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As a historian of medicine and health I am particularly interested in the knowledge of and about both professional and lay users of drugs and medicines. My research focuses on drug regulation, risk management and transnational circulation of knowledge. Since September 2017 I am part of the social sciences research unit "Sociétés, Acteurs, Gouvernement en Europe" and the Department for the History of Health and the Life Sciences (DHVS) at the University of Strasbourg, France.
September 2018 - present
- Academic (Dozent/Enseignant)
- Master Programme "Health, environment, politics" (Sciences Po Strasbourg/University of Strasbourg Medical School) 2nd year courses: Archival methods; an introduction to STS; Production, circulation and use of knowledge (about drugs)
January 2018 - present
September 2017 - present
- I teach courses in health and environment at the Political Sciences School (IEP de Strasbourg) and medical humanities at the Medical and Pharmacy schools. Research includes ongoing projects on drug adverse effects and the history of opioids.
October 2008 - September 2015
University of Strasbourg & University of Freiburg
Field of study
- Modern and Contemporary History
«Auf die Trage, ab ins Auto und dann so schnell wie möglich in die Klinik» - so hieß die Devise der Sanitäter vor fünfzig Jahren in der Bundesrepublik. Eine medizinische Versorgung am Unfallort war nicht üblich. Dieses Vorgehen geriet im Laufe der sechziger Jahre in die Kritik. Auf Druck von Ärzten, Interessengruppen und Medien kam ein Reformprozes...
Full text accessible here: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/NQgzGrZxj7qqmu5BkcJJ/full Although now forgotten, Swiss drug manufacturer CIBA’s ‘Doriden’ was well-known in the 1950s as one of the first barbiturate-free hypnotics. Its active principle was chemically related to the Thalidomide molecule, which proved to cause malformations in thousands...
Book review: Amandine Oullion, « Soraya Boudia et Emmanuel Henry (dir.), La mondialisation des risques », Lectures [En ligne], Les comptes rendus, 2015, mis en ligne le 07 décembre 2015, consulté le 13 janvier 2016. URL : http://lectures.revues.org/19641
in : Anthropologie et santé. Revue internationale francophone d'anthropologie de la santé, 19/2019 https://journals.openedition.org/anthropologiesante/5335
Nouvelle édition de 2021 https://www.lesbelleslettres.com/livre/4519-medecine-sante-et-sciences-humaines
Disciplining the Medical Prescriber (Germany, Late Nineteenth–Late Twentieth Century) At the heart of this article lies the material manifestation of the medical prescription. In Germany, the prescription takes the form of an electronically readable and traceable document. By examining its somewhat non-linear evolution over the course of the last c...
This article looks at the emergence of consensus on the introduction of viral genomic testing (VGT or nucleic acid-based test - NAT) in two countries, Germany and Brazil. The introduction of VGD in the late 1990s in Europe and a decade later in Brazil is thus part of a series of transnational processes: an identified viral threat, the availability...
This paper traces back the history of a leading. provider of pharmaceutical market data, IMS Health (today IQVIA). By analysing the methodology and the impact of pharmaceutical market research in West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, I argue that market research in pharmaceutical companies has changed the industry's from the inside and has contribut...
A short piece on thalidomide and why it is essential to differentiate forms of ignorance rather than simply considering thalidomide as a "tragedy" or a disaster caused by a lack of knowledge. Particularly, Klaus Ruthenberg and Nils Kessel point at the difference between epistemic ignorance about drug effects on the one hand, and intentional ignoran...
Programme of the international conference "Standard Exchanges. An International Workshop on Standardisation in the History of Health and Medicine", held in Strasbourg in 2012. It was organized by Tricia Close-Koenig and Nils Kessel with the generous support of the ESF Research Network Programme "DRUGS".
This chapter questions the fundamental idea of innovation as a driving force of pharmaceutical markets in the historiography of drugs. Providing quantitative and qualitative historical evidence from mid-twentieth Century West Germany I suggest that there is a double misunderstanding in narratives of pharmaceutical innovation. First those narratives...
Die Dissertation untersucht Arzneimittelkonsum in der Bundesrepublik im Zeitraum von circa 1950 bis in die 1980er Jahre. Die zentrale Frage lautet: Unter welchen historischen Bedingungen wurde Arzneimittelgebrauch zu einem Wissensobjekt, das es zu erforschen und beschreiben, und schließlich zu kontrollieren galt? Methodisch stützt sich die Arbeit e...
The chapter analyzes the historical narrative of "pioneers" in emergency medicine with regard to its use in debates about the organization of the German emergency medical service. By crediting selected medical specialists in universities as "pioneers" of a physician-oriented emergency medical service (Notarztmodell), medical authors have fought wit...
Using the "Stalinon" drug disaster in early 1950s France as an example, this chapter uses tools developed by political sociology to analyze the relationship between medical communities, public opinion and the mass media. We argue that historical analyses of "scandals" and "affairs" provides a better understanding for contemporary practitioners and...
When in 1971 West Germany's Ministry of Health was informed about potential severe side effects of anorectic drugs containing phentermine, government officials were alarmed. Readers of this chapter will rediscover a forgotten history of anorectic drug scandals that perfectly shows the difficulties of contemporary drug regulation to intervene on lib...
The article focuses on the "Scientific Advisory Committee for Drug Safety" of the Federal Ministry of Health. Highlighting the role this committee played in West Germany's policy on medicinal drugs, it shows how drug regulation during this period shifted from expert committees to a larger public consisting of media, pressure groups of alternative m...
Taking a german professor of pharmacology, Wolfgang Heubner (1877-1957), as an example, the paper shows how hagiographic traditions were used to construct a scientific ideal in Post-War Germany. This ideal tended to (re-)legitimate German Science after World War II and to justify institutional and personal continuities in the 1950s, but I argue tha...
Bei der Bergung verletzt, auf dem Transport moribund, bei Klinikeinweisung tot" - Unfallrettung und ärztlicher Einsatz in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1950-1970 ["Injured during the rescue, moribund during transport, dead at hospital admission" - Accident and medical emergency utilization in the Federal Republic of Germany 1950-1970]
This research aim is to provide both quantitative and qualitative knowledge about drug consumption and prescription practices in Postwar Western Europe. It is partly based on my Ph.D. thesis "Side Effects of Consumer Society? A History of Drug Use in West Germany, 1950-1990", which I defended in September 2015 and currently includes new research on the WHO drug use studies network as well as on opioid prescription patterns among elderly people in 1970's West Germany.
This project studies several initiatives from scientists, WHO officials, regulators or citizens. Combining STS and cultural history approaches I describe various - and sometimes strongly diverging - conceptions of side effects as well as the initiatives' scientific and political strategies, which were used for achieving the goal of "better drug safety".