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The role of women in the development of modern anatomy

Final Activity Report Summary - WOMEN AND MEDICINE (The Role of Women in the Development of Modern Anatomy)

This research has focused on the parallel lives of the eighteenth-century anatomical modellers Marie Marguerite Bihéron and Anna Morandi Manzolini. In particular, it has reconstructed the circumstances that made it possible for these women to gain anatomical authority and become famous medical practitioners. Research on manuscript and printed sources has revealed that while the work of both Bihéron and Morandi benefited from the special interest in anatomical collections manifested by eighteenth-century European audiences and influential patrons, their anatomical careers developed also thanks to the development of new trans-national networks of social, intellectual and commercial exchange.

By considering the historical processes underpinning Bihéron and Morandi's access to the world of anatomical knowledge, this research enriches our understanding of the role of gender in the history of medicine. It also sheds new light on the identities and spaces of medical practice and the diversified world of medical practitioners that characterised the medical past.