Thomas Schlich

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In 1883 the Swiss surgeon and later Nobel laureate Theodor Kocher (1841-1917) made a journey to the Valais and Bernese Oberland. The purpose of the expedition was to see cases of cretinism which occurred in this area. Earlier in the same year Kocher had noticed that he had inadvertently created "artificial cretins" by total ablation of the thyroid gland.(More)
This paper examines the origins of aseptic surgery in the German-speaking countries. It interprets asepsis as the outcome of a mutual realignment of surgery and laboratory science. In that process, phenomena of surgical reality were being modelled and simplified in the bacteriological laboratory so that they could be subjected to control by the researcher's(More)
AThis paper looks at the entangled histories of animal-human relationship and modem surgery. It starts with the various different roles animals have in surgery--patients, experimental models and organ providers--and analyses where these seemingly contradictory positions of animals come from historically. The analyses is based on the assumption that both the(More)
The Nobel Prize Archive for Physiology or Medicine in Stockholm has recently gained scholarly attention among historians [8, 12, 22], but it has not yet been sufficiently examined by historians of physiology [13]. Studies of Nobel Prize nominations of renowned physiologists and reports by the Nobel Committee can help reconstructing many of the important(More)
Neurosurgery, in particular surgery of the brain, was recognized as one of the most spectacular transgressions of the traditional limits of surgical work. With their audacious, technically demanding, laboratory-based, and highly promising new interventions, prominent neurosurgeons were primary candidates for the Nobel Prize. Accordingly, neurosurgical(More)
Editorial Skills through History Few historians would deny that skills are at the heart of modern medicine. Yet skill can prove troublesome to define. The content of what counts as a medical skill ranges widely across different dimensions of the body and self, as through places, disciplines and phases of history. From the physician's touch in physical(More)
This paper examines how, over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the appreciation of skill in surgery shifted in characteristic ways. Skill is a problematic category in surgery. Its evaluation is embedded into wider cultural expectations and evaluations, which changed over time. The paper examines the discussions about surgical(More)