Article ID: CBB000850413

Hormones and the Bolsheviks: From Organotherapy to Experimental Endocrinology, 1918--1929 (2008)


The discipline of endocrinology emerged over roughly the same period in Britain, France, Germany, Russia, the United States, and elsewhere, and its practitioners across the world shared research practices and agendas to a considerable degree. Yet the discipline's institutions, networks, and social practices were firmly embedded in the particular social fabric of concrete locales, and they were built on specific local traditions, resources, and patronage. Through analysis of the origins and early progress of Soviet endocrinology, this essay uncovers numerous factors and multiple actors involved with the institutional development of the discipline in the first decade of Bolshevik rule. As elsewhere in the world, the medicinal use of animal tissue extracts---organotherapy---paved the way for wide acceptance of the ideas of the nascent science of endocrinology by both the Soviet medical community and the general public. Organotherapy also supplied the new discipline with seed institutions, technologies, and personnel---the veterinarian Iakov Tobolkin and the therapist Vasilii Shervinskii. But the specific institutional, political, economic, and ideological landscape of Soviet Russia shaped the discipline in a particular way.

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Authors & Contributors
Epstein, Randi Hutter
McLaughlin, Matthew J.
Lehmann, Hélène
Watkins, Elizabeth Siegel
Stoffregen, Malte H.
Stoff, Heiko
Medicina Historica
VIET: Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Science as Culture
Revue d'Histoire de la Pharmacie
Korot: The Israel Journal of the History of Medicine and Science
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of California, Irvine
W. W. Norton & Co.
University of Chicago Press
Therapeutic practice; therapy; treatment
Sex hormones
Myerson, Abraham
Ernst Laqueur
Steinach, Eugen
Marcellus Empiricus
Crecchio, Luigi de
Brinkley, John Richard
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
4th century
20th century, late
Soviet Union
Boston (Massachusetts, U.S.)
London (England)
South America
Maudsley Hospital (England)

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