Justin Rivest

Subject: History

Department/institution: Faculty of History

Contact details: jr723@cam.ac.uk


Justin Rivest is a Research Fellow at Clare Hall and a Research Associate in the Faculty of History, collaborating on the Leverhulme Trust-funded project, ‘Selling Exotic Plant Products in Paris, 1670-1730’.

Justin’s dissertation studied multi-generational pharmaceutical monopolies in France, exploring how medical secrets were transformed into royally-endorsed proprietary drugs. His more recent work explores how early pharmaceutical monopolies were intertwined with the medical needs of the French military under Louis XIV.

Justin’s work has been supported by the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Singleton Centre for the Study of Pre-Modern Europe (Johns Hopkins), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He earned his Bachelor of Humanities (2008) and a Master of Arts (2010) from Carleton University and his PhD (2016) from Johns Hopkins University.


Select publications:

  • ‘Testing Drugs and Attesting Cures: Pharmaceutical Privileges and Military Contracts in Eighteenth-Century France,’ Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. 91 (2017): 393-421.
  • ‘Secret remedies and the medical needs of the French state: The career of Adrien Helvétius, 1662–1727’, Canadian Journal of History / Annales canadiennes d’histoire, vol. 51, no. 3 (2016): 473-499.
  • Co-authored with Alisha Rankin: ‘Medicine, Monopoly, and the Premodern State: Early Clinical Trials’, The New England Journal of Medicine 375 (July 14, 2016): 106-109.