Hjalmar Fors

visiting researcher at Department of History of Science and Ideas

+4618-471 7959
Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3P

Postal address:
Box 629
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

I am a researcher (PhD, 2003; Docent, 2014) connected to the dept of History of Science and Ideas and First Librarian at the Hagströmer medico-historical library, Karolinska Institutet.

Also available at

My courses


I am a PhD (2003) and Docent (2014) in the history of science and ideas,and connected to the dept. as a researcher. I am also First Librarian at the Hagströmer medico-historical library, Karolinska Institutet.

My research area is the history of science and medicine (the period c. 1550 to 1900) but I have also worked on modern history of technology and STS (Science and Technology Studies). I focus primarily on the circulation of knowledge, and on what knowledge-exchanges entail in terms of redistribution of power. A second area of interest concerns the spatiality and materiality of science. I also cooperate with natural scientists in doing reproductions of scientific experiments and craft practices (Experimental History of Science).


My present research project Reconstructing early modern pharmacy: Global trade networks, substances and practices started in 2015 and will finish in 2018. The research is conducted at the dept. for History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala university, and is pursued in cooperation with Nils-Otto Ahnfelt, an analytic pharmaceutical chemist. By recreating an early modern medicine, called Swedish Bitters, we reconstruct lost pharmaceutical, medical and botanical skills. The project integrates history of pharmacy into current research in global history and history of science, and reinterprets the significance of exotic substances to early modern medical practice. The project is funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

I am also the director of a research cooperation with CESIMA (Centro Simao Mathias de Estudos em Historia da Ciencia) at the Pontifica Universidade Católica de Sao Paulo, Brazil. In this exchange, we make a critical evaluation of the recent theories of global knowledge exchange that has emerged out of postcolonial studies. On the Swedish side, the participants are the dept. for History of Science and Ideas and the Office for History of Science in Uppsala, and the Unit for Medical History and Heritage, Karolinska Institutet.


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