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Socialist Testing Grounds: Sexualhormones 1949 -1989

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Question and aim of the project

Based on the assumption that drug research did not form a hermetic knowledge space even in divided Europe, sex hormones are particularly suitable for examining (1) the history of entanglement (CMEA, East-West), (2) the influence of body politics on research and therapy, and (3) the liminality of medication between "therapy" and "enhancement".

From the perspective of drug regulation, clinical research on sex hormones in the CMEA states is examined in order to analyse and compare negotiation processes between the various actors in the pharmaceutical industry, science, clinics, state administration, the judiciary and the public ("balance of power"). Based on current and ongoing studies, the sub-project follows the path of selected hormone preparations (sex hormones) in the GDR and Hungary.

Project Info

Taming the European Leviathan: The Legacy of Post-War Medicine and the Common Good

Collaborative project:

Research associate: Laura Hottenrott

Funding: ERC-Synergy Grant LEVIATHAN (Action number 854503)

Committed funding amount: 9.994.934 EUR

Duration: 10/2020 - 9/2026

Corresponding principal investigator: Volker Hess


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Volker Hess

Head of Institute for the History of Medicine and Ethics in Medicine