The British Society for the History of Radiology


Adrian Thomas’s short history of radiology is a good start to finding out  about its fascinating past. Other accounts can be found through the History tab above.


Two books by BSHR Council members have been published in the last few months. Adrian Thomas and Arpan Banerjee’s History of Radiology has been published by OUP and IPEM have published Francis Duck’s Physicists and Physicians –A History of Medical Physics from the Renaissance to Röntgen.

Details through the Books tab above or click here.


Our occasional journal The Invisible Light is available to members and in libraries on publication. Pdf versions of many back issues are available on the website. Click the Journal tab above to access them.

Issue No. 38  has just been circulated to members.  Contributions include:

Home BSHR Events Journal History Gallery Books Links


We are expecting to have a stand at UKRC in Manchester 9-11 June this year.  Come and see us. The UKRC website is here.


The aim of the Society is to stimulate interest in the History of Radiology and artefacts, for the benefit of the members and the public. We are supported by numerous professional bodies and are a registered charity:  Charity Number 1012505. For more details click on the BSHR tab.  Email


Annual Scientific Meeting 2014

When: Monday 8-Wednesday 10 September 2014

Where: The Barbican, Silk Street, London

The RCR Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) is a major national conference providing high-quality education and learning and leading edge research presentations on radiology and oncology.  Through a diverse range of speakers, training seminars, concurrent sessions and workshops, the conference updates delegates on matters relevant to their practice and informs and educates on the latest technological developments.

Details on the RCR website

Celebrating 50 years of Angioplasty and its influence in modern day interventional radiology

By Kasim Hussain

4th Year Medical student, Bradford

The groundbreaking research undertaken by Charles Dotter (1920-1985) over fifty years ago on peripheral percutaneous transluminal angioplasty has helped to save millions of lives and limbs, and has transformed many aspects of medical practice. To commemorate the upcoming anniversary of this milestone, this article describes the historical development of angioplasty and includes influential contributors to this field in the last fifty years. It also gives an exposition of Dotter’s research and the impact that it has had on interventional radiology and by extension medical practice today.

Pioneer Greek Female Radiologists (1895-1950): Modern Daughters of Asclepius?

Christos S. Baltas, Alexia P. Balanika, Hesketh Graeme, Ioannis V. Fezoulidis

In the last decades of the 19th century and the initial decades of the 20th century, the women’s liberation movement began in Europe and raised the issue of a woman’s ability to engage in the sciences. It is worth mentioning that the Saint-Simonianism movement [France, beginning of the 19th century and whose main advocate was Claude Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de Saint-Simon (1760-1825)], set the foundations of faith in rational thinking, economic development and the progress of society as a whole. The movement also promoted religion, which gained it a wider following with both the French bourgeoisie and lay-men alike. Its followers and the movement’s idealists claimed their allegiance to science, industry, a love of structure, the importance of setting up networks, and the advancement of urban civilization. In 1894, they organized the first conference on women and science in Paris.



The British Society for the History of Medicine was formed in 1965, by representatives of the Section of the History of Medicine of the Royal Society of Medicine, the Faculty of History and Philosophy of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London, The Scottish Society for the History of Medicine and the Osler Club of London. It now has a significant number of affiliated societies.

Its objectives are to hold a biennial Congress, to arrange the biennial Poynter lecture (on alternate years with the Congress), to represent the United Kingdom in the affairs of the International Society for the History of Medicine and to encourage study, teaching and research in medical history.

The next Poynter lecture will be held on Wednesday 15th October 2014 at The Wellcome Building Conference Centre, 183 Euston Road, London. Entitled Preaching, Politics and Philanthropy: The Quakers in Pharmacy 1650 to 1900 it  will be presented by Dr Stuart Anderson. More details here and on the BSHM website.

Members of BSHR are automatically members of BSHM.


Dr Paul Frame  has built up a museum at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Tennessee that covers many aspects of atomic and nuclear history: measuring instruments, particularly those for health physics, are well represented but there is a wide-ranging collection of documents. It contains some artefacts of radiology and much of it is online.

Left: x-ray goggles c.1930 from the website