Everything written here is about real people living in real time. Please, take a moment before you start reading this material, and ground yourself. How can you avoid turning the complexity of people’s lives and stories into information separate from their lives and only used to prove or disprove a point? Give each person named, or implied, on this site the dignity of your respect. For those named who have caused harm, hold them accountable in your mind and heart, but also be curious about the contexts and conditions that allowed their actions to be possible. They were not acting alone but in a context structured by violence, racial capitalism, and oppression.
This site is designed to be as intersectional as possible. We are looking for comparative patterns across time and experience, not intending to provide a final word on any topic. We list our sources and invite you to do your own research and go deeper than this timeline allows. While learning about these histories, carry with you the question of how what you are learning has shaped (or not shaped) your own histories, people, and life experiences.
Some of the ways you can interact with the timeline...
You can navigate to a date on the timeline.
Drag the pointer to a specific date on the timeline waveform (located at the bottom of the screen on the desktop version and on the left of the screen on mobile), or use the “Scroll Left” and “Scroll Right” buttons to view the data points one-by-one.
You can use the filters to sort by subject.
The filters allow you to view the timeline by focusing on a particular area(s) of interest. You can make a selection of up to 5 filter tags from the dropdown “Filters” menu. If you hover over the abbreviated filter tags in the blue boxes below the event titles, you can see the complete name of the filter, or you can click a filter to display all the events with this tag. Click here to download a PDF of the filters.
Coming up with these filters was a long process. We did not want to replicate eugenic structures by turning anyone or anything into a category that is separated from its context. At the same time, it felt important to provide a map for moving across these thousands of interconnected experiences. We are grateful to our team who worked with us throughout three years of assessing and reassessing the filters we used. Categorization is a deeply political act. It is also imperfect. Please let us know if you have different ideas for the filters.
You can do a keyword search.
If you’re looking for a particular person, group, or event (or a subject not included in our list of filters), you can do a keyword search by clicking the “Search” button. You can search the keyword alone or add filters to narrow down your results. Your search will not give you a timeline but a list of events that are laid out like a google search. You can sort these results by chronology or relevance.
You can view our curated stories and timelines.
Each story includes both a narrative essay page and a curated timeline. The stories that are currently available are just the first few that we are releasing. We have many more in process and will be releasing new stories on an ongoing basis. The best way to find out about new stories is to go to our contact page and sign up for emails about shifts and changes on the timeline. We started with stories that we feel give a good cross-representation of how the Medical Industrial Complex evolved. We hope to offer new curated stories as time goes on. We want to elevate the complexities of these histories in order to shape, disrupt, and transform their futures.