Humours Mixtures and Corpuscles conference poster


Conference Poster

Call for Papers

Humours, Mixtures, & Corpuscles

A Medical Path to Corpuscularism in the Seventeenth Century

Domus Comeliana, Pisa, 18-20 May 2017


Fabrizio Bigotti & Jonathan Barry


The Centre for Medical History of the University of Exeter (United Kingdom) and the Fondazione Comel - Institutio Santoriana (Italy) are pleased to announce an International Conference: Humours, Mixtures and Corpuscles, A Medical Path to Corpuscularism in the Seventeenth Century.

Organised by Dr Fabrizio Bigotti and Professor Jonathan Barry, to be held at the Domus Comeliana of Pisa on 18-20 May 2017.

The conference aims to explore the interplay between minima naturalia, corpuscles, and atoms in the medical thought of the seventeenth century (broadly considered, 1550-1720) by especially focusing on the legacy of the Italian physician Santorio Santori (1561-1636). Santorio, who is credited to be the first to introduce a quantitative approach into medicine and biology by means of his studies on the insensible perspiration of the body (perspiratio insensibilis), was also the first to conceive the action of corpuscles and atoms mechanically as a result of his experiments on the properties of drugs and mixtures. As the impetus towards the quantification of compound substances which led European physicians to embrace corpuscular theories remains largely unknown to scholars, this conference will shed light not only on the context and influence of Santorio’s legacy, but also on the many directions taken by medical experimentation in the seventeenth century.

Keynote Speakers:                                                                         

Georgiana Hedesan       (University of Oxford)

Christoph Lüthy            (Radboud University)

William R. Newman        (Indiana University)

Vivian Nutton                (First Moscow State Medical University)

Papers from scholars of any nationality are invited on any aspect of early modern medicine and science. Contributions on general aspects (e.g. Renaissance Aristotelianism and Galenism, Medical School of Padua, alchemical medicine, properties of mixtures, preparation of drugs, etc.) as well as on single authors (Baglivi, Basson, Boyle, Descartes, Falloppia, Fracastoro, Glisson, Iungius, Santorio, Sennert, Spinoza, etc.) are equally welcome. In the spirit of the conference, however, particular attention will be devoted to papers referring to Santorio and the history of perspiratio insensibilis (from Dodart to Keill).

PhD students are strongly encouraged to join the event which will be supported by five Santorio Fellowships for Medical Humanities and Science (500 euros each) funded by the Fondazione Comel - Institutio Santoriana.  More information about the application process is available from the following webpage:

Papers should be a maximum of 20-25 minutes followed by 10 minutes of reply. Abstracts of a maximum 300 words should be sent to Dr Fabrizio Bigotti at by 22nd February 2017 with successful papers notified by the end of February.

A publication of the conference proceedings is anticipated from Springer in 2018.