Mitman receives Welch Medal for "Breathing Space"

May 1, 2012

Gregg Mitman, Nelson Institute interim director and Vilas Research and William Coleman Professor of History of Science, Medical History and Environmental Studies, has been awarded the William H. Welch Medal for his book Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape our Lives and Landscapes. The award was presented at the American Association for the History of Medicine annual meeting in Baltimore, Md., in April.

Breathing Space by Gregg Mitman

The Welch Medal is awarded to one or more authors of a book (excluding edited volumes) of outstanding scholarly merit in the field of medical history, published during the five calendar years preceding the award.

William Welch was a major American figure in the history of medicine and public health, and also one of the first faculty members at the Johns Hopkins medical school.

Breathing Space, published in 2007 by Yale University Press, offers an intimate portrait of how allergic disease has shaped American culture, landscape and life.

Drawing on environmental, medical and cultural history, and the life stories of people, plants and insects, Mitman traces how America’s changing environment from the late 1800s to the present day has led to the epidemic growth of allergic disease.

The American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM), founded in 1925, is a professional association of historians, physicians, nurses, archivists, curators, librarians and others. AAHM promotes and encourages research, study, writing and interest in the history of medicine and allied fields.

The medal committee considered 56 nominated books for the 2012 award. A list of subsequently awarded authors can be found at the American Association for the History of Medicine website.