News #8 | August/September 2009
News Report / Profile
Print | Send
 | Voltar
FMUL Museum of Medicine
FMUL Museum of Medicine

Manuel Valente Alves
tel (+351) 217 985 153
fax (+351) 217 985 114

The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (FMUL), founded in 1911, possesses a great historic and cultural heritage, made up of technical-scientific works and others, which is dispersed throughout the several different units that form it.

Considering the urgent need to preserve and dynamise this heritage, in September 2003 the direction of the faculty decided to reorganise its Museological Nucleus, having appointed Manuel Valente Alves to direct and coordinate the works leading to carrying out the process, the first steps toward the creation of the Museum of Medicine.

In February 2005 the direction of the faculty signs the transformation of the Museological Nucleus into the Museum of Medicine, granting it a temporary space of its own in the main building of the faculty.

Since Hippocrates, the founder of rational medicine, medical practice has been seen as an art and a science. Indeed, perception of the phenomena of individual health and illness is generally carried out by mixing qualitative and quantitative methods of assessment, bringing together the subjectivity of people’s symptoms and the technical and analytical objectivity of machines and instruments. The Museum of Medicine accepts the humanist tradition of medicine through its programme and activities, promoting the link between medicine and art and human, natural and social sciences.  

Over recent years the development of the FMUL has involved an increasing number of research and teaching partnership agreements organised in networks. The need to efficiently manage this complex, not only on the level of the circulation of information but also the management of human and technical resources, has stimulated the practice of innovative pedagogical and scientific experiences based on the circulation of ideas, people, procedures and cultures. 

In this context the Museum of Medicine stands as a modern cultural interface, the main aims of which are, besides preserving, studying, divulging and valorising the faculty heritage (through exhibitions, publications and scientific meetings), the promoting of research into and teaching of the history of medicine, of medical thinking and culture inside and outside the faculty and within an inter-disciplinary approach.  

Activities (selection) 


This bilingual (Portuguese and English) site was designed by the team responsible for the Museum of Medicine graphic Project, and has been accessible to the public since the 23rd of February 2005. 

2.1 Exhibition “Passages. 100 Works for the Museum of Medicine” (2005). National Early Art Museum. Curators: Manuel Valente Alves, Anísio Franco, José Alberto Seabra Carvalho and Maria João Vilhena de Carvalho.
De humani corporis fabrica by Vesalius
De humani corporis fabrica by Vesalius, in the exhibition “Passages. 100 Works for the Museum of Medicine” (2005) at the National Early Art Museum, Lisbon (2005). Photo: Nina Szielasko

This first exhibition produced by the Museum of Medicine was the result of a partnership agreement with the Portuguese Museums Institute (IPM). It was inaugurated in the National Early Art Museum (MNAA), in Lisbon, on the 24th of February 2005. It was open to the public from that day to the 30th of April 2005, and was visited by over 18,000 people.

The history of cerebral angiography
The history of cerebral angiography in the exhibition “Passages – 100 Works for the Museum of Medicine” at the National Early Art Museum, Lisbon (2005). Photo: Nina Szielasko

In this exhibition 100 works from the FMUL’s institutes, laboratories and university clinics establish a dialogue with important works of art from the MNAA collections through a careful layout that allowed the crossing and interaction of techno-scientific objects (anatomical models, human preparations, mechanisms and medical pictures, measuring instruments and for observation) with works of art (paintings, sculptures and decorative arts works).


3.1 Circulação/Circulation (2004). Editors: Manuel Valente Alves and António Barbosa. Bilingual (Portuguese/English). 338 pp.

