Francois Secco: "New Institutions for a New Medical Specialty? Processes of Promotion of Puericulture Through the Schools of Puericulture (1919–1944)"

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Engelska parken 6-3025 (Rausing Room)
  • Lecturer: Francois Secco
  • Organiser: Department of History of Science and Ideas
  • Contact person: Jenny Andersson
  • Seminarium

Higher Seminar in the History of Science and Ideas

Research presentation by Francois Secco, Uppsala University. 

In the second half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, numerous neologisms were coined to promote new research projects related to childhood, as the child became the focus of growing political, scientific and professional interest. This was the case of the term "puericulture," popularized by medical doctors from the 1890s onwards. After the First World War, new institutions, known as “schools of puericulture,” were conceived and built. This chapter examines the role of schools of puericulture in Argentina, France and Spain in the redefinition of puericulture as a science of the child, and in the development of transnational networks, between 1919 and 1944. Their creation and development were linked to the political instability of the period, as public authorities attempted to implement different puericulture policies. As higher education institutions, the schools of puericulture played an instrumental role in legitimizing the scientific character of puericulture, and promoting a form of preventive pediatrics.

Photograph: “M. Lebrun inaugure l'école de puériculture”, Agence Rol, 170616, 1933, Source / BnF.