University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

History of Science and Technology/Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science Colloquium

Friday, October 16th 2009
Speaker: Joost Vijselaar, Department of History and Art History, Utrecht University
Subject: Psyche and Electricity
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics at 3:15 p.m.

The interaction of psychiatry with culture and society at large, as well as with the sciences and technology make a fascinating subject matter for the historian. Ever since electricity became a object of science during the eighteenth century there has been speculation about the role of electricity in the nervous system and the use of electricity for therapeutic purposes in psychiatry. From this perspective I will address three topics: madness and electricity in the 18th century; the importance of electrophysiology and electrotherapy in establishing biological psychiatry and neurology in 19th century Germany and the debate on electroconvulsive therapy during the last decades of the 20th century.

Cosponsored by The Bakken Museum

The weekly calendar is also available via subscription to the physics-announce mailing list, and by RSS feed.