« All Events

In These Spaces – History of Surgery

Are you curious about science, architecture, artifacts, history or music? Throughout the In These Spaces project, participants will explore a diverse set of subjects using the Morrin Centre’s spaces as a backdrop. Over the course of five live-streamed events, experts will talk about their field of expertise with our host Peter Black.


March 24, 2022
Event Category :
Event Tags:

How Surgery Became Modern: Bodies, Instruments, Practitioners

Where does modern surgery as we know it come from? The answer lies in history. The history of modern surgery can be developed around three themes: first, the changes in the understanding of the body and its diseases; second, the development of surgical techniques, such as hemostatic forceps, anesthesia, or antisepsis; and third, the changing professional status of surgical practitioners from craftsmen to scientifically trained and specialized doctors. These interrelated changes occurred in the past two hundred years and led to the modern, highly technical, and scientific kind of surgery that we are familiar with today.


Guest – Dr. Thomas Schlich

Thomas Schlich, MD, is James McGill Professor in the History of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, where he is Chair of the Department of Social Studies of Medicine. Trained as a physician, his research interests are the history of modern medicine, science, and technology (18th-21st centuries). He has published books on, among other things, the origins of organ transplantation, 1880s-1930s, and the history of operative treatment of broken bones, 1960s-1990s, and has recently edited the Palgrave Handbook of the History of Surgery (2017). He is currently working on a book about the history of modern surgery, 1800-1914, and another book on the history of the medical mask.


Register Here!

Register for the other activities of the project here



This project is made possible thanks to the support of the Government of Canada, Québecor, and the Satir Productions group.