How Mary Wortley Montagu's bold experiment led to smallpox vaccine – 75 years before Jenner

A new book celebrates the trailblazing work of the English aristocrat, who successfully inoculated her daughterIt was a daring and dangerous experiment that paved the way for the development of the first safe vaccine and saved countless lives. Yet whenLady Mary Wortley Montagu deliberately infected her own daughter with a tiny dose ofsmallpox– successfully inoculating the three-year-old child in 1721 – her ideas were dismissed and she was denounced by 18th-century society as an “ignorant woman” .Three hundred years later, on the anniversary of that first groundbreaking inoculation on English soil, a new biography will aim to raise the profile of Wortley Montagu and reassert her rightful place in history as a trailblazing 18th-century scientist and early feminist.Continue reading...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Vaccines and immunisation Books UK news History Epidemics Health Science Medical research Culture World news Aristocracy Society Source Type: news

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