History of Natural and Medical Sciences Research Unit


Main research areas

The History of Natural and Medical Sciences Research Unit was established upon request of the Director of the Institute for the History of Science PAS, Prof. Jacek Soszyński, at the meeting of the Institute’s Scientific Council on 30 January 2020. The team was assembled from the formerly functioning Sections, and therefore joint projects are yet to be created.

The research areas comprise:

  • development of medical sciences in Poland;
  • history of bromatology – the role of food as a source of nutrients and the interactions between food and drugs;
  • protection of the Polish natural heritage;
  • history of cooperation between Polish and European, South American, and Far Eastern naturalists;
  • history of natural collections and scientific and technical museology on the Polish lands.

Research topics

  • Vilnius medicine in the Second Polish Republic (Prof. Bożena Urbanek).
  • Development of medical sciences in Poland after the Second World War (Prof. Magdalena Paciorek).
  • The problem of falsification of food products in Polish magazines and scientific publications from the second half of the 19th century (Prof. Anna Trojanowska).
  • Photographs in “Pharmaceutical News” from 1919 to 1939 (Prof. Anna Trojanowska).
  • Nutrition in prisons (Prof. Anna Trojanowska).
  • Protection of geological and mining heritage (Prof. Andrzej Wójcik).
  • History of Polish geologists and miners and their professional achievements from the 17th through the 20th century in Poland and in the world (Prof. Andrzej Wójcik).
  • History of Polish graduates of European mining schools and their professional achievements from the 18th through the 19th century (Prof. Andrzej Wójcik).
  • Polish–French scientific relations in the 18th and 19th centuries (Prof. Piotr Daszkiewicz).
  • Searching for testimonies of the Polish scientific heritage in France (Prof. Piotr Daszkiewicz).
  • History of the research on the Białowieża Forest and on the history of nature protection (Prof. Piotr Daszkiewicz).
  • History of 19th-century nature collections (Prof. Piotr Daszkiewicz).
  • History of the Zoological Cabinet of Warsaw, with particular emphasis on the international cooperation in the 19th century (Prof. Piotr Daszkiewicz).
  • Cabinets of curiosities as protomuseums of science (Prof. Iwona Arabas).
  • Collections of the Natural History Cabinet of Princess Anna Jabłonowska in the light of materials from the Saint Petersburg Archives of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Prof. Iwona Arabas).
  • Warsaw’s non-existent museum of natural history (Prof. Iwona Arabas).
  • Antonina Leśniewska – history of the struggle for higher pharmaceutical education of women (Prof. Iwona Arabas).

Research projects

  • 2019–2023 – Słowniki biograficzne polskich uczonych – grant awarded to the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education within the framework of the National Programme for the Development of Humanities (Prof. Andrzej Kajetan Wróblewski – principal investigator, Prof. Anna Trojanowska – researcher).
  • 2020 – Innowacje w rolnictwie w XVIII wieku – tradycje i współczesność. Pamięci Anny z Sapiehów Jabłonowskiej – grant awarded to the Institute for the History of Science PAS by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education within the framework of the Excellent Science programme (Prof. Iwona Arabas – principal investigator).


  • Monthly doctoral seminars Polska prasa medyczna i archiwalia urzędowe jako źródła historyczne w badaniach nad problematyką zdrowia i choroby XIX i XX wieku [Polish medical journals and institutional archives as historical sources in research on health and disease in the 19th and 20th centuries] (Prof. Bożena Urbanek, Prof. Magdalena Paciorek).
  • Annual Review of Master’s Theses in the History of Pharmacy (Prof. Anna Trojanowska).
  • Cyclic meetings Zawód, który wypromował naukę [Profession which promoted science] organised together with the Section for the History of Pharmacy of the Warsaw Division of the Polish Pharmaceutical Society (Prof. Iwona Arabas).

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