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Articles on History of science

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A single brilliant insight is only part of the story of how diabetes became a manageable disease. Douglas Grundy/Three Lions via Getty Images

Insulin was discovered 100 years ago – but it took a lot more than one scientific breakthrough to get a diabetes treatment to patients

A biomedical engineer explains the basic research that led to the discovery of insulin and its transformation into a lifesaving treatment for millions of people with diabetes.
As a printer’s apprentice in 1721, Franklin had a front-row seat to the controversy around a new prevention technique. ClassicStock/Archive Photos via Getty Images

Benjamin Franklin’s fight against a deadly virus: Colonial America was divided over smallpox inoculation, but he championed science to skeptics

When Bostonians in 1721 faced a deadly smallpox outbreak, a new procedure called inoculation was found to help fend off the disease. Not everyone was won over, and newspapers fed the controversy.
A man of genius – but his ideas were not to the benefit of all humankind. Mondadori Portfolio/Hulton Fine Art Collection via Getty Images

Francis Galton pioneered scientific advances in many fields – but also founded the racist pseudoscience of eugenics

Smart people can have really bad ideas – like selectively breeding human beings to improve the species. Put into practice, Galton’s concept proved discriminatory, damaging, even deadly.

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