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Scientific and medical collection of the University of Valencia
Organised by: University of Valencia and Institute for the History of Medicine and Science López Piñero
Curator: José Ramón Bertomeu Sánchez, Joaquim Guillem Llobat, Àlvar Martínez Vidal y Pedro Ruiz-Castell (coordinator)
Place: Exhibition Hall of the Palacio de Cerveró
Timetable: Open to the public from Monday to Friday from 9 to 20 hours. Phone number for guided tours: 963 864 922
The exhibition includes pieces from the collection of scientific and medical instruments of the University of Valencia, as well as material from its bibliographic heritage and audiovisual documents. The tour starts with a solar camera of the Astronomic Observatory of the University (1935) and concludes with an X-ray diffraction team (1956-1957).

According to Antonio Ariño, Vice-Principal for Culture and Equality, «the exhibition is the first part of the scientific and medical permanent collection of the University, a collection with a long history». There are more than 1,800 pieces, which, as Ariño says, «are continuously growing, with individual donations of doctors who make it being alive and constantly evolving». It is therefore, a unique example due to his exhibition quality and because it shows a fundamental part of the identity of the University».

Meanwhile, Pedro Ruiz-Castell, coordinator of the Scientific Committee, stressed the need to value this heritage and to facilitate its interpretation. Moreover, Ruiz-Castell adds, «the exhibition tries to present and disseminate the work done by researchers of the Institute for the History of Medicine and Science López Piñero, through a series of issues that allow visitors to approach the history of science in a different way».

Open Questions

The showing presents visitors a series of open questions that promote exhibition discourse and allow exploring different topics related to the knowledge production and the scientific medical practice. The issues raised invite visitors to examine the way in which medicine, science and technology have participated in the transformation processes of modern societies, while also to reflect problems critically regarding current problems.

To begin with, the complexity of defining science professionals and the importance of the contributions of amateur scientists are considered. Then, the relations of power between experts and non- experts are presented, in which the role of knowledge of experts is highlighted in the development of modern societies through links maintained with justice, public health and risk management. Furthermore it is shown how the development of scientific activity includes an important political, ideological and social burden. It is also explored how the constant presence of various diseases among Valencian population (leprosy or malaria) has mobilised throughout history all resources available. Finally, it is highlighted how gender exclusion has been manifested through the devaluation of the activities done basically by women, and also the difficulties women have had for their professionalism.

The exhibition “Scientific and medical collection of the University of Valencia” is divided into two major thematic displays. This is the first one, opened on 20th December 2012 at the exhibition hall of the Palau de Cerveró, with the title 1.Science and Society. The second thematic exhibition, entitled 2.Medicine and Society, is located in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Valencia.