Goofball Panic: Drug Abuse and the Politics of American Public Health Circa 1950

29 Oct 2015
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Nicolas Rasmussen
Professor of History and Philosophy of Science; University of New South Wales. Honourary Professor of the Charles Perkins Centre for Chronic Diseases

The late 1940s saw extensive public agitation and political conflict over abuse of prescription drugs, particularly the barbiturates, which was linked to broader issues about Federal regulation of private industry and government’s proper role in medicine. In this talk, I examine the episode for the illumination it can bring to some unresolved historiographic problems concerning the evolution of American pharmaceutical regulation, for insights into postwar culture, and most of all for what it reveals about the constraints on public health in America during the Cold War era.


This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies • Office for the History of Science and Technology
Office for the History of Science and Technology

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