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Current news from the institute

The "News" page is not continuously updated in English. You can find all the latest news here.

30.06.2023 | Promotion Award of the Fachverband Medizingeschichte e.V. to Ketil Slagstad

The Fachverband Medizingeschichte e.V. awards the Förderpreis Medizingeschichte to Ketil Slagstad during this year's general meeting for his publication in the journal "Isis": Bureaucratizing Medicine: Creating a Gender Identity Clinic in the Welfare State.

SoSe23 | Lecture Series "Charité Must Stay": Upheaval and Transformation of an Institution, 1989-1992

Lecture series with scientific lectures, conversations with contemporary witnesses and on-site explorations: the program

Summer semester 2023, June 1 - July 6, 2023, Thursdays 6:15 - 7:45 p.m.

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Carl Westphal Lecture Hall, Bonhoefferweg 3.

Organization: Institute for the History of Medicine and Ethics in Medicine, Berlin Museum of Medical History and GeDenkOrt.Charité.

Contact: Birgit Nemec

17.06.2023 | Long Night of the Sciences: "Charité History: How to Research History?"

Our institute participates in this year's Long Night of the Sciences with the theme "Charité History: How to research history?".

We present special features from the Library & Collection Medical Humanities, show e.g. historical manuscripts, documents and photographs and demonstrate how to work with them.
Accompanying the event will be a poster exhibition on the history of the institute, the library and the collection, and we will provide a first glimpse into the Charité Medical History Collection Portal, which we are building together with the Berlin Museum of Medical History.

Info about the official program

Location: Campus in Mitte, CharitéCrossOver (CCO, Virchowweg 6) in room 03.003

Date: 06/17/2023 from 5:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

09.06.2023 | Tatjana Buklijas: “The fetus and the lamb: The many histories of the Auckland antenatal steroid clinical trial”

You are cordially invited to join us to the next session of the Health Beyond Medicine Colloquium, jointly organized by Dora Vargha (HU Berlin),  Lara Keuck (MPIWG), and Birgit Nemec (Charité). The colloquium brings into conversation our three research groups, and, more generally, histories of global public health, biomedical sciences, and patient and health activism. It is open to all interested! 

On Friday, June 9, 11-12.30, Tatjana Buklijas will present her work on “The fetus and the lamb".

This time, the colloquium takes place at the Charité Institut für Geschichte der Medizin und Ethik in der Medizin conference room (Thielallee 71). 
You can join in person or virtually:

Thema: Health Beyond Medicine: Buklijas (Charité)

Dr Tatjana Buklijas, Waipapa Taumata Rau/University of Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand
(co-authored with Branka Bogdan, University of Auckland, and Charlotte Greenhalgh, University of Waikato)

We look very much forward to Tatjana Buklijas' talk, and to continuing our discussion on writing histories of health beyond medicine! 


Between 1969 and 1974, Auckland’s National Women’s Hospital was home to a ground-breaking clinical trial that tested and proved the effectiveness of corticosteroids given to pregnant women at risk of premature birth. The corticosteroids were meant to help develop the lungs of premature infants and so increase the chance of survival. The research built on animal data collected in the 1960s experimental work on the onset of birth in sheep, which united a longstanding agricultural interest in animal growth and reproduction in the former settler colony of New Zealand with the burgeoning field of antenatal care.
The trial attracted huge international attention as a rare effective treatment for prematurity. However, it also became a subject of heated and long international debate over the effectiveness and long-term consequences of corticosteroid use during pregnancy. Primary sources on multiple replicating trials worldwide and the follow-up studies of infants provide insight into the changing nature of clinical research, regulation of risk, and emerging forms of evidence-collecting and consensus-making in medicine internationally. Back in New Zealand, the infant participants of the original trial have been followed across their lives first by the original investigators and their collaborators and then by the new generations of clinical research. Using interviews, we probed into the interpretations of the trial by diverse participants. While for the scientists the trial came to be seen as the shining light in the history of New Zealand science, for the participants its memory took on different, more intimate meanings.

08.06.2023 | Lecture by Sandra Bärnreuther (Zurich): Substantial Relations examines global reproductive medicine in India, focusing on in vitro fertilization

A joint event of the research group "Risky Hormones" (Charité / Strathclyde) and the research group "The Waste of the Body" (MPIWG)

Since the 1970s, India has played a central but shifting role in shaping global reproductive medicine—from a provider of raw material, to a producer of knowledge and technology, to a creator of a thriving medical market that attracts patients from all over the world. Relying on archival material and oral history, Substantial Relations traces the path of this transnational historical trajectory. This book also examines the contemporary making of IVF in Delhi. Drawing on ethnographic research in homes, hospitals, and laboratories, Sandra Bärnreuther provides deep insights into the intricacies of clinical life and everyday experience by depicting IVF users' quest for offspring and their fears of establishing unwanted ties, as well as the minute engagements of clinicians and laboratory staff with reproductive substances.
Thinking through substances—metaphorically and materially—Sandra Bärnreuther provides a novel and rich analysis of the various relations that the burgeoning IVF sector in India has relied on and generated. Substantial Relations contributes to a broader understanding of reproductive medicine as a global phenomenon constantly in the making, situating India in the midst of, rather than peripheral to, this process.

