A little something from our newly-appointed Engagement Fellow, funded by the British Society for the History of Science.

"I applied for the BSHS Engagement Fellowship as I am interested in how the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 impacted social, cultural, medical, and commercial spheres. The subject tags onto my PhD research in the History of Medicine, which focuses on commercial healthcare products between 1870-1920.

"I am intrigued by the fact that, during the pandemic, a number of advertisements for branded medicines claimed to prevent or cure the ‘flu, playing on consumers’ fears. I plan to uncover the local response to the pandemic by researching the impact it had on the Worcester area. The opportunity to work closely with archival material and turn research into different outreach outputs will help me develop my own skills; I aim to gain experience in interpretation and public engagement within the museum sector.

"I am also looking forward to collaborating with Louise at the GMMM, as well as volunteers, on this timely and important project in the centenary year of the pandemic, and am eager to create outputs that challenge visitors' perceptions of the First World War, by highlighting that disease had a greater impact on the death toll than combat."

Laura Mainwaring