The Sick Body of the Artisan: Labour, Medicine and Health in Ramazzini’s Diseases of Workers (1700)

Talk by Paola Bertucci, Yale University

Tuesday 28 April 2022, Sala degli Stemmi, Villa Salviati, 16.00 CEST

Please register on events in order to get a seat or to receive the zoom link :


The HSM working group is delighted to welcome Paola Bertucci at the EUI for a talk on her most recent research!

Abstract : Bernardino Ramazzini’s De Morbis Artificum Diatriba (On the Diseases of
Workers), was a highly successful text, commonly regarded as the first
treatise on occupational medicine. This paper situates it in the context of
early modern writings on the mechanical arts, asking what it meant for a
physician like Ramazzini to focus on the diseases of workers at that time. It
shows that the work’s novelty did not so much rest in its contents as in its
argument. While Diseases of Workers contained little new information on
how to treat workers, its argument that physicians should pay attention to
patients’ occupations was a novel and polemical one. The paper discusses
the implications of this argument for the relationship between physicians
and the state.

Paola Bertucci is a professor of history of science and medicine at Yale University. She investigates how the interactions between humans and artifacts shaped the production of natural knowledge in the early modern world. Her work revolves around the centrality of the body and the artifact in understanding the history of science, medicine and knowledge in 18th century Europe. Paola Bertucci is exploring the boundaries between the natural and the artificial, knowledge and practices, and between science, industry, and artisanship.

Amongst her previous works can be mentioned :


An event organized by Zoe Lauri, Gabriele Marcon and Tunahan Durmaz






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