Please tell us about your research project.
Currently in my second year as a PhD student in the philosophy of medicine at the Sorbonne Université, under the supervision of Dr. Claire Crignon and Pr. Danielle Seilhean, I am working on ignorance in the field of neurosciences and neurology. Particularly, I am studying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). I interweave a historical perspective upon neurology (Thomas Willis, Jean-Martin Charcot) and current interactions with biologists and physicians. Thanks to Danielle Seilhean, I am granted access to the Brain Institute (Institut du Cerveau (ICM)), at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital to observe the ALS team’s activities. The Initiative Humanités Biomédicales of Sorbonne Université has granted me funding since October 2020.
Could you please tell us a bit more about your scholarship/exchange programme?
This is my first time in Oxford, where I am staying for a month. For my thesis, it is an opportunity to have access to the Bodleian Library and resources about the history of neurology. It’s also a chance to pursue and strengthen the partnership between the Initiative Humanités Biomédicales, the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology and the Ethox centre.
First impressions of Oxford/the University?
It’s very impressive to stay in Oxford. I am always thinking about Thomas Willis who was appointed Sedleian Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Oxford in 1660. I am imagining myself crossing the same street as he did! Futhermore, Oxford is like an open-air university. It’s very calming to work here.