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  • dibujo_icono_historicomedica


    Library closed on the afternoon of june 10 and afternoons of next week, from june 13 to june 17



    Friday, June 10, and next week from Monday, June 13 to Friday, June 17, the researchers' room and the different services provided by the Biblioteca Historicomèdica will be closed in the afternoon, from 2 p.m. onwards.


    The reading room on the first floor will be open as usual.


    We apologize for any inconvenience.

  • SEHM 2022


    The relationship between science, medicine and law will be the protagonist of the XVIII Congress of the Spanish Society for the History of Medicine.

    To be held in Valencia from June 15 to 17, 2002.

    Valencia, June 13, 2022. Under the title "Science, medicine and law", the XVIII Congress of the Spanish Society for the History of Medicine (SEHM) will be held in Valencia on June 15, 16 and 17. The Congress, which had to be postponed for the last two years due to the pandemic, will be held at the Palau Cerveró -headquarters of the Institut Interuniversitari López Piñero (IILP-UV)-, at the Col·legi Major Rector Peset and at the Facultat de Medicina of the Universitat de València.


    The confluence of science and medicine with the law has generated throughout history -and continues to create- a series of debates that will be the subject of reflection at the Congress, such as the role of forensic science, the regulation of medical and scientific practices, controversies in patents and intellectual property rights, health policies, among others. The Congress will also address other perspectives such as the similarities between COVID-19 and other infectious diseases of the past, the regulation of humanitarian and relief actions, and scientific knowledge in the legislation of occupational hazards.


    Science, medicine and law

    The Congress will be inaugurated on Wednesday, June 15, with the intervention of Carmel Ferragud (director of the Department of History of Science and Documentation of the Universitat de València and vice-president of the SEHM), Ximo Guillem-Llobat (director of the IILP), Javier Chorro (dean of the Facultat de Medicina of the Universitat de València), and Bertha Gutiérrez (President of the SEHM).


    The inaugural conference will be given by Marilyn Nicoud, professor of History of Medicine and Health at the University of Avignon, who will speak about the figure of the expert in the Middle Ages, a period in which this concept had little to do with what it means today. The Congress will continue with several thematic round tables, among which aspects such as medicine and gender, public policies and social and health alarms will be discussed. The first day will end with the poster presentation session.


    Thursday 16 will be followed by the thematic round tables which, on this occasion, will be dedicated to the circulation of knowledge, evidence and regulation in medicine and nutrition, or legal sources in historical-medical research in the modern age, among others. A session of book presentations and the SEHM assembly will close this second day.


    On Friday 17, the Congress will end with the last thematic round tables dedicated to occupational hazards, the regulation of humanitarian aid, cancer in the health policies of the second half of the 20th century, and the discourses and practices on pathological behaviors. The concluding conference will feature Sara Fajula, PhD in History of Science, who will talk about the irruption of contraceptive methods in the sixties and seventies of the last century in Spain, as well as the impulse in the first family planning centers. To close the Congress, there will be a historic-medical route through the city of Valencia, by Lluís Pascual (Master in History of Science and creator of the ValCiència routes).


    The Congress is organized by the Spanish Society for the History of Medicine, the Institut Interuniversitari López Piñero and the Universitat de València.


     See the complet program here.

  • Clair C. Patterson


    Pills of History of Medicine and Science: 100th anniversary of the birth of Clair C. Patterson, the first to determine the exact age of the Earth

    Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of geochemist Clair Cameron Patterson (Mitchellville, Iowa, June 2, 1922 - The Sea Ranch, California, December 5, 1995) who was an American geochemist, one of the most influential in his field, who in 1953 accurately determined the age of the Earth at 4.55 billion years, with a margin of error of about 70 million years. To make this measurement, and given the complexity of finding rocks old enough to serve as a reference (plate tectonics was still a long way off), he relied on an assumption (which would eventually prove to be correct): the rocks found in meteorites would probably be of similar longevity to those that formed the Earth. Thus, using a mass spectrograph loaned by the Argonne National Laboratory (Illinois), he was able to find the supposed age of the Earth.


    In 1965, Clair Patterson published the article "Man's Polluted and Natural Environments", which attempts to draw the attention of the general public to the increasing concentration of lead in the environment and in the food chain.


    On the other hand, Patterson was one of the staunchest opponents to the use of lead in the manufacture of fuels, for which he was persecuted by the multinationals that treated and marketed it. Thanks to his efforts, the U.S. Net Air Act was passed in 1970.


    In 1978 he was appointed to an NRC panel where he wrote a 78-page report stating that enforcement and action against lead and other pollutants should begin immediately, including gasoline, food packaging, paints, enamels and water distribution systems. Thirty years later most are accepted in many parts of the world.


    Patterson died on December 5, 1995 from an asthma attack.


    The asteroid (2511) was named Patterson in his honor.


    About Patterson you can consult, in electronic format, the documents referenced in the following link:




  • Uro_euroasiatico


    NEW ENTRY TO "SABERES EN ACCIÓN" (KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION): "La ciencia al zoo" (Science to the Zoo) by Oliver Hochadel (IMF-CSIC)

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

    Category "Spaces and places".

