Helen Bynum

Looking out of the window I see the changing agricultural landscape of fields and woods beyond our sometimes too-large, sometimes too-small garden. The view and much grubbing in the soil inspired serious thinking about plants and human history. Remarkable Plants was the first result. Botanical sketchbooks (Thames & Hudson, Kew Publishing; Princeton Architectural Press) with its intimate take on botanisers and sketchers followed.

My other life - writing about the history of medicine and health - produced, Spitting Blood: the history of tuberculosis. The books asks how we have managed and mismanaged this great killer and why it still remains a threat. 

An early career as an academic lecturing in medical history at the University of Liverpool came after the formative years reading human sciences and the history of medicine (MSc & PhD) at University College London and the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. All served my desire to make connections across time and ways of thinking about our place in the world. 

Now I am a writer, speaker and editor living amongst the fields of Suffolk and vibe of London.

Reviewing for Wall Street Journal, Science, Times Literary Supplement, THE, Lancet and Medical History. 


Backlist favourites:

  • The Dictionary of Medical Biography (edited with William Bynum)

  • Tropical Medicine in the 20th Century: A history of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (as Helen Power)

  • Success in Africa: The History of the Onchocerciasis Control Programme in West Africa 1974-2002 (as Helen Power)

  • Body & City: A History of Public Health (as Helen Power co-edited with Sally Sheard)