The history of the physiological sciences remains a field of investigation open to scholars of different origins and specialties. Recently, historians of science and medicine have paid attention to contemporary disciplines like genetics and molecular biology, immunology and neurobiology. However, physiology, as a mother science, remains a field of considerable historical and epistemological interest, due to its unique wealth of data, interpretations, theoretical models, and especially, its unanswered questions. Scholars interested in the experimental as well as the conceptual and theoretical aspects of the history of the physiological sciences in their broadest sense, and concerned by their place within the national and international frameworks of biomedical research, currently feel the need to meet, exchange ideas, and look for future forms of cooperation. In this spirit, a conference was organised by the Centre Europeen d'Histoire de la Medecine and was held at the Medical School of the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg in March 1993.
At this conference, we focused on the history of defined disciplines such as neurophysiology and endocrinology, as well as on international approaches to the history of the physiological sciences, in accordance with the research traditions and history of the University of Strasbourg.
Claude DEBRU: Foreword. List of authors. I. BRAIN STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS. Pierre BUSER: Cent cinquante ans de faits, de theories et d'hypotheses sur l'integration cerebrale: quelques exemples. Otto Joachim GRUSSER: On the history of the ideas of efference copy and reafference. Olaf BREIDBACH: Understanding the functional architecture of cortical tissue in the XIXth century. Michael HAGNER: Aspects of brain localization in late XIXth century Germany. Jan JANKO: Mach and Hering's Physiology of Senses. II. BRAIN PHYSIOLOGY AND BEHAVIOUR. Michael KUTZER: Tradition, metaphors, anatomy of the brain: the physiology of insanity in the late XVIth and XVIIth centuries. Alexandre METRAUX: Combien de corps y a-t-il dans le corps? Quelques remarques a propos de la neurophysiologie du siecle des Lumieres. Claude ARON: Naissance et evolution du concept biologique de bisexualite. III. ENDOCRINOLOGY. Christian BANGE: La controverse entre Gley et Moussu sur la specificite des fonctions de la thyroide et des parathyroides. Tilli TANSEY: Sir Henry Dale and autopharmacology: the role of acetylcholine in neurotransmission. David SMITH: Henry Dale, scepticism, theory, luck, strategy and tactics. IV. PHYSIOLOGY, HYGIENE, AND MEDICINE. NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ASPECTS. Jacques LAMBERT: La transformation chimio-physiologique de l'hygiene a la fin du XVIIIeme siecle. Krzysztof JEZIORSKI: Evolutionism and embryology in the Warsaw physician milieu in the years 1859-1939. Christian BONAH: Physiology, periodicals, and national differences at the end of the 1860's.