18/10-11 13:13

Blood, phlegm and bile at Medical Museion

Medical Museion auditorium
Photo: Anine Dedekam Moldskred
In the auditorium which used to be used for autopsies
Would you think of your body in the same way if you lived in the 19th century? According to the Medical Museion, the answer is No.

In the 19th century, humans understood the body as a system in balance between liquids. Blood, phlegm, yellow and black bile. Treating patients could be quite dramatic, removing and adding one of these liquids.

We are at the Balance and Metabolism exhibition, in the 224-year-old museum building of the Medical Museion. It is about the old idea of the chemical body and what constitutes a healthy body, historically, and in the present day.

Today, the body is seen as a complex chemical system. Sickness is seen as a result of chemical reactions. Doctors seek to control these reactions with medications

The past is not only the past

As Assistant Professor at the Medical Museion, Adam Bencard, explains it:

»Medical science is an old idea going back hundreds of years even before Christ. And it still plays a big part in our lifestyle and the way our society is constructed«.

»With this exhibition we want to use material from history to show the changing process of comprehending the body, and to show how our bodies really work. We want to connect science and history in the past, present and future,« he adds.

Genomic chips from Beijing

The museum has one of the largest collections of medical historical material in Europe. This material can be used to understand health and disease from the perspective of a certain point in history. The museum building is full of history. It is everywhere.

Built in 1787, the auditorium (in the picture above) was the scene of autopsies until 1943. According to the Director of the Medical Museion, Thomas Söderqvist, the black plate on the table in front of him has even had several different body parts on them - for autopsy!

In the entrance hall, is an installation. It is part of a cutting-edge research project on genomic chips, coming all the way from Beijing.

Both the installation and the exhibition are meant to give medical science a new look, involving artists, design, and other parts of academia and culture.

Check out our previous gallery:
'Medical Museion has some weiiiirrd stuff' here.


Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.
The story of a old Greenland shark has gone round the world. PhD student at UCPH Julius Nielsen talks about the challenge of getting the media to understand the
Campus 22/8-16 10:53

All alone with anorexia

Mette hansen UP
Anorexic philosophy student shares her personal stigma. Looking back at her bachelor she says: People like us need a platform to speak from
Education 18/8-16 11:32

Copenhagen students work the hardest

jobs in Copenhagen
59 per cent of young people in the Danish capital region work part time jobs while studying. Good job opportunities and high living expenses, says an expert
Politics 15/8-16 9:54

More scientists forced into silence

Frue Plads frog perspective
Researchers are increasingly being forced to sign government non-disclosure agreements. But many of the contracts are illegal

Contact University Post

Write us an email: universitypost@adm.ku.dk

Or call the newsroom on +45 35 32 28 98
(Monday - Thursday 9.00 - 16.00)

University of Copenhagen

  • Nørregade 10
  • 1165 Copenhagen K
  • Denmark
  • Tel. +45 35 32 28 98
Write us an email: universitypost@adm.ku.dk