Thomas Schlich

James McGill Professor in the History of Medicine & Department Chair

thomas.schlich [at]

3647 Peel, office #211


After working as a resident in internal medicine at the University Hospital in Marburg, Germany, Thomas Schlich had various research and teaching positions in the history of medicine in Cambridge, England, Stuttgart, Germany, and Freiburg, Germany. He was awarded a Heisenberg Fellowship of the German Research Council (DFG) (2000-2002). In 2002 he moved to McGill where he has held a Canada Research Chair (2002-2012), and since 2012 a James McGill Professorship. Since 2021 he is Chair of the Department Social Studies of Science.

Research Interests:

Schlich is interested in the history of modern medicine and science (18th-21st centuries), medicine and technology, history of medical innovation, body history. His current research is focused on the history of modern surgery (1800 to the present time) and the history of the medical face mask.

Selected Publications:

Thomas Schlich and Bruno Strasser, “Making the Medical Mask: Surgery, Bacteriology, and the Control of Infection "1890s-1910s", Medical History 2022.

Thomas Schlich, “No Time for Statistics: Joseph Lister’s Antisepsis and Types of Knowledge in Nineteenth Century British Surgery”, Bulletin for the History of Medicine 94 (2020), 394-422.

Thomas Schlich (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of the History of Surgery, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Thomas Schlich, Christopher Crenner (eds.), Technological Change in Modern Surgery: Historical Perspectives on Innovation, Rochester, NY: The University of Rochester Press, 2017.

Thomas Schlich: Surgery, Science and Industry: A Revolution in Fracture Care, 1950s-1990s, Houndsmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave 2002.

Thomas Schlich: The Origins of Organ Transplantation: Surgery and Laboratory Science, 1880s-1930s, Rochester, NY: The University of Rochester Press 2010.

Courses Given (selected):

Hist 249 “Health and the Healer in Western History”

Hist-458 002 Seminar Modern Medicine

Hist-649 Graduate Seminar Modern Medicine

INDS-406 “Medicine and Society”

INDS 123 Research Fundamentals

CV-Schlich 2022

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