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Working with health professionals, schools, and the public, to dispel myths about vaccination and make history of medicine relevant

Summary of the impact

Professor Gareth Williams' research into the history of smallpox and polio, and his associated work for the public understanding of vaccination has influenced health professionals, teachers and educators, school children, medical students, and the general public. His work has had four sorts of impact:

  • furthering the understanding of the history of medicine by health professionals, medical and allied professions students, schoolchildren and the general public;
  • promoting the legacy of Edward Jenner, creator of the vaccine against smallpox, thereby helping to preserve an important but neglected part of the UK's intellectual heritage;
  • advancing the public understanding of vaccination and helping to dispel the myths which prevent full uptake of vaccines and informing public debate;
  • raising awareness of the residual impact of polio and particularly of `post-polio syndrome'.

Submitting Institution

University of Bristol

Unit of Assessment


Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: History and Philosophy of Specific Fields

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