Biomedicine in museums

The medical history background for the Oslo terrorist action

One of the inspirational sources of Oslo terrorist Anders Behring Breivik’s peculiar manifesto ‘2083: A European Declaration of Independence’ is the anonymous blogger Fjordman, who has been a leading intellectual in the international anti-Jihad movement for almost a decade.

In a recent circular mail, Oslo historian of science Vidar Enebakk draws the attention of his Scandinavian colleagues to the fact that Fjordman has not only written about history, religion and politics in general, but also quite a lot about the history of science and medicine to ‘prove’ that modern science and medicine could only have emerged under the umbrella of European Christendom, and definitely not in Islamic cultures.

I’ve now read a few of his many articles (originally published on a variety of extreme anti-Islamic blog). One thing is Fjordman’s extremely one-sided anti-Islamic and pro-Christian interpretation; another thing is that he/she is quite well-read in the history of science and medicine. I’ve made a few Google searches on random stretches of text, which show that Fjordman doesn’t seem to have cut-and-pasted, but apparently has written these articles him-/herself. It’s not original research, but from a technical point of view it’s quite well-written popular history of science and medicine.

Probably only a person with a basic academic training in history of science could have written these texts. As Enebakk points out, we’re probably talking about a person who many Scandinavian historians of science and medicine may already know as a colleague or (former) student, and he therefore suggests us to take a closer look at the texts — analysing arguments, interpretations, stylistic features, etc. — to try find out who hides behind the Fjordman pseudonym.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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