Thursday, June 8, 11-13.00, Seminar Room Institute for History of Medicine and Ethics in Medicine, Thielallee 71
We look forward to Sandra Bärenreuther's lecture and subsequent discussions. Please register briefly at birgit.nemec(at)

Anja Suter, Tamar Novick, Birgit Nemec

25.-26.05.2023 | the Institute at the Medical Humanities PG-ECR Workshop

Susanne Michl, Axel Hüntelmann, Annett Wienmeister, Amelie Kolandt, Henriette Voelker and Natalie Ceyhanli represented the Institute at the Medical Humanities PG-ECR Workshop at the University of Oxford with contributions from medical ethics and medical history.

King's College London and The Center for British Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin were also involved in the interdisciplinary workshop

SoSe23 | Lecture Series "Charité Must Stay": Upheaval and Transformation of an Institution, 1989-1992

Lecture series with scientific lectures, conversations with contemporary witnesses and on-site explorations: the program

Summer semester 2023, June 1 - July 6, 2023, Thursdays 6:15 - 7:45 p.m.

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Carl Westphal Lecture Hall, Bonhoefferweg 3.

Organization: Institute for the History of Medicine and Ethics in Medicine, Berlin Museum of Medical History and GeDenkOrt.Charité.

Contact: Birgit Nemec

09.05.2023 | Kick-off of the "Research and Teaching Colloquium

Our new format "Colloquium Research and Teaching" will start on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, with a presentation by Annett Wienmeister on "Genome Editing on Humans? The Ethics Learning Platform".

Time: 10:00 - 11:00, every second Tuesday during the lecture period.

Place: Seminar room of the institute

Further information and dates

SoSe23 | Colloquium on the History of Medicine: "Health Beyond Medicine"

Coordinated by Dora Vargha (HU), Lara Keuck (MPIWG), and Birgit Nemec (IGMEM).
Participation is open to all. Registration information at


04.05.|10.05.2023 | Events for the Institute of Sexual Science on the occasion of the anniversary of the book burning in 1933

04.05.2023: The looting of Magnus Hirschfeld's "Institute for Sexual Science": lecture by Rainer Herrn, Selma Stern Lecture Series at Mendelssohn-Remise, Jägerstr. 51, 10117 Berlin, 6-8 p.m.

10.05.2023: Book presentation and conversation between Rainer Herrn and journalist Magdalena PulzThe event is part of the program accompanying the exhibition TO BE SEEN. queer lives 1900-1950.
NS Documentation Center Munich, May 10, 2023, 7 p.m.

27.04.2023 | "Oral History of Knowledge" Workshop

In cooperation with the Max Planck Institute, the workshop on "Oral History of Knowlegde" will be held, organized by Birgit Nemec and Tamar Novick.

Date: April 27, 2023, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Location: Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), Room 215

To the program

12-15.04.2023 | Contributions to the European Social Science History Conference, Gothenburg

Volker Hess, Alexa Geisthövel, and Laura Hottenrott participated in the European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC) in Gothenburg, Sweden, as members of the ERC-funded project "Taming the European Leviathan: The Legacy of Post-War Medicine and the Common Good." They were involved in organizing two panels on "Family, Childhood and Care. Changing Concepts of Normality and Deviance" and "Therapy Crossing Borders." Other members of the international research project were also represented at the conference.

New publications on diabetes and AIDS

Oliver Falk's "Diabetes. Eine Wissensgeschichte der modernen Medizin 1900-1960" (Diabetes: A History of Knowledge of Modern Medicine 1900-1960), a fundamental study of the self-medicating patient and the emergence of a new type of patient: Before the introduction of insulin in diabetes therapy, the practice of interaction between physicians and patients formed the basis for both therapeutic action and scientific knowledge.
(312 p., Wallstein Verlag, ISBN 978-3-8353-5347-3)

In "Visualizing BDSM and AIDS Activism: Archiving Pleasures, Sanitizing History" Ketil Slagstad analyzes the connections between AIDS (activism) and the fetish scene in the first 20 years after the beginning of the AIDS crisis in Norway.

Award of PhD degree to Ketil Slagstad

Ketil Slagstad, who has been a research associate at our institute since 2022, received his PhD degree on March 16 in the auditorium of the University of Oslo . The ceremony was presided over by Rector Svein Stølen. Slagstad defended his dissertation entitled "On the Boundaries of Care: The Ephemerality of Transgender Medicine in the Welfare State, Scandinavia 1951-2001" on October 25, 2022.

