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  • Biblioteca


    Closing of the Library at Easter

    On the occasion of Easter the Biblioteca Historicomèdica (Historical Medical Library) will be closed from April 6 to 17, both days included


    We apologize for any inconvenience

  • Conferencia Internacional Energía Atómica



    Second part of "saberes en acción" (knowledge in action): https://sabersenaccio.iec.cat/

    Category "Geographies"


    The nation remains a unit of destiny in the local for scientific activity and the historian's mentality.


    It may not be very flattering to our national pride to think that, while on the whole our literature is not surpassed by that of any other nation, there are certain areas, such as the physical and natural sciences, for example, in which it is extremely deficient, to the extent that publications made in France and Germany, either in translation or in their original version, enjoy immediate sale and wide acceptance among English students.

    Anonymous review of Adolphe Ganot's manual Elementary Treatise on Physics. Published December 7, 1871 in The Leeds Mercury.


    The ubiquitous organization of the nation state from the nineteenth century onward fostered tensions in international disciplinary communities around the sense of belonging, identity, and rivalry in the enterprise of scientific discovery and conquest. The concept of "nation" is older and derives from the Latin verb "nasci" (to be born) which it shares with the word "nature". It was applied in medieval European universities to the organization of their colleges by geographical origins and languages of the students. It was also used in the Republic of Letters, to denote distinctively national styles of thought, or in concepts such as the term "international" used by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) for jurisprudence that overflowed the state ruled by a single sovereign. In the historiography of science, the conception of science as the result of practices linked to nation-states and monolithic national cultures has acquired a primordial, if often unconfessed, place. It is a further effect of the processes that have shaped in parallel science, history and their intersections, and the idiosyncrasies of people who specialize in the history of science, a community often marked by the monolingual, monocultural, and national character of their training and experiences.


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  • Icono_Biblioteca


    Fallas timetable

    On the occasion of the Fallas, the Biblioteca Historicomèdica (Historical Medical Library) will be closed from March 15 to 20, both days included.


    Furthermore, the Library will be closed on the afternoon of March 14 from 2 p.m. onwards.


    The Study Room will be open at its regular timetable on March 13 and 14.

    We apologize for any inconvenience

  • Pepita Barba


    Pepita Barba, an exceptional Catalan scientist

    On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which will be celebrated tomorrow, February 11, we bring to your attention a brief glimpse of the exceptional career of a little-known scientist who developed her personal and professional life between Spain and the United States, where she died almost a centenarian.


    Josefa Barba-Gosé Flexner, also known as Pepita Barba, Josefa Barba, Josefa B. Flexner, or simply J.B. Flexner, born into a distinguished family, studied Pharmacy and Law. In 1926, at the age of 22, she decided to move to Madrid where she would settle in the prestigious Residencia de Señoritas. In 1927 he returned to Barcelona and started working at the prestigious Institute of Physiology of Barcelona, with August Pi Sunyer and Jesús Maria Bellido y Golferichs, and where he applied, through the Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios e Investigaciones Científicas (JAE), presided by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, for a scholarship to continue his training in the United Kingdom. He obtained it and stayed at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain between December 1928 and August 1929. After returning from England and presenting her doctoral thesis in Madrid, in 1929 she became a member of the Real Sociedad Española de Física y Química (SEFQ). In the early 1930s she applied for another scholarship to further her studies, this time at the philanthropic institution created by the patrons Rafael Patxot y Jubert: the Fundación Maria Patxot i Rabell. This financial aid allowed him to move to the United States, specifically to broaden his knowledge at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. During her stay in Baltimore she met Louis Flexner with whom she would establish a friendship that years later would become a sentimental and professional relationship. After finishing her specialization studies in Baltimore, Josefa returned to Barcelona in 1932.


