Speaker: Professor Glen O'Hara (Oxford Brookes University)

After WWII, British doctors and politicians thought that they could import the perfect solution for dental illness: drinking water fluoridation. But the campaigns they faced brought together the libertarian Right, the socialist Left, advocates of ‘real foods’ and the nascent Green movement. Anti-fluoridisers campaigned for ‘freedom’ against an interfering government, amid medical scandals such as the Thalidomide tragedy. This talk uses the controversy to explore the historical relationship between the body, civil rights, consumerism, the citizenry and the medical profession.