Photo of Dr Fabrizio Bigotti

Dr Fabrizio Bigotti

Associate Research Fellow


01392 724249

Fabrizio Bigotti is currently Wellcome Trust Research Fellow working on the Emergence of Quantifying Procedures in Medicine at the End of the Renaissance. 

His research focuses on Santorio Santori (1561-1636) who, along with William Harvey, has been considered one of the most influential physicians of the early modern science. Santorio was the first to study metabolism systematically for a period of more than 25 years and to determine by way of experiment the exact proprotion between ingested food, faeces and perspired matter (the so-called perspiratio insensibilis). He also invented many scientific instruments still used today (among them the thermometer and other clinic and surgical devices) and was the first to represent bodily functions as clockwork gears. 

By analyzing Santorio's works, instruments, and experiments, the project aims to fill a major gap in the comprehension of the beginning of scientific approach in medicine. Such a research follows Dr Bigotti's previous interests in the history of science, notably in the vitality of Aristotelianism and Galenism and their development in modern philosophy, mainly in areas such as theory of matter, taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, and psychology. 




Research interests

Fabrizio Bigotti is a specialist in History and Philosophy of Science, with a particular emphasis on the Renaissance and Early Modern Medicine and Technology. He has also a strong background in classics, being an expert in History of Ancient Philosophy, especially on the tradition of Aristotle's and Galen's works. His academic interests are mainly focused on Philosophy of Science, History of Ideas and History of Technology. 

Dr Bigotti is also a musician and musicologist with a good record of monographs and papers on early music. In fact, as Ensemble Director he has recently issued a CD on the unpublished manuscripts by Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652) discovered at Palazzo Altemps in Rome (Gregorio Allegri, Unpublished Works from the ‘Collectio Altaemps’, Musica Flexanima Ensemble, TACTUS Records Italy, 2014).


Research supervision

Dr Bigotti is happy to consider requests for supervision in any aspect of early modern medical history as well as history of science and philosophy. For possible topics, please take a look to the section research interests.

External impact and engagement

The Centre for Medical History is currently hosting a website and a blog on Dr Bigotti's project. The University of Exeter is also hosting a series of workshops on the theme "The Laboratory of Santorio" (Bigotti-Welsman 2015-2016) aiming at recreating Santorio's instruments for measurement in medicine and understanding the emergence of quantification in science. 

Contribution to discipline

Honorary Researh Fellow of the Studio Firmano for the History of Medicine and Science (Studio Firmano - Fermo, Italy)

Corresponding Fellow of the Italian Academy for the History of Medicine (Accademia di Storia dell'Arte Sanitaria - Classe di Scienze Biologiche)

(2017) Folger Institute Research Fellow (Washington DC)

(2014) Edward Worth Research Fellow (Edwuard Worth Library, Dublin)

(2013) Frances A. Yates Research Fellow  (Warburg Institute - School for Advanced Studies, University of London)

(2012-2013) Fellow of the University "La Sapienza" (Rome)


Along with Dr Jo Welsman Dr Bigotti is involved in a series of media events on the life and scientific achievements of Santorio. For an introduction to such an activity please click on this introductory video. A website on the engaged aspect of the project is also available here


Fabrizio Bigotti studied at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’, where he achieved his BA in Philosophy, with a thesis on Aristotle’s theory of mind (110 e lode/summa cum laude), and the MA in Philosophy of Science, with a thesis on the use of lexical taxonomies in natural history from Aristotle to Linnaeus (110 e lode/summa cum laude).

After awarding the PhD in History of Philosophy and History of Ideas with a thesis on the influence of Galen’s medicine and psychology on the late Renaissance philosophy (ottimo/summa cum laude), in 2012 he moved to the Warburg Institute of London where I studied for a year, thanks to a long-term fellowship granted by ‘La Sapienza’ and then to a short-term fellowship, as Frances A. Yates Fellow, granted by the Warburg institute. Further to this, in 2014 he awarded a research fellowship by the Edward Worth Library in Dublin and other research grants by the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (SHAC) and the Scientific Instruments Society (SIS). In 2017 he also awarded the Folger Institute Fellowship (Washington DC, February-May 2017).

Fabrizio Bigotti has also a degree in choral direction at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music (PIMS) and  a wide range of expertise and publications encompassing areas such as composition, choral direction, musicology and musical palaeography.