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October Newsletter

Posted by C3W Admin on October 26 2022

We have gathered together the latest news and events, together with some content not available on the website and put it into a Newsletter, see below.

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Seven members of staff in the pre-operative room in the physiology department, Imperial Institute of Experimental Medicine, St Petersburg. Photograph, 1904. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

Welcome to the October edition of our newsletter, where you will find the latest research findings, activities and events.

This edition has
  • Publications
  • Research trips
  • Upcoming events


September 22, Berlin
Project Workshop

We were very happy to (nearly all) meet in person in Berlin at Humboldt University last month and share writing, ideas and plans for the next year. PIs, postdoctoral fellows and collaborators came together for a fully packed day, with Liang Wan PhD student and Vivienne Bates project manager joining online, discussing works in progress and conversations on our latest research, initiating collaborations across geographical areas, and planning new and exciting events. Papers spanned from social medicine in Ghana, and Czechoslovak-Ethiopean psychiatric encounters to electrophoresis in Mexico, and socialist health activism in Latin America; from China’s relationship with the WHO and ideas of socialist health in Eastern Europe to narratives of Covid in Latin America, acupuncture and medical hierarchy in China prior to 1949, and a fascinatingly absurd latrines project in Ethiopia. We also made new connections with the ERC research group Socialist Medicine’s new postdoctoral fellows, who will be starting their work at Humboldt University in the coming months. We look forward to building further links and collaborations with this new team. 


On 23rd-24th September Sarah Marks participated in the ‘Validation and Regulation in the Human and Health Sciences’ conference in Berlin, co-organised by the Max Planck Institue for the History of Science and Princeton University. She will be contributing a chapter for the group’s edited volume on evidence-based medicine and socialist values in the British National Health Service, focusing on the work of clinical epidemiologist Archie Cochrane.

On 29th September, 2022, Dora Vargha gave a special guest keynote at the European Society for Dermatological Research annual meeting in Amsterdam titled “The end and what comes after: disease temporalities from a historical perspective”.

​Along with colleagues at the ESRC Centre for Mental Health and Society at King’s College London, Sarah Marks hosted a screening and Q&A for the ethnographic film ‘Nkabom: A Little Medicine, A Little Prayer’ directed by Erminia Colucci with researchers from Ghana and the UK on the 12th October, focusing on collaboration between mental health practitioners and traditional healers in rural Ghana. Further screenings of the film will follow, and you can see the trailer

On 13th October, 2022, Dora Vargha delivered a keynote on “Defining success: inequalities, unintended consequences and the endings of epidemics in Eastern Europe” at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies’ annual conference at the University of Regensburg.

On 20th October, 2022 Dora Vargha participated in a symposium  in Florence on Politics of Expertise: Past, Present, Future as part of a Max Weber Multidisciplinary Research Workshop at the European University Institute. She joined political scientists Benoit Pelopidas (Sciences Po), Johan Christensen (University of Leiden) for a roundtable discussion, chaired by Nicolas Guilhot (EUI).

Dates for your Diary

Science Diplomacy and Science in Times of War
Institute’s Colloquium 2022-23 of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Dora Vargha is organiser of this year’s Institute’s Colloquium at the MPIWG. The series is dedicated to the rethinking of science and scientific knowledge in times of peace and in times of crises and war. Within this framework, the colloquium series will interrogate the history and concepts of “science diplomacy,” its applicability across time and space; limits and opportunities of scientific cooperation across borders, cultural and national contexts, fluctuating between peace and war; legitimation of using science and scientists as means of sanctions and geopolitical tools; and if we should differentiate between politically and diplomatically usable science and politically/diplomatically irrelevant science, reminiscent of Nobel laureate Henry Dale’s distinction between peaceful “normal science” and “abnormal” war science?
The Colloquium is held in a hybrid format and open to all, you can find the program and registration information for online and in-person participation here:

On 3rd November Sarah Marks will be co-organising a one-day conference on Recovery, Rehabilitation & Remission in Mental Health: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives with Hannah Blythe at the Birkbeck, University of London, supported by the UKRI and Society for Social History of Medicine. Programme and details available here

On 11th November Dora Vargha will give the Guggenheim-Schnurr lecture at the annual meeting of the Swiss Society of the History of Medicine and Sciences in Bern, Switzerland. On 17th November Sarah Marks will be co-hosting an online symposium on ‘Innovation and Inclusion in Digital Mental Health: Histories and Futures’ with the Centre for Global Mental Health at LSHTM. See for details.On 18th November Edna Suarez-Diaz, Sebastian Fonseca, Alisher Latypov and Dora Vargha will be representing Connecting Three Worlds and SocMed at the annual meeting of the History of Science Society in Chicago, in the panel titled ‘Biomedicine in Socialist Contexts’. See the program and abstracts here:

Postdoc Lu Chen is involved in organizing the Wellcome Centre’s seminar series for the 2022-2023 academic year.

