Congress Information

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The BSHM Congress is held on alternate years at venues throughout the UK. In 2019 the 28th Congress will be held at the M Shed in Bristol and will run from late afternoon on Wednesday 11th September  to lunchtime on Saturday 14th September 2019.

The Congress is open to all.

The Congress has 4 main themes: –
History of Medicine at Sea – (Thursday)
History of Medicine in the West of Britain – (Thursday)
History of Health Care Education – (Saturday)
History of Mental Illness and Mental Disability – (Friday and Saturday)

These themes are not exclusive and papers on other history of medicine topics will be presented on all three days of the Congress

Congress Format
Keynote Lectures will be given in  plenary sessions
Submitted presentations will be in parallel sessions
The Congress will include a display of posters, social events in the evenings and visits on the afternoon of Friday 13th September.
There will be an optional  (free) meeting for teachers of the history of medicine on the afternoon of Saturday 14th September.

Keynote speakers:

Thursday 12/9/19
Professor Gareth Williams (Emeritus Professor of  Medicine,  School of Arts, Bristol University)
“Edward Jenner: saint and sinner?”

Professor Mark Harrison (Director, Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford)
“Samaritans of the Sea: Duty, Disease and Privation in the Black Sea, 1854-6”

Friday 13/9/19
Sir Simon Wessely (Regius Professor of Psychiatry, Kings College, London)
“Shell shock- gone but not forgotten?”

Saturday 14/9/19
Dr Cherry Lewis (author of “The Enlightened Mr Parkinson”)
“James Parkinson: Medical Educator in the Early 19th Century”

Delegate Fees
The 3 day (standard) delegate rate is £225 for BSHM members and £240 for non-members.
Day Rates also available.
NB These rates include refreshments and lunch during the day but do not include the cost of accomodation, optional visits and social events.Postgraduate students enjoy members’ reduced rates.
Full time undergraduate students enjoy the reduced rate of £15 per day. The number of places at this special rate is limited.

N.B. Delegate Registration Closes on 31st August 2019

John Blair Trust
There is a prize for the best  paper and for the best poster by  undergraduate students of medicine or of allied sciences.

To browse the  detailed Provisional Congress Programme and to register as a delegate click here

For  travel and accommodation click here

Bristol Visitor Information
Bristol has many visitor attractions, which are described at

Supper Cruise on the Matthew
The Matthew is a modern replica of the ship in which Cabot sailed from Bristol to N America in 1497.
There will be a special Fish and Chip * cruise for BSHM Congress delegates and their guests  on the evening of Thursday 12th September.   N.B. *sausage, vegan and GF options available.
Details and booking is at

Bristol Open doors event is 13-15thSeptember 2019
Visitors to the Congress may wish to participate in Bristol  Open Doors– Hidden City  a once-a-year chance to look behind closed doors and discover the city’s hidden treasures. You can explore fascinating buildings, join guided tours and enjoy a range of creative events and activities . Some are drop-in others require booking.