    In July 1937, Josepa Barba Gosé, fleeing from the Civil War, clandestinely crossed the Pyrenees through the El Pertús border crossing, where she met the American neurophysiologist Louis B. Flexner (1907-1996). Flexner (1902-1996), whom she married. Together, they moved to the United States, where she began, under another name -married-, a fruitful personal and scientific life. There she began to work at Johns Hopkins University, together with her husband, and developed a fruitful scientific career. Most of her scientific achievements in the field of neurophysiology would not come until 1951, when they moved to Philadelphia to work at the University of Pennsylvania. Two years later, they founded the prestigious Institute of Neurological Sciences, which Louis would direct. After 59 years of life and research together, Louis died in April 1996 and Josepa died 4 years later, in 2000, at the age of 97. The story about their life went virtually unnoticed throughout the 20th century. It was not until the end of the first decade of the 21st century, when Pepita Barba's name was mentioned in the memoirs of Núria Pi-Sunyer, August Pi-Sunyer's niece, who directed Pepita Barba's work during her years at the Institute of Physiology in Barcelona.


    In the Biblioteca Historicomèdica you will find the following work of Pepita Barba from 1929, co-authored by her: Acció de l'efedrina sobre la pressió arterial / per J. Puche i Álvarez, J. Barba i Gosé ; primera nota (HMED 1901-1939 / 0076 (04) and about the author you can find, online, the article Dues vides, un objectiu, by Àlvar Martínez-Vidal and Empar Pons Barrachina 

  • Juego monumentos París



    Second part of "saberes en acción" (knowledge in action): https://sabersenaccio.iec.cat/

    Category "Geographies".


    Between utopia and non-place, the city plays various roles as a driving force in the history of science, technology and medicine and as a crossroads of geo-historical scales.


    [...] with the expression "city" or "urban" we are alluding to several different dimensions. Already the Romans clearly distinguished [...] - between the built space, the urbs, and the citizens, the civitas. To which we could add yet another feature, the political and administrative, which is well formulated by the Greek expression of the polis. This simply means that the "urban" is a form of classification: of space and of society.

    Horacio Capel, Bitter cries about the city (2001)


    In Barranquilla 2132, writer Juan Antonio Osorio Lizarazo (1900-1964) imagined in 1932 the future of the then most cosmopolitan of Colombian cities: a world without nation-states, structured by independent cities, marvels of progress translated into air transports powered by atomic decomposition, incessant editions of the periodical press by magnetic waves, solitary and utilitarian feeding practices, aseptic and asexual codes of conduct, tall buildings of steel and glass, floating clinics on the sea surrounded by gardens, eugenic control of the population -all governed by municipal boards harmoniously interpenetrated with universal assemblies-. A new world born from the ashes of civilization after the great crisis of the year 2000, marked by overpopulation, famine, epidemics, the self-destructive race of machinism and the practical debacle of capitalism, communism and republican democracy. Like other dystopian accounts of the contemporary city, Barranquilla 2132 fused Catholic Athens with metropolitan liberal utopia through a mixture of positivism and morality. After the dazzle of his visit to the future, the protagonist of this novel abhors the inflexible supremacy of technology, the hysterical rationalization of everyday life, the emptiness of the over-information society and the new urbanity devoid of emotions and aesthetics, all of which lead to dehumanize such a brilliant and postmodern civilization. Only the river and the sea remain unperturbed by these changes. From the port, disappointed, he plunges into the sea - origin of human life - to reconnect with nature or his now longed-for past.


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  • Experiment amb conill


    NEW ENTRY IN "SABERES EN ACCIÓN" (KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION): "La experimentación animal: un debate de larga duración" (Animal experimentation: a long-running debate) by José Ramón Bertomeu Sánchez (IILP-UV)

    Second part of "saberes en acción" (knowledge in action): https://sabersenaccio.iec.cat/


    Category "Controversies".


    Debates about animal experiments show the changing mix of issues from different fields in long-running controversies.


    Animal experimentation has given rise to debates on different issues, with various participants and since ancient times. The use of animals as an object of research appears sporadically in the earliest texts related to medicine. Although there are hardly any references in the early Hippocratic texts, Aristotle (384-322 BC) already carried out a large number of dissections in order to observe internal structures and thus intuit the function of organs. The Alexandrian school of physicians, most notably Herophilus (ca. 330-260 BC) and Erasistratus (ca. 304-245 BC), regularly practised vivisection of animals and experiments on humans. Egyptian rulers apparently provided physicians with prisoners condemned to death for research.


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