The Chemistry of Famine: Nutritional Controversies and the Irish Famine c.1845-7
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|Title:||The Chemistry of Famine: Nutritional Controversies and the Irish Famine c.1845-7||Authors:||Miller, Ian||Permanent link:||http://hdl.handle.net/10197/4313||Date:||24-Oct-2012||Abstract:||The activities of Irish medical practitioners in relieving the impact of the Irish Famine (c.1845–52) have been well documented. However, analysis of the function of contemporary medico-scientific ideas relating to food has remained mostly absent from Famine historiography. This is surprising, given the burgeoning influence of Liebigian chemistry and the rising social prominence of nutritional science in the 1840s. Within this article, I argue that the Famine opened up avenues for advocates of the social value of nutritional science to engage with politico-economic discussion regarding Irish dietary, social and economic transformation. Nutritional science was prominent within the activities of the Scientific Commission, the Central Board of Health and in debates regarding soup kitchen schemes. However, the practical inefficacy of many scientific suggestions resulted in public associations being forged between nutritional science and the inefficiencies of state relief policy, whilst emergent tensions between the state, science and the public encouraged scientists in Ireland to gradually distance themselves from state-sponsored relief practices.||Funding Details:||Irish Research Council||Type of material:||Journal Article||Publisher:||Cambridge University Press||Copyright (published version):||2012 The Author, published by Cambridge University Press||Keywords:||Great Famine;Medical history of Ireland;History of nutrition;History of dietetics;History of digestion||DOI:||10.1017/mdh.2012.27||Language:||en||Status of Item:||Not peer reviewed|
|Appears in Collections:||History Research Collection|
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