and Scott Handy.

The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 13: A Long and Ghastly Kitchen

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

Napoleonic France witnessed Dr Magendie's experiments on live animals.

Napoleonic France witnessed the second big event that made medicine scientific - Dr Magendie's experiments on live animals.

A major narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

Napoleonic France witnessed the second big event that made medicine scientific - Dr Magendie's experiments on live animals, which were conducted to find out how the animal and human body works.

English observers found this new field of experimental physiology mere self-indulgent cruelty in the pursuit of knowledge, despite Magendie laying out his position at length. But what did this first generation of researchers discover which was considered to have an important impact on medicine?

The readers are Peter Capaldi, David Rintoul, Scott Handy and Jason Watkins.

The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 14: Changing disease identity

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

A side effect of progress in medical thinking is that diseases had identities changed.

A side effect of progress in medical thinking is that diseases often had their identities changed over time. Andrew looks at the disease that became known as tuberculosis.

A major narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

We assume all diseases are eternal. But a side-effect of progress in medical thinking is that diseases often had their identities changed over time. New measuring tools meant that it was impossible to say whether a disease, before and after scientific medicine developed, was in fact the same disease.

Andrew examines the many changing identities of consumption - soon to become known as tuberculosis - a widespread disease throughout 19th century Europe, affecting people of all ages and from all walks of life.

The readers are Tamsin Greig, Scott Handy and Peter Capaldi.

The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 15: Sisters of charity

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

How the nursing profession was transformed thanks to an enterprising Florence Nightingale.

How the nursing profession was transformed from the role of virtually a domestic servant thanks to an enterprising Florence Nightingale.

A major narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

According to the Nursing Record, a typical nurse in the 1830s was like Sarah Gamp in Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit - a domestic servant who was incompetent and rough with patients.

By the 1880s, a nurse was young, neat and uniformed and had been formally trained. How did this change come about? As Andrew reveals, an enterprising Florence Nightingale gave us a new kind of nurse - offering a vocation that girls 'of good character' increasingly were called to undertake.

BBC Radio 4
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28 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh recalls his role in a daring rescue during WWII.

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, then a First Lieutenant aboard HMS Whelp, recalls his role in a daring rescue during WWII.

In January 1945, British aircraft attacked Japanese-held oil refineries in southeast Sumatra. It was a successful raid, but for two 21-year-olds it could have ended very badly. Shot down by a Japanese fighter, Roy 'Gus' Halliday and Norman 'Dickie' Richardson ended up in a leaking life raft considering the possibilities of shark activity in the area. Then HMS Whelp hove into view, and action. The rescue is remembered here by the two men and the first lieutenant of Whelp, HRH Prince Philip.

Credits

Interviewed Guest
undefined HRH the Duke of Edinburgh
Interviewed Guest
Norman Richardson

Fascinating Deaths

Episode 1: The West Runton Elephant

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
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Jessica Holm investigates the mysterious death of a mammoth about 700,000 years ago.

The West Runton Elephant: Jessica Holm investigates the mysterious death of a mammoth about 700,000 years ago on the Norfolk coast.

Fascinating Deaths

Episode 2: The Taung Child

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

Jessica Holm investigates a skull seen as a missing link between apes and humans.

The Taung Child: Jessica Holm investigates a murder mystery involving the skull of a three-year-old individual of an ape-like species seen as a missing link between apes and humans.

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