Public Health in the mid-20th Century

Episode 9 - May 10, 2020
UN World Health Organization

Merle and Lee talk to Thomas Zimmer, a scholar of global public health, on how the nations of the world developed public health after World War Two and how they attempted to stop the spread of infectious diseases. They talk about how the World Health Organization attempted to eliminate diseases, particularly malaria, and why these efforts ran into problems. Thomas offers insights into how these mid-20th century issues shape how we approach global public health today and the many problems the politicization of public health entails. Merle and Lee conclude the episode by reflecting on the importance of understanding the 20th century history of global public health for scholarship on pre-modern pandemics as well. 

Our Guest

Thomas Zimmer,

Assistant Professor at The Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg

Thomas Zimmer