Javier Moscoso

Email: javier.moscoso [at] cchs.csic.es
Phone: (+34) 916022369
Extensión Interna: 441248
Office: 2E25
Profesor de Investigación de OPIS
Instituto de Historia
Departamento de Historia de la Ciencia
Group: Estudios Sociales y Culturales sobre las Ciencias Naturales y la Salud
Javier Moscoso

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Scientific Output

Javier Moscoso is Research Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the Institute of History of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Ph.D. He was doctoral fellow at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at the Department of History of Science, at the University of Harvard, between 1995 and 1996. More recently he was appointed Visiting Professor at the Centre Alexandre Koyré, of the French CNRS and at the Centre d'études du 19ème siècle at the Université Paris I Sorbonne.

      Before his arrival to CSIC, Moscoso was lecturer of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Murcia (Spain). In 2004 he was appointed Head of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Science and Innovation. From 2008 to 2010, he was also the Coordinator of the Humanities and Social Sciences of the Spanish Research Council.

     His academic career has been devoted to the cultural history of the human body, mainly to the study of epistemological and ontological status of physical deformities and, most recently, to the history and philosophy of experience. He is the author of 4 monographs and 3 edited volumes. His contributions have been published in the Journal of History of Biology, Renaissance Quarterly, Medical History, or Social History of Medicine, among others. His latest book, Pain: A Cultural History, was published in Spain by Taurus in October 2011. The English version, by Palgrave-Macmillan, was released one year later, in October 2012. There was also a Mexican edition. The French version was published by Les prairies ordinairies, in Novembre 2015. It was the Libr'à nous 2015 prize in the category of History. The book, which was second best in the 2012 Spanish National Essay Prize, has been highly praised by the critics. The Spanish newspaper El Mundo, for example, considered it one of the best ten non-fiction books published in Spain in 2011. Prof. Eugenio Trias took it as one of the best examples of the new Spanish philosophy. Joanna Bourke, Professor of History at Birkbeck College (London) described it as “a dazzling example of cultural history”, Fay Bound, from the Queen Mary Centre for the History of Emotions, wrote on Medical History that the book was "an example of Medical Humanities writing at its best". Prof. Fernando Salmón wrote in Dynamis that "it was the best and most sophisticated account of the history of pain written so far". The Spanish edition, with a print-run of 3000 copies had already sold 2/3 by June 2013, while the English version will be soon in paperback. For a very interesting and thought-provoking review, see: http://emotionsblog.history.qmul.ac.uk/?p=1948

     Moscoso has also paid special attention to what is now called “knowledge transfer” and public engagement. He has been the curator of different exhibitions: on Monsters and Imaginary Beings at the Spanish National Library in Madrid in the year 2000; on the history of pain at the Science Museum in London (2004) and, more recently, on the cultural history of human skin, at the Wellcome Collection Gallery, in London, in 2011. This project, reviewed by The Lancet, The New Statesman, The New Scientists, or Science, among other scientific journals, also gathered the attention of the local press. The Guardian considered it “fascinating”; The Telegraph “a Revelation”, Time Out gave it the status of “Critics Choice”. In some cases, reviews were made in very specialized journals. The Bulletin for the History of Medicine (Volume 84, Number 4, Winter 2010), considered SKIN “a stylish and evocative wonderful exhibition [...] visually rich, and analytically astute”. For New Scientists: “The exhibition does an excellent job, weaving the medical history and scientific importance of our largest organ around its cultural significance”. For The Lancet, (2010 (9736): 156 - 157): “This exhibition is a joyous celebration of skin's physiological, emotional, and cultural importance in our lives”. According to Science, (August 2010: Vol. 329 no. 5993 pp. 760-761): “The curators had an overarching goal of showing how important the skin is as an organ and how much it is taken for granted”. For History Today (August 2010, p. 57): SKIN was “another staging post in the Wellcome Trust’s fascinating exposition of the human condition”. The exhibition, which was also reviewed in other media (BBC, BBC2, Radio 4, etc.), gathered around 80.000 at the Wellcome Collection in London. It was at the time the most visited exhibition of that venue.

     During the last years, Prof. Moscoso has been invited to workshops, seminars and conferences worldwide. He has been lecturing at the European Institute of Florence, at the Max Planck Institute for the history of Science, Berlin, at the Max Planck Institute of Human Development, Berlin; at the University of Harvard, at the University of Chicago, at the University of Illinois, at the University of Los Andes, Bogotá, at the ETHZ, Zürich, at the University of Camberra (Australia), at the École des Hautes etudes, Paris, at the CNRS, Paris, at the Institute d'Historie de la Medicine, Geneva, at the Birkbeck College, London, or at the Wellcome Trust, London, among other institutions. In 2014, he has received invitations to lecture in Japan, México, and Chile. He will also be appointed Visiting Professor at the University of Washington in St. Louis, USA. 

     Moscoso is now involved in the history of the "Passions of Modernity", mainly ambition, jealousy, envy and resentment; the elusive history of the swing and the Politics of Pain. His next book, Broken Promises: The Passions of Modernity, will be published in 2016. He has been appointed George Lurcy Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago for the second semester of 2016.