Book: Circulação/Circulation

Texts: A. Bugalho de Almeida, A. Castanheira Dinis, A. Dinis da Gama, A. Gonçalves Ferreira, Alexandre Castro Caldas, António Barbosa, Armando Brito de Sá, Carlos Perdigão, Carlota Saldanha, F. Lacerda Nobre, Henrique Bicha Castelo, I.P. da Silva, J. Alexandre Ribeiro, J. Braz Nogueira, J. Fernandes e Fernandes, J. Martins e Silva, Jacinto Gonçalves, Jaime Celestino da Costa, João Lobo Antunes, João Sá, Jorge Dias de Deus, José-Augusto França, José Luís Porfírio, José M. Ferro, Luís Silva Carvalho, Luís Valadares Tavares, Luísa Gama Caldas, Manuel Duarte Oliveira, Manuel Graça Dias, Manuel João Pereira, Manuel Valente Alves, Maria José Forjaz de Lacerda, P. Brogueira, Pedro Lapa and Vítor Oliveira. Graphic Design: Nina Szielasko

The book launch was on the 17th of November 2004 at the FML Annual Encounter. Presentation: Raquel Henriques da Silva.

3.2 Guide to the “Passages” Exhibition (2005). Bilingual (Portuguese/English). 32 pp.

3.3 Passages (2005). Editor: Manuel Valente Alves. 304 pp. 
Guide to the “Passages” Exhibition

Besides pictures of the exhibition “Passages” and of all the works exhibited, it contains scientific information about each of them, pictures of the assembly of the exhibition, an analysis of the visitor survey, the notes of the proceedings of the colloquia and other critical and reflective texts.

Texts: Dalila Rodrigues, João Martins e Silva, Manuel Valente Alves, Anísio Franco, José Alberto Seabra Carvalho, Maria João Vilhena de Carvalho, João Miguel Fernandes Jorge, Teresa Paiva, José Miranda Justo, Maria Filomena Molder, J. F. David-Ferreira, José Bragança de Miranda, Maria de Belém Roseira, Manuel Villaverde Cabral, José Gil, António Fernando Cascais, João Lima Pinharanda, Nuno Crato, Cristina Branco, José Luís Porfírio, Marta de Menezes, Luís Graça and João Mourão. Graphic Design: Nina Szielasko 

3.4 Film of the Exhibition “Passages” (2005). Coordination: Manuel Valente Alves. Running time: 58 minutes.

The film brings together pictures of the exhibition and of its assembly, as well as interviews with those responsible for the organization and other people connected to teaching, research, culture and politics: Manuel Bairrão Oleiro, Dalila Rodrigues, José Luís Porfírio, Anísio Franco, José Alberto Seabra de Carvalho, Maria João Vilhena de Carvalho, J. Martins e Silva, Teresa Paiva, David Ferreira, João Miguel Fernandes Jorge, José Miranda Justo, Maria Filomena Molder, José Gil, Manuel Villaverde Cabral and Maria de Belém Roseira. 

It was presented to the public for the first time in the Chancellery of the University of Lisbon on the occasion of the Opening of the Academic Year 2005/2006, on the 10th of November 2005, remaining as a permanent exhibit in the Chancellery atrium until the 22nd of December 2005.


4.1 “Philosophy, Medicine and Society” (2007-2010), University of Lisbon Philosophy Centre

This project, which has been developed in partnership with the FMUL Museum of Medicine, has, among others, the aim of strengthening the link between philosophy and medicine, exploring the reciprocal intelligibility between the two, characterising the medical ethos and analysing the fundamental issues that are being debated today in the field of bioethics. 

4.2 “Medical Literature and Representations of the Body from the XVI to the XIX Century” (2007-2010), University of Lisbon Philosophy Centre

The work being undertaken involves collaboration among the FMUL Museum of Medicine, the IPO-Lisbon Centre for Philosophy of Medicine Studies, the Portuguese Psychosomatic Society, the Institute of Pathology and Molecular Immunology of the University of Oporto (IPATIMUP) and the Institute of Social Sciences (ICS).

A bibliographical exhibition at the National Library is foreseen for 2010, as well as the publishing of a catalogue including prints of all the most relevant works and authors, and a digital catalogue with all of the existing specimens. Besides this, there will be the publishing of a collection of medical works by Portuguese authors. 

