Staff profile

Thomas Söderqvist

Director emeritus, professor emeritus

ths@sund.ku.dk // +45 28 75 38 01

I stepped down as director of Medical Museion in 2015, and as professor by October 1, 2016. Now I am emeritus professor.

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 (1999-2015)

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 was able to hire a growing number of PhD-students, postdocs/assistant professors and curators. Today 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 (1965-1999)

My undergraduate academic training at the University of Stockholm in zoology, chemistry and paleontology was followed by postgraduate work in philosophy of science and history of science at the University of Umeå and the University of Gothenburg. I earned my PhD in 'theory of science' (Swedish 'vetenskapsteori') from the University of Gothenburg in 1986.

I got my first job as lecturer at the University of Roskilde, and taught history and philosophy of biology and science studies for more than 25 years. In the late 1990s I had a 5-year research professorship in science studies.

Publications

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.

Social media output

In 2005, I started a blog called Biomedicine on Display to encourage discussions about medical museology, and over the last ten years I have written more than 1000 blogposts; in 2011 the blog was merged with Medical Museion's website (www.museion.ku.dk).

I have also spent much time and energy to contribute to the international museological discussion by writing  >5000 tweets under the name of @museionist.

More ...

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

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My recent posts in English ↓