Wilson, Philip K. 1961–

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Wilson, Philip K. 1961–

(Philip Kevin Wilson)


Born July 13, 1961, in Wichita, KS; son of Robert Louis (in hardware sales) and Margaret Lilian (a seamstress) Wilson; married Janice Carolyn Franklin, May 20, 1989; children: James Collier, Douglas Lawrence. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Kansas, B.G.S. (with distinction), 1983; Johns Hopkins University, M.A., 1987; University of London, Ph.D., 1992. Politics: Republican. Religion: Methodist. Hobbies and other interests: Antiquarian topics, playing the clarinet, Sherlock Holmes.


Home—Hummelstown, PA. Office— Department of Humanities, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, 500 University Dr., Hershey, PA 17033-2390; fax: 717-531-3894. E-mail—[email protected]


Southwestern Co., dictionary and educational handbook sales representative in California, 1981; oral history researcher in Wood's Hole, MA, 1986; Park Col- lege, Parkville, MO, lecturer in science, 1988-89; University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, visiting assistant professor of the history of science and life sciences, 1992-93; Truman University, Kirksville, MO, assistant professor of biology and history of science, 1994-99; Shimer College, Waukegan, IL, faculty member and codirector of admissions, 1999; Encyclopaedia Britannica, Chicago, IL, biomedical and health editor, 2000; Pennsylvania State University, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, medical historian and associate professor of humanities, 2000—. Lecturer at Longview Community College and Johnson County Community College, 1989; Yale University, research affiliate in Section of the History of Medicine, 1993-94; lecturer at University of Hartford and University of New Haven, 1994; Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, adjunct faculty, 1996-99; Erasmus Darwin House, scholar in residence, 2006-07; lecturer at many other institutions, including Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, Michigan State University, Grinnell College, Hope College, Drew University, and St. Louis University. Consultant to Erasmus Darwin House Renovation and Museum, Lichfield, England, and St. Thomas's Hospital Operating Theatre Museum, London.


American Association for the History of Medicine, American Historical Association, History of Science Society, American Association of Eighteenth-Century Studies, Society for Literature and Science, Society for Psychical Research, Arthur Conan Doyle Society, British Society for the History of Science, British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies, Pacific Circle, Hawaii Society for the History of Medicine and Public Health (cofounder), Sigma Xi.


Owsei Temkin scholar, Institute for the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, 1985-87; fellow, Folger Shakespeare Library, 1987; Wellcome Trust research scholar, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London, 1989-92; first prize, Samuel J. Zakon Essay Award in the History of Dermatology, 1992, 1993, and 1997; grants from Missouri Humanities Council, 1995 and 1996, and Hawaii Committee for the Humanities, 1996; researcher of the year award, Sigma Xi, 1997; grant from American Philosophical Society, 2001; scholar, Sir John Templeton Oxford Seminar, 2003-05; grant from Princeton University, 2007.


(Editor and contributor) Childbirth: Changing Ideas and Practices in Britain and America, 1600 to the Present, Volume 1: Midwifery Theory and Practice, Volume 2: The Medicalization of Obstetrics: Personnel, Practice, and Instruments, Volume 3: Methods and Folklore, Volume 4: Reproductive Science, Genetics, and Birth Control, Volume 5: Diseases of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Garland Publishing (Hamden, CT), 1996.

Surgery, Skin, and Syphilis: Daniel Turner's London, 1667-1741, Rodopi (Atlanta, GA), 1999.

(With Robert L. Wilson) A Paratrooper's Panoramic View: Training with the 464th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion for Operation Varsity's "Rhine Jump" with the 17th Airborne Division, Author House (Bloomington, IN), 2005.

Contributor to books, including The History of Medical Popularization, edited by Roy Porter, Routledge (London, England), 1992; Medicine and the Enlightenment, edited by Roy Porter, Rodopi (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1995; Venereal Disease in Eighteenth-Century France and Great Britain, edited by Linda Merians, University Press of Kentucky (Lexington, KY), 1996; Sherlock Holmes: Victorian Sleuth to Modern Hero, 1894-1994, Scarecrow (Metuchen, NJ), 1996; and The Healing Arts: The Story of Medicine, Marlowe and Co. (New York, NY), 1997. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Journal of the Arthur Conan Doyle Society, Baker Street Miscellanea, Toxicology, London Journal, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Missouri Prairie Journal, Annals of Science, Journal of Medical Humanities, Literature and Medicine, and Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae.


Philip K. Wilson once told CA: "Writing provides me a mental escape—almost a surreal existence—away from the rhythm of daily affairs. When the muse is with me, I am totally entrapped within a world of mental images, wordcrafting, and sentences-tructuring, during which I have successfully blocked out my surrounds. I find writing to be therapeutic in ways similar to tending the lawn—and rewriting is as necessary as mowing the lawn again next week.

"As a historian, I most frequently work in some area of biographical writing. Some authors discount biography as history, but I contend that all biography is, by definition, history—life history. Science and medicine have long been popularized through biography. Veritable industries have been related in attempt to chronicle and explain the lives of individuals including Christopher Columbus, William Harvey, Isaac Newton, Charles Dar- win, Florence Nightingale, Louis Pasteur, Joseph Lister, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, and Sigmund Freud; individuals who, biographers claim, have significantly altered the course of or set new paradigms for science and medicine.

"Although works by and about ‘the greats’ have informed my own writing, I much prefer exploring the lives of less well-known individuals. I attempt to use their lives as a lens through which I can better examine the culture contemporary to the individual under scrutiny.

"I have prepared many dictionary and encyclopedia entries on individuals who have made lasting contributions to science and medicine. I accept these commissions more in honor of the individuals' contributions than for any honorarium provided. It is an honor to revisit the lives of individuals long dead before I was born who devoted significant efforts toward establishing schools, programs, specialties, and techniques that have influenced my own thinking or lifestyle in significant ways. I view these short-entry commissions as one way of returning thanks, albeit belatedly, for the benefits that I have received."

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