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Cynthia Anne Connolly
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Prizes]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 12/31/2016

Children, Drug Therapy, and Pharmaceuticals in the United States, 1906-1979

A book-length history of the development, use, and marketing of drugs for children.

This historical study traces the development, use, and marketing of drugs for children. This project’s central argument is that a history of children and drugs is an important lens through which to study children’s place in American life. It spotlights the ways in which evolving constructions of health and disease, shifting child-rearing notions, and changing beliefs about children, have helped medicalize childhood. It is the first book length history of this topic, joining a body of scholarship that attends to age as a historical variable. It is especially important to study this issue historically because almost every twentieth century drug law was enacted because of a pediatric disaster. But drug safety improved for adults, not children, and remains a vexing problem. Most research into this phenomenon is ahistorical. This project is also significant because it shows the novel insights that can be gained by the use of a humanities framework to study scientific and ethical issues.