The series is composed of 5 independent seminars, including:

15th September, 2022 

Trauma, justice and the human condition.

Speakers: Haley Peckham

Daniel Wolstencroft

Recording will be uploaded to the YouTube channel soon 

Upcoming events

20th January, 2023 

Death by welfare 

China Mills

18th February, 2023

Religions and global health 


Fabian Winiger

Benjamin Bronnert Walker–benjamin-contributor-120879.php

Erminia Colucci

In addition, collaborating with the Wellcome Centre for Ethic and Humanities at the University of Oxford and the charity Flourishing Diversity, the centre’s seminars has also featured a four-part series entitled ‘Physical, Mental, & Planetary Health’ Working. The series aims to bring together voices from all over the world to explore humanity’s interconnection with lands, waters, forests, and fellow species, highlighting the crucial role that biocultural diversity plays in the health of people and populations.

The first session “Health of People, Health of the Planet: A Diversity of Perspectives” was held at 20th October, the recording will be uploaded to the Wellcome centre’s YouTube channel 

The next session Climate Change & Mental Health: Exploring Responses Across Cultures will be held on 17th November 3:00 pm (UK time) 

Join us and our panel as they explore the relationship between climate change and mental health and how culture, politics and history modulate this interaction.

Mental health refers not just to mental illness or psychiatric disorders but also includes emotional resilience and psychosocial well-being. Both the drivers and consequences of climate change threaten mental health. Still, risk and exposure are unequally distributed, with certain groups disproportionately affected depending on socioeconomic status, gender, age and other factors. This webinar explores the different frameworks used to make sense of and address this complex interaction.


Elaine C. Flores is a mixed-methods researcher, a Peruvian Medical doctor and a Research fellow in Planetary Health at the Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health at LSHTM and the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health. She is a co-Principal Investigator in the Environment x Women’s Health project – ExWH and she is interested in the associated impacts on mental health of climatic events, especially for those already marginalised and with a gender scope.

David Finnigan is a writer, performer and game designer from Ngunnawal country in Australia. He works with climate and earth scientists and creates performances and games about climate change and planetary transformation. His most recent show, You’re Safe Til 2024: Deep History appeared at the Barbican in October 2022.

Ayesha Ahmad is a Senior Lecturer in Global Health at St. Georges University of London. She holds a PhD in medical ethics and works to integrate ethics and the humanities into global health research and pedagogy. She is an expert in transcultural psychiatry and cross-cultural mental health, with a focus on contexts of conflict and humanitarian crisis resulting from disasters including environmental change. In her work, Dr Ahmad critically explores the notion of land trauma, as it is juxtaposed with a medicalised and biomedical paradigm of a temporal understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Chair: Lovro Savic a student at Ethox investigating characteristics and moral permissibility of different public health measures aimed at protecting and promoting mental health and well-being at the public and population level.

Register at Eventbrite


The latest from Twitter follow us @C3Worlds 


Andrea Espinoza Carvajal contributed to the article Indigenous cosmologies of energy for a sustainable energy future which was published 29th September, 2022


Energy development in Indigenous lands has been historically controversial from socio–ecological and ethical perspectives. Energy-development projects often privilege the knowledge of a narrow group, while, simultaneously, Indigenous knowledge and alternative epistemologies have been understudied in academic energy-access discourses and largely ignored in the planning and implementation of energy interventions. Here university-affiliated academics teamed up with Indigenous scholars and leaders to examine Indigenous perspectives in energy research and practice. We identify three core issues embedded in existing energy-development initiatives: an inconsistent use of the term ‘Indigenous’; a lack of inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and alternative epistemologies in energy-development projects; and a prevalence of inadequate methodological attempts to include such Indigenous knowledge….

Writing retreats and Research Progress

Covid PPE supplies from China to Zimbabwe at Harare’s Parirenyatwa General Hospital Hospital

In September Sarah Marks visited Harare to begin research on Zimbabwe’s long-term links with socialist nations for medical training and health aid – including in the present:

During her time there she interviewed doctors about their training in Cuba, China, Russia, Ukraine and the former Czechoslovakia, along with the former Director of Health for the City of Harare, Cuban-trained Stanley Mungofa, about his work in Zimbabwe and reflections on the Cuban approach to Community Healthcare. The interviews will be transcribed and made available through our website in 2023.

Sarah also completed an archive scoping trip in Prague to examine the collections of the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Archives of the Czech Republic in relation to Czechoslovak-African health solidarities, focusing in particular on Ghana and Ethiopia since 1959, and Zimbabwe since 1980. Along with Sarah Howard, she’ll be working to disentangle the history of Czechoslovak-built hospitals and rural health clinics in Ethiopia in the early 1960s following the development of close relations between the administrations of Antonín Novotný and Emperor Haile Selassie.

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