Von Staden to discuss experiments in ancient Greece and Rome Jan. 27


The nature of scientific experimentation on humans and animals in antiquity will be the focus of a Jan. 27 lecture given by one of the world's foremost authorities on the history of science and medicine.

Heinrich von Staden will present a 50-minute talk titled "Experiments on Living Animals and Humans in Ancient Greece and Rome," at 3:30 p.m. in the Nebraska Union Auditorium.

Von Staden is an emeritus professor of classics and the history of science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. His interests include ancient science, medicine, philosophy and literary theory.

He has written several books, including "Herophilus: The Art of Medicine in Early Alexandria" (1989), which is considered a major contribution to the history of Greek intellectual discourse.

His upcoming lecture will address some of the more controversial issues by analyzing several experiments conducted by ancient biologists and physicians on living animals and humans from the fourth century BCE to the second century CE. It will examine the ancient experimenters' motivations, their methods, their results, and the range of animal species -- indigenous and exotic -- they used as experimental subjects.

He also will explore significant changes in the social and political contexts of experimentation, in particular, the shift away from a long tradition of conducting such experiments in private to performing experiments on living animals in public spaces, often before a large audience.

The departments of Classics and Religious Studies, Philosophy and Psychology, as well as the School of Biological Sciences and the Humanities in Medicine Program jointly sponsor the lecture.

More details at: http://go.unl.edu/9jm