8-10.6.2023 | Anniversary Conference: 40 Years of the Working Group for the Study of National Socialist "Euthanasia" and Forced Sterilization

The Working Group cordially invites you to its spring conference under the guiding theme "Medical Science under National Socialism and the Culture of Remembrance".

The conference is hosted by the Förderkreis Gedenkort T4 e.V. and the GeDenkOrt.Charité and supported by the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband Landesverband Berlin e.V. and the Bundesvereinigung Lebenshilfe e.V..

Registration: until 30.04.2023 via the event platform Eveeno.
The participation fee is 50.00 euros.

Contact for inquiries about registration: anmeldung(at)

Magnus Hirschfeld and his concept of sexual diversity | Interview with Dr. Rainer Herrn

"Gender is not in the body, but in the soul".
Matthias Schirmer of Inforadio talks with Rainer Herrn the Berlin doctor and sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, who invented the concept of the "third sex" more than 100 years ago.

"To Love and Suffering. The Institute for Sexual Science 1919-1933" by Rainer Herrn.

11.1.2023 | Event on "Risk Communication in GDR and FRG" (10:30-15:30)

As part of the Risky Hormones ( Seminar Series, a workshop on "Risk Communication in GDR and FRG" will be held on Jan. 11, 2023 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., including a presentation by Laura Hottenrott (Charité) on her project Socialist Testing Grounds: Sex Hormones 1949-1989, subproject of the research group: Taming the Europea Leviathan: The Legacy of Post-War Medicine and the Common Good.

Location: Institute for the History of Medicine and Ethics in Medicine, Thielallee 71, 14195 Berlin, and online.

Registration for participation in presence or online: sophia.wagemann(at)

12.1.2023 | Lecture "Local Struggles, Transnational Bonds: The Indian Women’s Health Movement and its Campaigns against High-Dose EP Drugs and Long-Acting Contraceptives" von Anja Suter

Anja Suter will present her work “Local Struggles, Transnational Bonds: The Indian Women’s Health Movement and its Campaigns against High Dose EP-Drugs and Long-acting Contraceptives (1980-1995)“ (12.1.2023,11:00–12:30)
This time, the colloquium "Health Beyond Medicine" takes place at the Charité History of Medicine and Ethics in Medicine Department seminar room (Thielallee 71).
You can join virtually or in person (and have lunch with us). Please register with Birgitta von Mallinckrodt at officekeuck(at) if you like to receive the zoom link. It is open to all interested!

25.1.2023 | The queer victims of the Nazi era - a difficult commemoration?

Dr. Andrea Genest (director of the Ravensbrück Memorial), Dr. Lutz van Dijk (historian, initiator of the petition to commemorate queer victims of the Nazi era in the German Bundestag) and Dr. Rainer Herrn from our institute will participate in the panel discussion.

The event, jointly organized by Helle Panke e.V., the Bildungswerk Berlin of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the August Bebel Institute and the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism in cooperation with the SchwuZ Queer Club, will be moderated by Prof. Dr. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (Director of the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism).

25.1.2023, 18:30, SchwuZ Queer Club, Rollbergstraße 26, 12053 Berlin

Sustained media coverage for Rainer Herrn's study on Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexual Science

Since its publication in June 2022, Rainer Herrn's comprehensive study "Der Liebe und dem Leid. Das Institut für Sexualwissenschaft 1919-1933" has attracted a lot of attention: numerous reviews and interviews with Rainer Herrn have appeared since then, and in August the title reached #2 on the non-fiction bestseller list - a remarkable success!

Here is a selection of press reviews:

Deutschlandfunk Kultur | Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung | Der Freitag | Radio eins | the little queer review | Neues Deutschland | SWR 2 | RBB Kultur | WDR5 | taz | Das Parlament | h-soz-kult | pro familia magazin | Marxistische Blätter | Mitteilungen der Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft

Call for papers: Socialist Governmentality? Health care, technologies of the self and subjectification in European state socialism, 1945- 1990 (9/2023)

The aim of the proposed workshop: To take a closer look at governmentality, not from the perspective of policy makers or the power
apparatus, but by using the example of healthcare in post-1945 Socialist Europe.

The workshop will be held in Berlin on September 13-14, 2023. We plan this to be a fairly small group of people to make the discussions as open and lively as possible. is organized by Dr. Alexa Geisthövel and Laura Hottenrott (both ERC Leviathan) and Prof. Dr. Viola Balz (FOR “normal#verrückt”).

Contact: alexandra.geisthoevel(at)charite.delaura.hottenrott(at)charite.deviola.balz(at)charite.devolker.hess(at)

Further informations ...