Study objective: To explore the role of history in public health and its relevance to current practice and professional development. Design: An analysis of the issues surrounding the poor attention paid to the history of public health by its current practitioners. Setting: The paper is written from the perspective of practitioners in the UK but has wide applicability. Main results: The paper makes the case that the current neglect of public health history is to the detriment of public health practice. Conclusions: There is a strong case for more attention to be paid to public health history in professional formation, development, and communication.