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School of History

Dr Jenny Bangham

Wellcome University Award Lecturer

Email: j.bangham@qmul.ac.uk

Profile

Jenny Bangham specialises in the history of medicine and the biomedical sciences. She is author of Blood Relations: Transfusion and the Making of Human Genetics (University of Chicago Press, 2020). With Emma Kowal and Boris Jardine she co-edited 'How Collections End: Objects and Loss in Laboratories and Museums' (BJHS Themes, vol. 4, 2019), and with Xan Chacko and Judith Kaplan is co-editing 'Invisible Labour: Power and Politics in Science' (Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming). She earned a PhD in biology at University College London, and worked as a laboratory geneticist in Edinburgh, where she developed an interest in the cultures and histories of science. She completed an MPhil and PhD in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, and worked at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, before joining the School of History at Queen Mary.

Research

Research Interests:

I am a historian of medicine and the biomedical sciences, and write about the politics, meanings and practices of genetics. I am the author of 'Blood Relations: Transfusion and the Making of Human Genetics' (University of Chicago Press, 2020), which explores the close links between mid-twentieth century blood donation and the science of human heredity. My new Wellcome funded research examines the postwar history of genetic counselling in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and addresses the broader question of what genetics and genomics has come to mean today.

Before arriving at QM, I carried out Wellcome-funded research on databases, scientific communities and living laboratory collections. With Emma Kowal and Boris Jardine I co-edited the open access volume, 'How Collections End: Objects and Loss in Laboratories and Museums' (BJHS Themes, vol. 4, 2019). With Xan Chacko and Judith Kaplan I am co-editing the 30-chapter book ‘Invisible Labour: Power and Politics in Science' (Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming). I am collaborating with Esther Teichmann at the Royal College of Art on the Wellcome-funded project ‘One Cell at a Time’, an interdisciplinary public engagement art project connected to the Human Cell Atlas initiative.

I earned a PhD in biology at University College London, and worked as a laboratory geneticist in Edinburgh, where I developed an interest in the cultures and histories of science. I completed an MPhil and PhD in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, and worked at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, before joining the School of History at Queen Mary.

Publications

Bangham, J. Blood Relations: Transfusion and the Making of Human Genetics, 325pp. University of Chicago Press (2020). 

Bangham, J. ‘Living collections: Care and curation at Drosophila stock centres,’ BJHS Themes 4: 123–147 (2019). 

Jardine, B., Kowal E., Bangham, J. ‘Introduction: How Collections End’, BJHS Themes, 4: 1–27 (2019). 

Bangham, J. ‘What Is Race?: UNESCO, mass communication and human genetics in the early 1950s’, History of the Human Sciences 28, 80–107 (2015) 

Bangham, J. ‘Blood groups and human groups: Collecting and calibrating genetic data after World War Two’. Studies in the History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 47, 74–86 (2014). 

Bangham, J. ‘Writing, printing, speaking: Rhesus blood-group genetics and nomenclatures in the mid-twentieth century.’ British Journal of the History of Science, 47, 335–361 (2014). 

Bangham, J. and de Charadavian, S., ‘Human heredity after 1945: Moving populations centre stage.’ Studies in the History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences 47, 45–49 (2014).

Supervision

Histories of twentieth-century biomedicine; histories of science communication; histories of anthropology.