The Interdepartmental Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Padua (CISM) was founded in 2014 with the aim of promoting medico-historical studies focusing on the place the Padua Medical School has occupied in Europe through its history.
The history of medicine today is a multifaceted discipline requiring an interdisciplinary approach. Both the far and the near past of medicine can be investigated through a variety of sources, such as human remains, instruments, ceramics, statues, buildings, archival materials, published texts and scientific publications. To scrutinise and utilise them implies the combined efforts of different specialists, such as historians, philologists, philosophers, anthropologists, biologists, and physicians. The principal aim of CISM is to collect, through the different Departments of the University of Padua, the competences for establishing and developing an interdisciplinary approach to medico-historical studies. Naturally, this enterprise will not remain confined to Padua, rather, it has an inherently international vocation. History of the Padua Medical school, from its origins to present, should be written as a global history of science and medicine. Decisive to this goal it is increasing its collaboration with renown international institutions both in Europe and overseas.
The Centre is a lively scholarly place, boasting high-profile congresses, seminars and publications on medical history. Since its foundation, the CISM has held some national and international congresses. In 2015, it hosted an “International Meeting of the History of Medicine” to celebrate 500 years from the birth of Andreas Vesalius (1514-2014) and the International conference on Alzheimer 100. In 2017, it hosted the International Conference “Scientiae” (, based on an international research group at the nexus of Renaissance/early-modern studies and history/philosophy of science. In 2018, it promoted the International Congress “Vegetative Powers. Endowing Bodily Life from Late Antiquity to the Early-Modern Period”.
Presently, the Centre is fostering research projects while planning ahead of the 2022 events, when the University of Padua is expected to celebrating 800 years since its foundation (1222-2022). Early in 2020 a public exhibition and an international conference will be held to honour Gerolamo Fabrici d’Acquapendente who has taught anatomy in Padua.