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Biomedicine in museums

The sensuous dimension of scientific and technological objects

By October 31, 2011No Comments

Some of us here at Medical Museion have been talking about submitting a proposal for a workshop at the annual Swedish STS meeting, which Nina Wormbs, Sabine Höhler and Adam Netzén at the Division of History of Science and Technology are organising at the Royal College of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm 2-4 May next year.

The theme for the workshop is the sensuous dimension of scientific and technological objects, not only their visual qualities, but also the tactile, audible, and olfactory aspects of sci-tech-med things. The idea has grown out of some earlier experiences, like the presentation on exploring and curating medical objects with the sense of touch
that Jan Eric Olsén and I gave at the Artefacts meeting in Oslo in 2007, and the succesful Sensuous Object workshop, which Lucy Lyons organised here at Medical Museion last September.

In other words, the idea is not only to talk about objects, and show images of them, but to actually present them to the senses. Call it aesthetically and theoretically aware curatorship if you like.

That session aside, the organising committee want submission of proposals, both for individual papers and entire panels. They are thematically open to all kinds of STS-related fields (from history, sociology, and philosophy of science, technology, and environment, etc.), and they also seek suggestions for alternative formats (such as roundtables debating the hotspots issues or author-meets-critic sessions on recent publication). Send >400 word proposals to by 15 February (which is also the email address for inquiries).

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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