Call for Applications

Gathering Things, Collecting Data, Producing Knowledge The Use of Collections in Biological and Medical Knowledge Production from Early Modern Natural History to Genome Databases

Ischia Summer School on the History of Life Sciences Ischia, 28 June – 5 July, 2005

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (Naples) Institut d’Histoire de la Médecine et de la Santé (Geneva) Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte (Berlin) Wellcome Trust Center, UCL (London)

Directors of the School: Janet Browne (London) Bernardino Fantini (Geneva-Naples) Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (Berlin)

1. Brief Introduction to the Theme

Knowledge on life and disease has always been connected to the mastery of variety and variability. Living beings and diseases come in a bewildering multiplicity of forms. Accordingly, the collection of material objects and of data has played and still plays a major role in the processes of knowledge acquisition that characterize biomedical sciences. Collections in the life sciences have a long and diverse history. In the renaissance, ‘cabinets of curiosity’ prevailed. Alongside, botanical and anatomical collections arose, connected to the medical professions and long distance trade. They grew into the great museums of the nineteenth century that became institutional centers for the life sciences. Increased use of measurement and systematic data production, finally, brought into being the large data bases that are used today to address questions of biodiversity, genomics, and public health.

The Ischia Summer School “Gathering Things, Collecting Data, Producing Knowledge” will address the following topics:

– natural history collections (cabinets of curiosity, Renaissance and early modern natural history collections; botanical gardens and herbals;) – specialized collections (anatomical and embryological collections; taxonomic collections;) – scientific travel collections (natural history museums; from colonial to scientific expeditions;) – epidemiological and populational data collections (national registers of parasites; blood banks; medical reference centers; repositories of classical genetics; mutant collections;) – data bases and resource centers in modern biomedicine (protein and DNA data banks; genomic data; Human Genome Project;) – national surveys and biodiversity inventories (reference collections in trade and industry; patent collections; national surveys of natural resources; bio-geographical data bases;)

2. Practical Information

The course is intended for scholars, especially graduate and postdoctoral students, from a wide variety of backgrounds and levels who share an interest in the use of collections in biological and medical knowledge production from early modern natural history to genome database.

The emphasis of the course will be on encouraging discussion and exchanging ideas across disciplinary boundaries. English is the official working language. Applications should be sent by the 28th of February 2005 to: Institut d’Histoire de la Médecine et de la Santé, CMU, Case postale, 1211 Genève 4, Switzerland. Phone: +41.22.379.57.90; Fax: +41.22.379.57.92 E-mail: [email protected]

Please include a brief CV, a statement specifying your academic experience and interest in the course topic, and a letter of recommendation. The group will be limited to about 25 participants. A tuition fee of US$ 600 is required. The fee covers full board and lodging in Ischia.