    Scientific research in zoos over the past two centuries has oscillated between unfulfilled promises and the generation of unexpected knowledge.


    When the first zoological gardens were founded in the first half of the 19th century, it seemed that a new era in natural history was dawning. In very similar statements, the zoos of Paris (founded in 1793), London (1828), Dublin (1831), Amsterdam (1838), and Berlin (1844) emphasized the scientific promise of their institution. It was a commitment that, in principle, cannot be surprising, considering the institutions responsible for these foundations: the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle in Paris, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland and the Amsterdam Zoological Society, Natura Artis Magistra. 


    The Berlin Zoo was promoted by Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), who, in a letter to the King of Prussia, emphasized that it was "an institute that holds so much promise for the sciences." In its founding declaration, the ZSL conceived of animals "as objects of scientific research, not of vulgar admiration". Thus, the new nineteenth-century zoo wanted to distance itself both from the menageries of the aristocracy and from the traveling wild animal shows. At a stroke, naturalists were going to have the possibility of observing numerous exotic animals without leaving the metropolis. 


    To continue reading:


  • Lepra


    NEW ENTRY TO "SABERES EN ACCIÓN" (KNOWLEDGE IN ACTION): "Leproserías" (Leprosarium) by Antonio García Belmar (IILP-UA)

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


    Category "Spaces and places".

    Logics, geographies and subjectivities in the construction and resignification of spaces of confinement and treatment of people affected by leprosy.


    Towards the middle of the nineteenth century, newspapers in many European cities began to echo voices warning of the "return of leprosy". Supposedly having disappeared since the end of the Middle Ages, leprosy was seen to be returning in the European metropolises along the same routes opened for its colonial expansion. This idea of a return modulated the perceptions and responses of contemporary societies to this ancient and distant disease. Leprosy returned from a distant Middle Ages and from a distant exotic world - India, Africa, the Pacific Islands or America - to arouse fears and responses similar to those aroused in medieval society, such as the confinement of the sick as the only effective barrier to the spread of the disease. Studies of medieval and contemporary leprosy have challenged this image of continuity, showing the multiple forms of leprosy in different places and periods, both in medical discourses and practices and in social and political responses. The way in which medieval and contemporary leprosaria were thought, located, designed, and organized is a reflection of these different conceptions of a multifaceted disease that affected thousands of people and the social body of many nations.


    To continue reading:



  • Pedra de la Bogeria


    LA PIEDRA DE LA LOCURA. Una historia de la terapéutica psiquiátrica (THE STONE OF MADNESS. A history of psychiatric therapeutics.)

    Date : From 13 May 2022 to 23 December 2022

    Opening hours : Monday - Friday from 9:00 to 20:00
    Free admission, limited capacity

    Centre: Palau de Cerveró and Centre Cultural La Nau

    Rooms: Palau de Cerveró-Sala José Puche

    Organised by: Institut Interuniversitari López Piñero

    Curators: Enric Novella and Javier Balaguer

    Secondary schools and other groups interested in visiting the collections can send an email to visites.guiades@uv.es

    Tel: 96 353 10 76.


    This exhibition is part of the exhibition "La Nau del Bojos. Una odissea de la desraó" (The Ship of Fools. An odyssey of unreason) at the Centre Cultural La Nau.


    Since classical antiquity, the presence of a medical model of madness (identified as a more or less apparent impairment of language, behaviour or psychosocial competence) has led to the use of a wide range of somatic treatments. Thus, the traditional conception of madness as a humoral imbalance involving the governing faculties of the brain promoted intervention on the so-called unnatural things (food, rest, passions), the practice of manoeuvres such as trepanations and bloodletting, and, above all, the administration of plant-based materia medica: purgatives such as white agaric, rhubarb and hellebore (especially indicated for melancholics) or sedatives such as camphor, poppy and absinthe syrup. Many of these remedies were used until long after the emergence of psychiatry as a medical speciality, which - apart from establishing a new institutional device (the "moral asylum") - did not have its own range of therapeutic resources until well into the 20th century. In fact, it can be said that the era of modern psychiatric therapeutics did not begin until 1917 with the introduction of the so-called malariotherapy of progressive general paralysis by the Austrian psychiatrist Julius Wagner-Jauregg. From then on, however, a series of more or less "heroic" treatments (of a certain effectiveness, but of an aggressive nature) were rapidly developed to expeditiously alleviate the most dramatic and disruptive symptoms of "mental illness", including insulin therapy, cardiazole shock, electroshock and psychosurgery, the most controversial of them all. Shortly afterwards, the 1950s saw the emergence of psychopharmacology, with the successive introduction of various drugs for the treatment of states and conditions such as mania, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. As is well known, these drugs are nowadays among the most widely consumed medicines by the population, representing a million-dollar business and a very significant portion of pharmaceutical expenditure. Paying special attention to their roots in certain social and institutional contexts, to their cultural projection and to the controversies that their use has aroused throughout history, this exhibition aims to offer a detailed overview of the panoply of remedies with which medicine has tried (and still tries) to extirpate the unredeemed "stone of madness" and psychic suffering.