The Centre for the History of Medicine, Durham University, UK. Sponsored by the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine, supported by the Wellcome Trust, London

Workshop Reminder

Friday 5 December 2008 ‘Medical Expertise from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century’ 11.30 am, Durham University, Queen’s Campus, Stockton-on-Tees, Wolfson Research Institute, Seminar Room

For further information, please visit our webpage at or contact the Centre’s Administrator/Outreach Officer, Katherine Smith, mailto:[email protected]. Booking forms need to reach Katherine by 24 November 2008 and can be found on the webpage.

For directions to Queen’s Campus, Stockton, please visit


In the first French-language medico-legal treatise published in 1575, royal surgeon Ambroise Paré underlined the responsibility and gravity experts must bring to their position ‘because judges pass sentence according to what is reported to them’ (Paré, 1575). In so doing Paré posed a series of problems concerning the definition and enactment of medical expertise which are still relevant today. Who are the experts, what constitutes expertise and how can it be verified by the judiciary and wider lay society? How do we know that the expert’s testimony is valid? Identifying the expert and defining the nature of expertise is a difficult task, not least because expertise is largely a modern notion which requires careful handling in a pre-modern context, but also because it remains highly contentious now. Expertise is also a notion which has been widely questioned by historians and philosophers of science for several decades. This one-day workshop brings together international specialists to explore the emergence and evolution of medical expertise from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century, in various European contexts: France, Spain, Italy and England.

Contact Person: Katherine Smith Administrator/Outreach Officer

Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease Wolfson Research Institute Durham University Queen’s Campus University Boulevard Thornaby Stockton on Tees TS17 6BH Tel: + 44 (0)191 3340700 Email: [email protected]