Dora Vargha News

It’s a win for Dr Dora Vargha at the AHRC/Wellcome 2020 Awards!

4 December 2020

Dr Dora Vargha has won the 2020 Medical Humanities Award for Best International Research with her research into the impact of epidemics on the political landscape, which has helped to shape current policy on epidemic management.

Her book, Polio Across The Iron Curtain, examines the emergence of polio vaccines in 1950s Europe, the manifold politics of vaccine development, use and failure; treatment regimens and postwar disability; and scientific collaboration and mistrust. She also put this research to use in developing policy approaches with the World Health Organization, as a member of a thinktank on the history of pandemics.

More recently, she has published a chapter in collaboration with a member of the Centre’s External Advisory Board, in which she questioned how the current COVID-19 pandemic might end – you can read that chapter via our Exploring Society with COVID-19 website.

The winners were announced last night on BBC Radio 3, and you can listen to the announcement (made by the Centre’s Des Fitzgerald on the BBC podcast Free Thinking!) here.

You can read more about the awards and the other winners here, and you can read more about Dora and her work here.



Dora Vargha News

Ending an epidemic and the ‘new normal’

23 September 2020

There is no simple return to the way things were in the aftermath of an epidemic: whatever normal is built in the aftermath is a new normal…much of what we accept as everyday reality in the future will only be seen as different to those who look backward to find the subtle scars where the new normal was sutured onto the fabric of social life that came before. –from ‘Ends of Epidemics’

A chapter co-written by a Centre academic and a member of the Centre’s advisory board has been published in a new collection about the coronavirus.

COVID-19 and World Order brings together experts from Johns Hopkins University and from across the world to examine the consequences and order of the post-COVID world. Edited by Hal Brands and Francis J. Gavin, the book contains “a series of essays, [where] international experts in public health and medicine, economics, international security, technology, ethics, democracy, and governance imagine a bold new vision for our future.”¹

Dora Vargha and Jeremy Greene, from the Centre’s Advisory Board, collaborated on the chapter “Ends of Epidemics”, which examines past epidemics to consider the possible endings for the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how we might define when the pandemic ends.

Other chapters in the collection consider bioethics, food security, global climate, economic policy, and Sino-American rivalries to name but a few.

The chapter – like the whole collection – is Open Access and can be found here: Ends of Epidemics.




¹, accessed 21/9/2020

Dora Vargha News

The Department of Ultimology

7 October 2019

The Department of Ultimology

Ultimology is the study of endings, and the essay ranges across multiple disciplines; history of art, communications technologies, linguistics, the climate emergency, the history of disease and personal stories.

Centre academics Dora Vargha and Luna Dolezal contributed to this RTE radio essay written by Fiona Hallinan and Kate Strain.


Dora Vargha News

Academic wins prestigious book award

11 September 2019

Dóra receives her prize.

Dr Dóra Vargha celebrated last month as her book Polio Across The Iron Curtain was announced as the winner of the prestigious European Association for the History of Medicine and Health Book Award 2019.

The prize is awarded to the best book on the history of medicine from the preceding two years, and is presented at the biannual EAHMH conference which took place this year in Birmingham. Prof. Jonathan Reinarz, president of the EAHMH, presented the award to Dóra during the conference (photo).

The book is Open Access with the support of the Wellcome Trust, and was published in 2018 by Cambridge University Press in the Global Health Histories series.

Congratulations, Dóra!!

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