Doctor. Tuberculosis pioneer. Best-selling author. Convert to Catholicism. Enemy of eugenics, and eugenicists.
The highlight for 2017 was the centenary of Consumption: Its Cause and Cure on September 4th following the discovery of a published transcript in 2013. In this all-but-forgotten speech, Dr Sutherland expressed frustration at the man-made obstacles to the fight against tuberculosis in general, and at the needless deaths of 10,000 children from tuberculous milk, in particular— “no more natural than if their food had been poisoned with arsenic.”
The speech shows that Sutherland’s criticism of eugenics and eugenists was turning from medical / scientific grounds to moral / ethical grounds as well, and explains his criticism of Dr Marie Stopes’ eugenic clinic in 1922.
The other articles have been as eclectic as Dr Sutherland’s life, from his broadcast on Australian national radio in 1940, to his presaging that eugenics would lead to the lethal chamber. In Nature’s Lethal Chamber this curator outlined how prominent Britons used lethal diseases to achieve the effects provided by a chamber, but without the legal—or, for that matter, reputational—risks, because this dark part of British history is largely ignored.
The most recent articles, A Strange Post-Mortem parts 1 and 2 relates Dr Sutherland’s role in the examination of the remains of Saint John Southworth, English martyr.
The year has not, however, been tuberculosis, eugenics and relics. More light-hearted articles have included The Experiment, Dr Sutherland’s youthful experiment with cannabis and The Resourceful Journalist, the hilarious story of a hapless journalist.
All that said, I want to thank you for your support during the year, and to wish you a very merry Christmas!
Mark Sutherland—Curator, hallidaysutherland.com