Lady Mary and the history of smallpox

Friday seminar by Reidun Sirevåg


Throughout human history probably no contagious disease, even bubonic plague, has taken more lives than smallpox. Today, although smallpox is officially eradicated from the world, the agent of smallpox, the Variola virus still exists. The talk will give an account of the events that led to eradication of smallpox and will especially point to the crucial role in this history of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a true representative of the Age of Enlightenment. The question of whether or not the causative agent of smallpox ought to be destroyed or not, will be discussed.

Reidun Sirevåg,
Department of Biosciences, UiO

Published May 21, 2013 1:20 PM - Last modified Nov. 20, 2018 4:02 PM