Thomas Söderqvist – Founding Director emeritus, professor

I stepped down as director of Medical Museion in 2015. I am still professor in the history of medicine, but will go on retirement by October 1st, 2016.

Current interests

My current reserch interest is quite different from anything I have done before. I am now working on a project called ‘The Ageing Professor”. In short, I’m using my own career as a case to better understand the ageing academic. Read more on my independent website www.canities.dk, or follow frequent postings on my Facebok profile, and my twitter account @AgeingProfessor.

My 15+ years as Director

I came to the University of Copenhagen as professor in history of medicine in 1999. Asked to take the responsibility of the university’s medical collections, I worked out the concept for a new kind of museum institution, which emphasised the integration of research, experimental exhibition making, and curatorship. In 2004 the project officially got its current name, Medical Museion.

As the first (founding) director of Medical Museion, I was responsible for everything: research and teaching, exhibitions, events, acquisitions, web outreach, etc. (but not conservation :-)).

Thanks to generous grants from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, I  able to hire a growing number of PhD-students, postdocs/assistant professors and curators, and now when I’m leaving the museum has around 15 members of staff.

I have also had the pleasure to produce and curate several exhibitions and art installations, including Primary Substances, Healthy Ageing, An Ageing World, and Genomic Enlightenment.

My earlier career

My undergraduate academic background training was in zoology, chemistry and paleontology, followed by postgraduate work in political sociology, philosophy of science and history of science. I earned my PhD in ‘theory of science’ (Swedish ‘vetenskapsteori’) from the University of Gothenburg in 1986.’

I started my academic career as a lecturer at the University of Roskilde, where I taught history and philosophy of biology and science studies. In the mid-1990s I began teaching history and philosophy of science in general and had a 5-year research professorship in science studies.

I have a long track record of academic publications in history of 20th century ecology, history of 20th century immunology, historiography of contemporary science, biographical methodology, research ethics (virtue ethics) and science museology, and have also produced a fairly large number of popular writings. Most of my publications after 2005 are also listed in the University of Copenhagen publication database.

For details about my academic career, see this short autobiography, or read this biographical interview, or check out my curriculum vitae.

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