Category Archives: conferences

Workshop ‘Contemporary biomedical science and medical technology as a challenge to museums’ — preliminary programme

Here is the preliminary programme for the workshop “Contemporary biomedical science and medical technology as a challenge to museums” (15th biannual meeting of the European Association of Museums for the History of Medical Sciences), to be held in Copenhagen, 16-18 September, 2010.

The mobile casino presentations below have been selected by the programme committee of (Ken Arnold, Wellcome Collection, London; Robert Bud, Science Museum, London; Judy Chelnick, National Museum of American History, Washington DC; Mieneke te Hennepe, Boerhaave Museum, Leiden; and Thomas Söderqvist, Medical Museion, Copenhagen) in dialogue with the secretary of the EAMHMS (James Edmonson, Dittrick Museum, Cleveland).

Preliminary programme:

Sniff Andersen Nexø (Dept of History, University of Copenhagen):

Suzanne Anker (School of Visual Arts , New York):
“Inside/Out: Historical Specimens through a 21st Century Lens”

Kerstin Hulter Åsberg (Dept of Neuroscience, Uppsala University):
“Uppsala Biomedical Center: A Mirror and a Museum of Modern Medical History”

Yin Chung Au (Planning and Coordination Centre for Developing Science Communication Industry, National Science Council, Taiwan):
“Seeing is communicating: Possible roles of med-art in communicating contemporary scientific process with the general public in digital age

Adam Bencard (Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen):
“The molecular body on display”

Caitlin Berrigan (independent artist):
“Improvising Glycoproteins: A case study in artistic virology”

Danny Birchall (Wellcome Collection, London):
“Medical London and the photography of everyday medicine”

Silvia Casini (Observa – Science in Society, Venice):
“Curating the Biomedical Archive-fever”

Judy M. Chelnick (Division of Medicine and Science, National Museum of American History):
“The Challenges of Collecting Contemporary Medical Science and Technology at the Smithsonian Institution”

Roger Cooter (Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, UCL) and Claudia Stein (Dept of History, University of Warwick):’
“Visual Things and Universal Meanings: Aids Posters, the Politics of Globalization, and History”

Nina Czegledy (Senior Fellow, KMDI, University of Toronto):’
“At the Intersection of Art and Medicine”

John Durant (MIT Museum):
“Prospects for International Collaboration in Collecting Contemporary Science and Technology”

Joanna Ebenstein (The Observatory, New York):
“The Private, Curious, and Niche Collection: What They can Teach Us”

Jim Edmonson (Dittrick Museum, Case Western Reserve University):
“Collection plan for endoscopy, documenting the period 1996-2010”

Jim Garretts (Thackray Museum, Leeds):
“Bringing William Astbury into the 21st Century: the Thackray Museum and the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology in partnership”

Victoria Höög (Dept of Philosophy and History of Science, University of Lund):
“The Optic Invasion of the Body. Naturalism as an Interface between Epistemic Standards in Biomedical Images and the Medical Museums”

Karen Ingham (School of Research and Postgraduate Studies, Swansea Metropolitan University):
“Medicine, Materiality and Museology: collaborations between art, medicine and the museum space”

Ramunas Kondratas (independent scholar; formerly Division of Medicine and Science, National Museum of American History):
“The Use of New Media in Medical History Museums”

Lucy Lyons (Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen):
“What am I looking at?”

Robert Martensen (Office of History & Museum, NIH):
“Integrating the Physical and the Virtual in Exhibitions, Archives, and Historical Research at the National Institutes of Health”

Stella Mason (independent scholar):
“Contemporary Medicine in Museums: What do our visitors think of our efforts?”

René Mornex and Wendy Atkinson (Hospices Civils de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon1):
“A large health museum in Lyon”

Jan Eric Olsén (Dept of History of Ideas, University of Lund):
“The displaced clinic: healthcare gadgets for home use”

Kim Sawchuk (Dept of Communication Studies, Concordia University):
“Bio-tourism into museums, galleries, and science centres”

Thomas Schnalke (Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum):
“Dissolving matters: the end of all medical museums’ games?”

Morten Skydsgaard (Steno Museum of the History of Science, Aarhus University):
“Boundaries of the Body and the Guest: Art as a facilitator in the exhibition The Incomplete Child”

Sébastien Soubiran (Jardin des Science, Université de Strasbourg):
“Which scientific world would we like to depict in a 21st century university museum?”

Yves Thomas (Polytech Nantes) and Catherine Cuenca (Université de Nantes and Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris):
”Multimedia contributions to contemporary medical museology”

Maie Toomsalu (Medical Collections, University of Tartu):
“Visitor studies at the Medical Collections of University of Tartu”

Henrik Treimo (Norsk Teknisk Museum, Oslo):
”Invisible World: Visualising the invisible parts of the body”

Alex Tyrell (Science Museum, London):
“New voices: involving your audience in content creation”

Nurin Veis (Museum Victoria, Melbourne):
“How do we tell the story of the cochlear implant?”

Final titles will be announced after the revised/extended abstracts have been submitted by Monday, 2 August.