4.3 “The Image in Art and in Science” (2007-2010), University of Lisbon Centre of Philosophy of Sciences 

Manuel Valente Alves coordinates one of the research lines of this multidisciplinary project which has the collaboration of the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon (FBAUL), and which intends to identify, catalogue and study the unexplored collection of anatomical drawings of the Museum of Medicine, comparing it to the collection of nude drawings at the FBAUL, thus confronting the scientific study of human anatomy with the artistic drawing of the human body. 

An exhibition is foreseen at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 2011, as well as the holding of conferences and the publishing of a catalogue.


5.1 Subject of History of Medicine. Manuel Valente Alves, director of the museum, in collaboration with António Castanheira Dinis, organised the programme, aims and contents of the subject of History of Medicine in the degree course and integrated masters course until 2007/2008. Since 2008/2009 Manuel Valente Alves is the joint head of the course, along with Castanheira Dinis.


6.1 Colloquia “Passages” (2005). Auditorium of the National Early Art Museum. Coordination: Manuel Valente Alves. 
Participants: Manuel Bairrão Oleiro, J. Martins e Silva, Dalila Rodrigues, Manuel Valente Alves, João Miguel Fernandes Jorge, José Miranda Justo, Teresa Paiva, Maria Filomena Molder, José Bragança de Miranda, David Ferreira, Maria de Belém Roseira, José Gil and Manuel Villaverde Cabral.

6.2 International Workshop “Vesalius – the Rediscovery of Anatomy” (2009), Main Auditorium of the Egas Moniz Building. Coordination: Manuel Valente Alves and Joana Mesquita.

Participants: Manuel Valente Alves, Joana Mesquita, António Barros Veloso, Adelino Cardoso, Lucy Lions, Sebastião Resende, Silvia di Marco, Teresa Levy and Jacquie Pigeaud.


7.1 “Symposia on Health Portugal-Brazil 200 Years” (2008), National Academy of Medicine, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Organization: High Commissariat of Health and Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. At the invitation of the organization of these symposia, Manuel Valente Alves gave the conference “Medical Culture and Cosmopolitism in Portugal in the XIX and XX Centuries” on the 7th of July 2008. A revised and increased version was published in the Review of the Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon (RFML 2009; Series III; 14 (1): 3-23). 

7.2 “Medicine, Laboratory and Society – Courses and Expressions of the History of Medicine and of Health in Portugal” (2009), Dr. Ricardo Jorge National Institute of Health, Lisbon.
Organization: Dr. Ricardo Jorge National Institute of Health, Lisbon Geographical Society and the Inter-University History of Sciences and Technology Centre. At the invitation of the organization of this international conference, Manuel Valente Alves gave a talk entitled “Ricardo Jorge and Scientific Research in Portugal” on the 25th of May 2009. It is awaiting publication.


8.1 “Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation – 50 Years at the Service of Health” (2007), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon. Curatorship: Ana Eiró and Jorge Soares 

8.2 “Medicine and Health in Brazil and Portugal” (2008), National Historical Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Curatorship: Helena Severo. 

8.3 “Health and Medicine in Portugal and in Brazil – 200 Years” (2008/2009). University of Lisbon Science Museum, Lisbon.
Curatorship: Ana Eiró and Jorge Soares 

8.4 “São João de Deus Museum – Psychiatry and History” (2009). Casa de Saúde do Telhal.
Coordination: Álvaro Lavarinhas


Search all of the published newsletters



Subscribe our Newsletter and receive all the updated information about activities, news, events and other FMUL activities



Prof. Doutor J. Fernandes e Fernandes
Editorial Commitee: Prof. Doutor J. Fernandes e Fernandes, Prof. Doutor Alexandre Ribeiro, Prof. Doutor António Vaz Carneiro, Prof. Doutor João Ferreira, Dr. Luis Pereira
Information Officer: Ana Raquel Moreira
Editorial Team: Ana Maria Silva, Ana Raquel Moreira, André Silva, Lara Ponte, Miguel Andrade, Rui Gomes, Sónia Barroso, Susana Henriques, Tânia Simões
Collaboration: Communication and Image Office - Ana Isabel Gonçalves da Silva, Bruno Moura
Design and Technical Support: UTI 
Design and development: Spirituc