Brown Bag Lecture: The Composition of Life and Health: Elements, Particles, and Atoms in Late Renaissance Physiology

Lunchtime Lectures
Monday, May 1, 2017
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

Join us for a Brown Bag Lecture with Elisabeth Moreau, our 2016–2017 Haas Dissertation Fellow. 

Moreau’s project at the Institute is centered on physiology as the intersection of medicine and matter theory, and explores its relationship with natural philosophy and alchemy between 1570 and 1660. In this presentation she will first examine the ultimate composition of the healthy human body, studied in the physiological part of medicine. Then she will consider the status of medicine and physiology in the historiography of early modern science and, in particular, of the “Scientific Revolution.” Finally, she will argue that the physiological debates on the bodily invisible structure stimulated the emergence of a discrete definition of matter, either atomistic or corpuscular, in the early 17th century.

About the Speaker

Elisabeth Moreau is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium) and a junior researcher in the Center for the History of Philosophy and Science at Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands). Her research interests focus on the medical context of late Renaissance theories of matter, especially the integration of chymical, atomistic, and corpuscular concepts into Galenic physiology.

About the Series

Brown Bag Lectures (BBLs) are a series of (mostly) weekly, informal talks on the history of chemistry or related subjects, including the history and social studies of science, technology, and medicine. Based on original research (sometimes still in progress), these talks are given by local scholars for an audience of the Institute staff and fellows and interested members of the public.