You are here:
Oliver Falk has been working as a research associate at the Medical History Institute of the Charité again since 2021. He is currently a member of the DFG research group „Normal#Verrückt. Zeitgeschichte einer erodierenden Differenz“ ("Normal#Crazy. Contemporary History of an Eroding Difference"), in the framework of which he is leading the subproject „Berlin auf Droge. Heroinkonsum in der Mauerstadt zwischen Psychiatriereform und AIDS-Phobie in den 1970er- und 1980er-Jahren“ ("Berlin auf Droge. Heroin Use in the Wall City between Psychiatric Reform and AIDS-Phobia in the 1970s and 1980s.") Oliver Falk's previous research has focused on the history of diabetes therapy in the early 20th century, the epistemological effects of everyday therapeutic action, and the role of patients in the creation of medical knowledge.
Current research project
In his current research project, "Berlin auf Droge" (Berlin on Drugs), he aims to identify and analyze those phenomena that determined society's view of the heroin problem and its treatment of heroin users in the 1970s and 1980s. In doing so, it will be taken into account that substance-related addiction cannot be understood solely as a pathophysiological fact, but that beyond that, definitional processes and interest-driven politics create and determine legal, social and also medical fields of tension. In this context, the "psychiatry inquiry" and the developments within psychiatry and in society as a whole associated with the emergence of HIV/AIDS are to be included in the analysis as significant influencing factors, since both phenomena, according to the thesis, contributed substantially to an "eroding difference between crazy and normal".
- Patient history of the 20th century
- Epistemology of medical practices and self-treatment routines of patients
- History and sociology of out-of-hospital disease and therapy management
- History of chronic diseases (especially diabetes) and their epidemiology
- History of drugs
- Contemporary history of psychiatry
Falk. O.: Diabetes. Eine Wissensgeschichte der modernen Medizin, 1900 – 1960. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2023. (In print).
Falk. O.: “Typewriting Medicine” - Bürotechnologische Innovationen und klinische Verwaltung am Beispiel der Charité Berlin, 1890-1932. In: Administory. Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsgeschichte 6, 1 (2022), S. 111-130.
Hüntelmann, Axel C.; Falk, O.: Accounting for Health. Introduction. In: Dies. (Hrsg.): Accounting for Health. Calculation, paperwork and medicine, 1500-2000. (Manchester University Press) 2021.
Vita Dr. Oliver Falk
Oliver Falk holds a PhD in history and, after studying history and political science at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, worked as a PhD student and research assistant in the ERC research project Wege des ärztlichen Wissens: How Physicians Know between 2013 and 2017.
Between September 2017 and December 2020 followed an appointment as research assistant at the Chair of History of Medicine, Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Zurich.
In January 2021, completion of his dissertation " 'Explorers of uncharted seas' – Ärzte, Patienten und medizinisches Wissen am Beispiel der Diabetestherapie 1900-1960 " with summa cum laude.
Between January 2021 and September 2021, collaboration in the research project "Arzneimittelprüfungen" ("Drug Trials") of the preparations Decentan® and Encephabol® distributed by Merck in the 1950s to 1970s.
He is currently a member of the DFG research group „Normal#Verrückt. Zeitgeschichte einer erodierenden Differenz“ ("Normal#Crazy. Contemporary History of an Eroding Difference"), in the framework of which he is leading the sub-project „Berlin auf Droge. Heroinkonsum in der Mauerstadt zwischen Psychiatriereform und AIDS-Phobie in den 1970er- und 1980er-Jahren“ ("Berlin on Drugs. Heroin Use in the Wall City between Psychiatric Reform and AIDS-Phobia in the 1970s and 1980s").