Museums, Medicine & Society is an international research consortium focused on cultural projects for health and wellbeing, founded in 2013 and based at the University of Amsterdam. Individual and institutional members are drawn from the arts, sciences, academia, museums and other cultural institutions in Denmark, The Netherlands, Poland, the UK, and the USA. Participants are interested in innovative approaches to the history of medicine, the communication of contemporary science, and the use of arts and culture to promote health. Projects bridge theory and practice and include research and evaluation studies, exhibitions and installations, media products, and public events.
Founder and Director: Dr. Manon Parry, University of Amsterdam
Dr. Parry is an historian of medicine and former exhibition curator at the National Library of Medicine in the USA, and serves as an International Consulting Editor for the US journal The Public Historian, and as a Managing Editor of the UK journal Museum & Society. She has curated exhibitions on a wide range of topics, including global health and human rights, disability in the American Civil War, and medicinal and recreational drug use, with budgets ranging from $14,500 to $3 million, and her traveling exhibitions have visited more than 300 venues across in Argentina, Canada, Germany, Guam, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Dr. Parry is the founder of an international consortium of academic researchers, museum/cultural workers, and science and health communication professionals, collaborating on projects to innovate and evaluate the uses of culture to advance health. The consortium, Museums, Medicine & Society, includes partners in the UK, USA, Denmark, Poland, and The Netherlands. Dr. Parry is also a member of the UK-based National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, and with that organization’s chair, Dr. Helen Chatterjee, is developing plans for an international network on culture and health.
Project Coordinator: Hugo Schalkwijk
Hugo Schalkwijk is a public historian specializing in the contemporary history of medicine and health, and in the use of oral history. His previous projects include the history of palliative medicine in the Netherlands for ZonMw and an oral history project on the Dutch AIDS Memorial Quilt for the Amsterdam Museum. He is currently researching new strategies in collecting and exhibiting the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Netherlands, for the University of Amsterdam.
Project Researcher: William Myers
William Myers is a curator and writer who explores the intersections between design, art, and the life sciences. His books Biodesign (2012) and Bioart (2015) profile new approaches to collaboration across disciplines and have served as the basis for several exhibitions, courses, and public presentations he has organized worldwide. He currently serves as jury chairman for the Bio Art and Design Awards in the Netherlands and he previously worked for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, and The New Institute in Rotterdam. William also mentors masters students at the Design Academy in Eindhoven and lectures at universities and events. His work has been profiled in the journal Science, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Volkskrant, and Folha de São Paulo, among others.
Museum Boerhaave, The Netherlands
Museum of the Mind, The Netherlands
Medical Museion, Denmark
Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians, USA
Special Collections, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Szkola Wyzsza Psychologii Spolecznej (University of Social Sciences and Humanities, SWPS), Poland
Museum Vrolik, The Netherlands
UCL Health Humanities Center, United Kingdom
University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Waag Society, The Netherlands