Tag Archives: Geriatrics

Defining geriatrics

One of the signs that a new scientific field is in the making is the creation of a scientific journal. In 1976, La Revue de Gériatrie published its first issue. La Revue de Gériatrie was however not a complete “new” scientific journal but the relaunch of La Revue de Gérontologie d’Expression française, a 1963 relaunch of the Revue française de gérontologie founded in 1955. These frequent changes illustrate already the difficulty to define the boundaries of the field. In order to characterise what “geriatrics” are, one can have a look at the members of the editorial board of the journal. Another possibility is to consider the ads placed by the pharmaceutical industry, which became a major actor in defining/financing research and illness after 19451. In the first issue of La Revue de Gériatrie, one finds 18 ads: six for vascular disorders and four tranquillisers.

  1. Quirke Viviane, Collaboration in the pharmaceutical industry : changing relationships in Britain and France, 1935-1965, New York, Routledge, 2008. []

Benoit Majerus

Since January 2011, I am working as an historian at the University of Luxembourg. I have written my PhD on the occupation of Belgium during World War One and World Two. In 2013 I published a social history of psychiatry in the 20th century from below. I am also co-editor of h-madness.

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