The British Society for the History of Medicine Biennial Congress
Wednesday 15th – Saturday 18th September 2021
The University of Sheffield

Key themes will be the History of Medicine in the Workplace, Pandemics, Nursing and Innovation in Medical Engineering.



The BSHM Congress is open to all. We warmly welcome back BSHM members, look forward to meeting non-members interested in the history of medicine, and encourage full-and part-time postgraduate students and undergraduate students to participate actively.

Congress Sessions

The 2021 Congress will feature two full days of conference sessions on Thursday and Friday and a half-day on Saturday morning. Each day features one or more themes but please note that sessions on a single theme may extend across more than one day. Parallel sessions with oral presentations on themed topics and general topics (‘free papers’) will be held on all three days. Posters will be on display throughout the Congress.

KEYNOTE LECTURES – Provisional Titles

Thursday 16th September

Theme: The History of Medicine in the Workplace

  • John Dornan – The Growth of the Sheffield Steel and Cutlery Industry and the Development of Occupational Diseases.

  • Chris Corker – ‘The Dirty, the Idle, the Drunken and the Disorderly’: People, Public Health, Politics and Philanthropy in 19th Century Sheffield.

  • Joan Gaunt – Disease, Accident and Disaster in Coal Mines and the Mines Inspectorate.

Friday 17th September

Theme: The History of Pandemics

  • Mark Honigsbaum – Imagining Pandemics Now … and Then: A Century of Medical Failure.

Theme: The History of Nursing

  • Christine Hallett – The Art of Nursing: A History of Contradictions.

Saturday 18th September

Theme: The History of Innovation in Medical Engineering

  • Liz Beckmann – The CT Scanner: One of the Greatest Medical Engineering Developments of the 20th Century.

  • Sean Hughes – The Mechanics of Science: How Orthopaedics and Engineering go Step in Step.

Registration and Booking Events

  • Congress participants may choose from an extensive menu of options and associated registration fees.

  • A 3-day registration package offers the best value and includes entry to the Congress Social Evening on Thursday which forms an integral part of the conference this year.

  • Delegates with the 3-day registration who wish to attend the Welcome Reception on Wednesday and/or the Congress Dinner on Friday will need to book these social events.

  • Delegates may also register to attend on one or more individual days and, in this case, will additionally need to book to attend all the social events.

  • In case of queries or difficulties with registration, please use the contact details for the conference organisers Aesculap Academia to get in touch with them directly.

Special Rates

Early-bird rates are now available and there are discounted rates for BSHM members and full- and part-time postgraduate students. Early bird registration fees will be available until 30th July 2021.

Undergraduate Students

A special low registration fee is available for undergraduate students (see Online Registration below). The John Blair Trust offers a limited number of small grants to enable undergraduate students to participate in the Congress. For further information and application forms please click here.

Online Registration

  • You must register on the Aesculap Academia website to make your booking.

  • Please note that the 3-day package includes attendance at the Congress Social Evening on Thursday and therefore you do not need to tick this box again on the additional social event requirements or you will be charged twice.

  • In order to confirm availability of the special low registration fee for undergraduate students, please call the Aesculap Academia events team directly. Undergraduate places are not available directly on the website.

For Online Registration click here.

Hotel Accommodation

Reduced accommodation rates have been arranged with several hotels via the Sheffield Convention Bureau. Reservations should be made by using the website link. 

For Hotel Accommodation click here.


[Updated 12th July 2021]