TIM HARFORD: Florence Nightingale: the pandemic hero we need
Most famous as a nurse, her innovative use of data helped also prevent many deaths from infectious diseases
The Florence Nightingale Museum in London, devoted to the pioneering 19th-century nurse, is closing its doors indefinitely. Museum director David Green describes the plan as “hibernation”; the collection will remain on site at St Thomas’s Hospital.
The timing could hardly be more ironic. Last year was Nightingale’s bicentennial. The museum had invested heavily in a new exhibition; it opened in early March, less than a month before the UK’s long first lockdown. Countrywide celebratory events had been planned — I was to attend one organised by the Royal Statistical Society — but instead Nightingale was commemorated by the decision to name new emergency hospitals after her...