Åhrén is a historian of medicine and science whose research focuses on visual and material aspects of anatomical science, including anatomy museums and their relation to medical teaching and scientific study. After earning her PhD at Health and Society, Linköping University in 2002, she held the position as senior curator and head of research at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm; she was a post doc at Yale University; a fellow at the Department for History of Science and Ideas at Uppsala University; and at the NIH History office, studying early bacteriology and public health in the US. Åhrén’s book Death, Modernity and the Body: Sweden 1870–1940 (2009) deals with changing attitudes toward death and the dead body, problematizing the commonly held view that death was easier to deal with in the past and has become taboo in modern society. Currently, she is Director of the Unit for Medical History and Heritage and the Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library at Karolinska Institutet.
Fetal development and evolution: Expanding boundaries of science in early nineteenth century medicine
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