Of the many interwar connections between Germany and Russia, one of the most unusual - and least explored - is medicine and public health. Between 1922 and 1932, with high-level political support and government funding, Soviet and German physicians and public health specialists collaborated in joint research expeditions, published joint articles, launched a bi-lingual journal, and established joint research institutions. Surprisingly, students of Soviet-German relations have all but ignored this medical collaboration; while historians of science have treated it as political history, an exercise in cultural diplomacy designed to mitigate the impact of the post-war exclusion of both nations from the international science.
The contributors to this volume, who come from Germany, Russia, Britain, the United States and Canada, depart from the traditional approach to the subject. Drawing on previously inaccessible archival materials, the authors move beyond politics to examine the impact of this collaboration on scientific activity. Contributors analyze aspects of the German-Russian collaboration often overlooked by students of cross-national science, including the choice of 'friends' across borders, the activities of scientific entrepreneurs, the tensions between bi-lateral and international science, and the migration of scientists. Treating Soviet-German medical relations as an instance of trans-national science lays bare its unique features. Ultimately, Doing Medicine Together raises new and important questions about the vaunted 'special' relation between Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany.