Medical news in England 1665–1800 in journals for professional and lay audiences

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This article is based on three early periodicals: The Philosophical Transactionsfor the Royal Society (PT, 1665–), The Edinburgh Medical Journal (EMJ, 1733–),and The Gentleman’s Magazine (GM, 1731–). A broad and inclusive selectionof unexplored texts comes from a period in which conventions of scientificand medical news discourse were being created and developed. In order todetect the lines of development in more detail, I performed a series of Keywordanalyses (WordSmith) and complemented the study with qualitative assessment.A comparison of PT vs. other contemporary medical texts of the corpusof Early Modern English Medical Texts (EMEMT) revealed features of the newscience, e.g. observation has a high keyness score. The developments towardsstricter professionalization and more public knowledge continue in professionaljournals. Keywords of the 18th century (GM vs. PT and GM vs. EMJ) revealdifferences in lay practices as compared to professional writing. GM readershipshared advice for distributing knowledge of new treatments and cures, and the‘public good’ becomes prominent.


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