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Biomedicine in museums

Categories and concepts in health, medicine and society

The Nordic Research Network for Medical History (in which we play a minor role) is organising a workshop on ‘Categories and Concepts in Health, Medicine and Society’ to take place in Umeå in northern Sweden, 15–17 March 2012 (very chilly place at that time of year, but also a charming academic town with birchs tree all over and lots of sun and snow).

The workshop takes its point of departure in the fact that health and disease concepts and categories are ubiquitious, both in everyday life and in science. The organisers (Per Axelsson, Umeå, and Signild Vallgårda, Copenhagen) want to discuss different types of concepts and categories, the role of categories, and different theoretical approaches to the study of concepts and categories in medicine and health policy. For example, change and continuity in social categories in epidemiological research; comparisons of the uses of race and ethnicity classifications in different countries; inclusion/exclusion of populations; the evolution of new concepts and categories; effects on health policy of categories used; and how categories are shaped and how they shape those categorised. They have invited Eviatar Zerubavel, Department of Sociology, Rutgers University to give a keynote speech.

The network grant will cover accommodation and conference fees (but not travel expenses). So send a <500 words abstract and a short CV to Per Axelsson ( before 15 September. More info from Per Axelsson in Umeå ( or Signild Vallgårda here in Copenhagen (

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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