27 May 2024

The Centre for Medical Humanities and Bioethics brought together researchers for a network meeting in the field of medical humanities. The meeting aimed to promote dialogue and exchange among researchers in the field and provided ample presentation opportunities for junior researchers.

People talking by a meeting table
CMHB at Linköping University hosted the Swedish Network for Medical Humanities' meeting in May 2024. Jenny Widén

On the 20th and 21st of May, the Centre for Medical Humanities and Bioethics (CMHB) at Linköping University hosted a meeting for the Swedish Network for Medical Humanities (SNMH) which gathered around 30 researchers from various Swedish universities. The purpose of the meeting was to foster dialogue between the Swedish field of medical humanities and other non-Anglosaxon fields of medical humanities in Europe.

A portrait of Māra Grīnfelde
Māra Grīnfelde, researcher at the University of Latvia, found the meeting inspiring.Jenny Widén

International Keynote Speakers

To strengthen this dialogue, CMHB invited three international keynote speakers: Māra Grīnfelde and Uldis Vegners, both researchers at the University of Latvia, and Aristotle Tympas, Professor at the University of Athens.

Māra Grīnfelde expressed her appreciation:
– I thought it was an excellent meeting. I did not know there were so many places in Sweden where one can conduct research in medical humanities. I gained a lot of information and met many researchers in the field. Overall, it was a very inspiring event, and I want to extend a big thank you to the organisers, who were very welcoming, said Māra Grīnfelde.

Focus on Junior Researchers

In addition to the international guest presentations, other participants also had the opportunity to present their research. Presentation time was prioritised for junior researchers, which was appreciated by doctoral students Allan Lidström from the University of Gothenburg, Kätlin Koik from Umeå University, and Kristina Humphreys from Uppsala University.

– One of the things the SNMH network provides is the experience of looking at societal issues from different disciplinary backgrounds. I think it is always beneficial to have a dialogue with researchers outside of your own discipline, and it is an important skill to learn to talk to different people, said Kristina Humphreys.

Kristina also emphasised the importance of multiple perspectives:
– When I listened to Allan's presentation yesterday, and he mentioned a theory I have recently read about, I saw it from a new perspective. I believe that meetings like these can foster a more holistic perspective, said Kristina Humphreys.

Three researchers looking at each other
Allan Lidström, Kätlin Koik and Kristina Humphreys appreciated that junior researchers were prioritised during the network meeting.Jenny Widén

Positive Impact on the Research Field

The doctoral students agreed on the positive impact of the network on the research field:
– It is beneficial to get exposure to different ways of conducting research in medical humanities. Depending on the institution and university you come from, there are so many different methods and understandings of what medical humanities are. Discussing these is advantageous for the field, said Kätlin Koik.

– At my institution, some people conduct research on medical topics, but many do not. Being part of this network strengthens me because I get a different community with people who have similar interests to mine. The network is therefore rewarding for me personally but is also useful for the field because it connects people who can develop through our meetings, added Allan Lidström.

The networking meeting in Linköping highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange of research perspectives within medical humanities. Participants appreciated the opportunity to meet colleagues from various parts of Sweden and share experiences.

The meeting concluded with a discussion about the future of the network before it was time for participants to exchange contact details and bid farewell until next time.

More photos from the network meeting

Centre for Medical Humanities and Bioethics

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