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Biomedicine in museums

Medical knowledge and medical practice in the 20th century

By January 30, 2009No Comments

The Nordic Network of Medical History (in which Medical Museion is a partner) is organising a workshop in Oslo, 4-6 November 2009 on the theme ‘Medical knowledge and medical practice in the 20th century’.

The workshop  — which is primarily intended for scholars from the Nordic countries — is about the interconnectedness of knowledge, practice and institutions, more specifically “the circulation of knowledge between medical science and medical practice, with a particular focus on an important aspect of medicine in the 20th century, medical technology”:

Medicine in the 20th century has both been subject to and itself caused a multiplicity of changes in what it means to be human. Be it diagnostics or therapy, computer tomography or organ replacement, the century has seen the creation of a whole set of novel ways of understanding and intervening into health and disease, many of them related to technological inventions: Organ replacement has challenged our concept of the human body, antibiotics and antibiotics resistances have reshaped infectious diseases; the rise of the risk factor has — to say the least — challenged the traditional association of sickness and symptoms of disease.

There will be keynote addresses from Kristin Asdal (Oslo), Thomas Schlich (Montreal) and Steve Sturdy (Edinburgh). In addition, the organisers are inviting abstracts for 30 min contributions, which can include topics like

  • the interrelationship of medical practice and medical sciences.
  • the circulation between different spheres such as hospital wards, practices, laboratories, and the public.
  • the material culture of medicine (instruments, machines, diagnostic apparatuses, statistical methods and laboratory practices).
  • how local knowledge is disseminated and how it acquires general status.

Send a title and an abstract (max 300 words) to Christoph Gradmann ( and Anne Kveim Lie ( before 20 April.

The meeting is hosted by the Section for Medical Anthropology and Medical History at the University of Oslo and will be held at Voksenåsen Conference Centre ( Food and lodging will be covered for all attendees.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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