Race, Medicine, Authorship and the "Discovery" of Sickle Cell Disease in 1910-1911
The first two case histories of sickle cell disease appeared in the medical literature within three months of each other in 1910 and 1911. Dr. Savitt will discuss the very divergent stories of the first two sickle-cell patients and their physicians as told against the backdrop of a racially divided America and of a highly competitive scientific community. We see how race and class affected the discovery of SCD and how credit for two discoveries were apportioned. Savitt will also tell about his own "adventures" in tracking down the identities and backgrounds of these first two SCD patients. Dr. Savitt is a historian and professor in the Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.