The Medical Mandarins: The French Academy of Medicine in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth…

Hardcover | March 1, 1981

byGeorge Weisz

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This wide-ranging and imaginative book examines the social and scientific role of the French Academy of Medicine from its creation in 1820 to the outbreak of the Second World War. The first chapters focus on the institution and its activities, including the evaluation of medical innovationsand the cultivation of professional memory through eulogies and institutional art. Weisz argues that the Academy was gradually transformed from a low-status public institution that was central to French medical science in the nineteenth century to an "establishment" institution largely irrelevant tomedical science but playing a key role in public health policy. The second half of the book uses the activities and literary productions of the Academy to explore broader issues of medical history. The Academy's role in the regulation and scientific study of mineral waters illuminates processes ofdiscipline formation in medical science and explores the therapeutic specificity of French medicine. Academic debates are used to investigate the appropriation of new research techniques like animal experimentation and quantification in therapeutic reasoning. Academic eulogies provide a startingpoint for the evolving medical and scientific reputation of Laennec, the inventor of ausculation, Using techniques of prosopography applied to the membership of the Academy, Weisz goes on to analyze the role of the Parisian medical elite in French medicine and its social place within the Frenchbourgeoisie. His concluding chapter examines the emerging self-images of this Parisian elite in academic eulogies.

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This wide-ranging and imaginative book examines the social and scientific role of the French Academy of Medicine from its creation in 1820 to the outbreak of the Second World War. The first chapters focus on the institution and its activities, including the evaluation of medical innovationsand the cultivation of professional memory thr...

George Weisz is at McGill University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 9.57 × 6.3 × 0.94 inPublished:March 1, 1981Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195090373

ISBN - 13:9780195090376

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Table of Contents

PART I: The Academic Institution1. Creating the French Academy of Medicine2. The Academy of Medicine and Its Structures3. Academic Functions and Genres: Communication, Evaluation and Debate4. Academic Function and Genres: Commissions and Prizes5. Representation and Memory in the AcademyPART II: Academic Perspectives on Clinical Science6. Water Cures and Science: The Academy of Medicine and Mineral Waters7. Academic Debate and Therapeutic Reasoning in the Mid-Nineteenth Century8. The Posthumous Laenned: Creating a Modern Medical HeroPART III: Academic Perspectives on the Parisian Medical Elite9. The Self-Made Mandarin: The Eulogies of Etienne Pariset, 1823-184710. Elite Medical Careers in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries11. The Medical Elite in French Society

Editorial Reviews

"Weisz's discursive and thoughtfull exploration makes his book all the more stimulating."--ISIS