Frank W Stahnisch, MSc, MD, PhDPhD in History of Medicine Free University of Berlin, Germany
MD in Medicine Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
M Sc in Philosophy of Science University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Areas of Research
Dr. Stahnisch's research attempts to create in-depth understanding for the development and necessities of basic research in medicine and the health sciences. It further places medicine and health care in the wider context of society and culture with their specific traditions of healing, inquiry, health care and patient support.
The history of the human mind, brain and nerves itself was a history of great contributions, conceptual struggles, and groundbreaking changes in the social, cultural, and economic contexts that have accompanied the field's development to the present day. The appropriation of the historical perspective on the sciences of the brain and nerves provides a profound understanding of past accomplishments, situated rationalities and the logics of former research traditions.
Dr. Stahnisch’s interests also span the development of experimental physiology and laboratory medicine since the late 18th century (particularly France and Germany), looking at the practical and methodological changes to which laboratory experimentation has given rise to since the early works of Francois Magendie and Claude Bernard.
Recent historiographical studies from the second half of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have also investigated the non-discursive practices of medicine. The artistic presentations, aesthetical criteria of their selection, and the interrelation of textual structures with visual products have come under scrutiny through this iconic turn, and the investigation of visual cultures of medicine have moved towards more in-depth analyses of the media products of the life sciences.
Hardly any other area in medicine and health care has endured as many social criticisms as psychiatry and public mental health care. Dr. Stahnisch is interested in exploring the emergence of changing concepts, practices, societal, and cultural contexts of mental illness and care options from the 18th to the 20th century.
Working with this supervisor
Future graduate students ideally have background training in both a related humanities discipline as well as an object discipline, such as medicine, public health, or biology, etc. Graduate students with a history and philosophy of science (HPS) or science and technology studies (STS) degree are particularly encouraged to apply.
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