Medical museums around the world are filled with objects from biomedical laboratories and clinics. We are very good at representing the material culture of biomedicine.

But I’ve sometimes wondered how one can visually and materially display the different biomedical professions in a museum context. That is, not the things, and not the individuals, but the social and intellectual culture of biomedical laboratories, offices and clinics — the interaction between scientists, medical doctors, clinical assistants, nurses, admin staff, etc.

Now there will be an opportunity to get ideas abut how this could be done — namely two conferences on “Visual representations of professional cultures / Représentations visuelles de cultures professionnelles”:

Professional communities may be defined by their activities, their work methods, their practices and traditions, their paths and promotions, discourses, values and goals. Since these links exist, and distinguish one professional community from another, it is possible to speak of distinct professional communities.

These conferences will be devoted to the study of the visual representation of professional communities and cultures. We will explore the various interfaces between professional and national cultures, where they intersect or overlap, borrow and/or transpose.

Are professional cultures “adapted” to each national context, “localised”? Do regional “versions” exist? Or can we speak of an “international” professional culture, whatever the professional culture studied? (scientific, economic, financial, etc).

The first conference will be held at Université d’Evry-Val d’Essonne, 17-18 June 2011, and it will be followed by a second conference in June 2012. Proposals for thirty-minute papers in English or French should have been be submitted to the conference organisers — Stephanie Genty () and Gwen Le Cor () — before last Friday (but maybe they will accept abstracts a couple of days after the dead-line?).

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