Making Balanced Bodies: From Leeches to Pills


When? Thursday March 22nd 2012, 7.30pm (in Danish) 

Guests? Asst. Prof. Adam Bencard, Professor Bente Klarlund Pedersen, Senior Curator ">Morten Skydsgaard and Professor Helle Johannesen.

Tickets? 50 kr, on sale at Politiken Billet, includes a drink. Sign up for our mailing list here. 


Is your body in balance? Are your brain chemicals stable? Is your lifestyle in harmony?

Throughout history there have been many weird and wonderful ideas about what it means to have a healthy, balanced body – and what doctors can do to treat illness and imbalance. Ancient Greek theories about the four bodily humours led doctors to use leeches, bloodletting, and purging to try to correct the balance of these fluids. Today, more than 400,000 Danes use anti-depressants, and ideas about balancing brain chemicals are all around us. Yet no matter how different they seem, ideas about balance have always been linked to lifestyle, adding a moral flavor to health advice.

In this event at Medical Museion, meet doctors from the past and present, who will examine some famous patients and suggest how to treat them. Encounter the tools of their trade, including some of the intriguing objects from Medical Museion’s new exhibition ‘Balance and Metabolism’, discuss how doctors use medical devices and how patients experience them, and pose your own health questions to the panel… Tickets include a drink.


Adam Bencard, Assistant Professor, Ph.D.
Adam Bencard is assistant professor at Medical Museion and The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on the history and philosophy of the body. He also works with science communication and has curated the exhibition “Balance and Metabolism.”

Bente Klarlund Pedersen, Professor and Director, MD DMSc
Bente Klarlund Pedersen is director of the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism at Rigshospitalet and Copenhagen University. She has written numerous scientific and popular works on health, illness and lifestyle, and is one of the most active public commentators on these issues.

">Morten Skydsgaard, senior curator, MD, Ph.D.
Morten Skydsgaard is senior curator at The Steno Museum, University of Aarhus, where he has curated the exhibition “Kære krop, svære krop – en udstilling om kropskultur.” He has written a number of works on the history of medicine and the body, including the book “Ole Bang og en brydningstid i dansk medicine,” on the life and medical theories of the Danish 19th century physician Ole Bang.

Helle Johannesen, professor, Ph.D.
Helle Johannessen is professor at the Institute for Public Health, University of Southern Denmark. She has done extensive research in humanistic and alternative understandings of the body in a medical perspective. Her latest book, “Alternative treatment – practice and facts,” is being published later this year.

Body | Medicine | Object

Close encounters of the material kind…


Come to a late night consultation at Medical Museion, and get closer than ever before to objects from the unique historical collections, ranging from amputation saws to human specimens. Encounter mysterious objects from cutting edge medical research laboratories, and explore the devices that are changing the way we live with disease and disability. Meet scientists, artists, and philosophers all trying to make sense of the body and how we manage, treat, and change it.

More than a lecture, beyond a tour… Immerse yourself in the stuff of medicine at a new evening event series.