History of Medicine Section, Wednesday 17th May 2017

17/05/2017 in Geoffrey Bourke Room, First Floor, Setanta House, Setanta Place, Dublin 2.

The Year without Summer (1816) and the Mortality    Crisis of 1817: Causes and Consequences

 Breandán Mac Suibhne

(Associate Professor of History, Centenary University, New Jersey, and Fellow, Centre for Irish        Studies, National University of Ireland, Galway)

Mount Tambora, a volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, began coughing ash and smoke in 1812. Its eventual eruption in April 1815, sent a massive cloud of ash high into the atmosphere. As a veil of sulphuric dust spread across the globe, temperatures plummeted. In Europe, crops failed to ripen in the fields; food prices soared; social unrest and epidemics of disease followed. Here, Breandán Mac Suibhne explores Ireland’s experience of this hemispheric, if not global crisis, paying particular attention to the response of the medical profession, in Dublin and provincial towns, to the fever epidemic of 1817.

Meeting starts at 18:15pm                                
All Welcome, particularly students