History of Medicine

During the past few decades the History of Medicine has emerged as a dynamic international research field, focused on investigating the production and circulation of medical knowledge in the particular cultural and social contexts in which it was embedded. This orientation is reflected in both the department's research in this area and our teaching, which strives towards a broad understanding of the history of modern medicine, the biosciences, and health care. A central and defining element of our approach is the conviction that historical research can offer important insights on challenges and issues within contemporary medical and biomedical development.

There are currently around fifteen researchers active within the History of Medicine field, including several doctoral students. Our research in this field enjoys a considerable chronological breadth, ranging from early modern pharmacology and the emergence of forensic medicine through to bioscience in the present, while encompassing diverse perspectives on topics such as interrelations between concepts of gender and health, power dimensions of public health and welfare, and the visual and material culture of medicine. A research area of particular interest in the History of Medicine currently emphasized by the department is that relating to the history of human reproduction.

Illustration from Georg Bartisch, ΟΦΘΑΛΜΟΔΟΥΛΕΙΑ. Das ist, Augendienst (1583). Image courtesy of the Hagströmer Library.