The workshop starts Thursday, 16 September at noon and ends Saturday, 18 September at 5 pm.

Sessions will be held at Medical Museion and in the Danish Museum of Art and Design. The two meeting venues are situated close to each other in central Copenhagen.

The format of the workshop is informal. In order to focus on discussion and intellectual exchange, each accepted abstract will get a maximum of 8 (eight) minutes for oral presentation, followed by a longer discussion. Extended abstracts (2-5 pages) will be distributed to all registered participants in late August.

The workshop is open to registered participants only. Due to space limitations, we have to impose a first register/first serve policy for attendance.

For details about registration, bank transfer, hotel bookings, special needs, etc., see


The workshop is organized by Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen (;

Workshop: ‘Biomedicine and Aesthetics in a Museum Context’, Copenhagen, August 30 – September 1, 2007

Medical Museion is arranging a cross-disciplinary workshop on ‘Biomedicine and Aesthetics in a Museum Context’, Copenhagen, 30 August – 1 September, 2007.

The conjuncture of biomedicine and aesthetics is a rapidly growing field of artistic practice and academic reflection, dealing with an array of issues, from the public engagement with current biomedicine to methodological overlaps between the practices of artists and laboratory researchers. Museums are key institutions for this hybrid field of inquiry.

The aim of this closed workshop is to help forge new strategies of making sense of and presenting recent biomedicine in museums, especially taking into account the unique difficulties of rendering visible material biomedical practices in their social, cultural, political, aesthetic and scientific complexity.

The workshop will bring together key practitioners from a range of methodological approaches, including artists with a firm understanding of biomedical practice, museologists and material culture scholars, historians of science, art historians and aestheticians, biomedical practitioners with a knowledge of contemporary bioart, and visualisation specialists.

The workshop is limited to invited participants. Confirmed participants include: Ken Arnold (Wellcome Trust, London), David Edwards (Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University), Giovanni Frazzetto (BIOS, London School of Economics), Anke te Heesen (Museum of University of Tubingen), Wolfgang Knapp (Institut für Künst im Kontext, Universität der Künste in Berlin), Sharon MacDonald (Department of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester), Natasha S. Myers (MIT), Arthur Olson (Molecular Graphics Laboratory, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla), Paolo Palladino (Dept of History, Lancaster University), Claire Pentecost (School of the Arts Institute Chicago), Paulo Periera (Institute for Biomedical Research in Light and Image, University of Coimbra), Ingeborg Reichle (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities), Hans Jörg Rheinberger (Max Planck Institute für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin), Miriam van Rijsingen (University of Amsterdam), Calum Storrie (London), Herwig Turk (Lisbon), Stephen Wilson (Conceptual / Information Arts Program, San Francisco State University), Richard Wingate (Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King’s College, London), and Susanne Bauer, Martha Fleming, Hanne Jessen, Camilla Mordhorst, Jan Eric Olsén, and Thomas Söderqvist (all Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen).

Organizing Committee: Martha Fleming, Jan Eric Olsén, and Thomas Söderqvist, all Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen.

Program Advisory Group: Ken Arnold (Wellcome Trust, London), Steve Kurtz (State University of New York, Buffalo), Ingeborg Reichle (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin), Miriam van Rijsingen (Centre for Art and Genomics, Universities of Amsterdam and Leiden), Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin), Eugene Thacker (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta), Richard Wingate (King’s College, London).

Conference ‘Art and Biomedicine: Beyond the Body’, Copenhagen, 3 September 2007

In co-operation with BioCampus, University of Copenhagen and the Schools of Visual Arts, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Medical Museion is arranging a free public conference “Art and Biomedicine: Beyond the Body”, Monday 3 September, 2007.

Confirmed speakers include:

Ingeborg Reichle, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (

Ben Fry, MIT Media Lab (

Wolfgang Knapp, Art in Context, University of the Arts, Berlin (

Steve Kurtz, Critical Arts Ensemble (

Richard Wingate, UK Medical Research Council Centre, King’s College, London (

Ken Arnold, Wellcome Trust, London (

James Elkins, Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism of the Art Institute of Chicago (

A detailed program has been posted, see

See also the workshop ‘Biomedicine and Aesthetics in a Museum Context’, Copenhagen 30 August – 1 September, 2007.

Cybernetic heritage?

Suggestive calls for papers to interesting seminars and conferences appear in the inbox almost daily. Usually I understand what these messages mean, but sometimes I’m in doubt. For example, I just received one for “Thinking and Making Connections: Cybernetic Heritage in the Social and Human Sciences and Beyond”, a conference to be held at Södertörn University College in Sweden, 10-11 November.

‘Cybernetic heritage’ — sounds good, but what is it? Didn’t find any info on the department’s website, then tried to google it (25 hits today, 26 tomorrow :-), but didn’t become wiser. Is it about the acquisition and preservation of robots in museums? Or the lingering-on of old cybernetic ideas in the social sciences and humanities? Both could be exciting — but maybe the organisers mean something entirely different?