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Thomas Erslev

Thomas Erslev_LK_36_PURE_KVADRAT

Hi! I’m Thomas Erslev, an historian of science and medicine. Below you’ll find my academic CV, and my list of publications. In the menu above is a link to my poems.

I handed in my PhD thesis at Aarhus University in November 2019, about the recent history of brain banking and bioethics in a Danish context. Read more here.

I am on the editorial board of Slagmark, the Danish journal for the history of ideas and science. I would love to hear from you regarding possible collaborations in the histories of medical science and technology, of bioethics, historical epistemology, and STS. I give public talks in Danish and English about collecting and archiving the body, as well as the ethical controversies attendant on such practices. I love writing popular texts (like Baggrunds Kabinet), and haiku/senryu poems. The first I find is a good way to process new knowledge and convince myself that I am making progress. The latter is a hobby to relax my mind and allow myself to think of things not related to my research.


This is a list of my academic and popular writings. Clicking Slagmark #78: Livsvidenskabernes materialitet [link] will take you to a free online version or stored preprint-PDF of the text in question.

academic cv

March '19

Thomas Erslev

historian of medical science

Current activities

2020 February - Present

Editor /

I currently edit the online teaching resource, while applying for postdoc positions and evaluating my career options.

2015 - Present

Editorial Board Member / Slagmark

I am editor and finance manager of Slagmark, a Danish peer-reviewed journal for the history of ideas and related subjects. I was special theme editor of issue #78 (2019) dedicated to Materiality in the Life Sciences. Click here for English abstracts.

Press appearances


Text media

Frank, L. Sæt hjerner i banken. Weekendavisen, p. 1.



Writing and editing

I write well-structured, readable texts in Danish and English, attentively directed to the target audience. I am able to improve the structure of most texts and bring forward the key argument. I work to a deadline.

Public speaking

I confidently convey complex topics in an engaging and understandable way to most audiences. When presenting, I make thoughtful use of visual and digital aids, and I always invite and enjoy open discussion.

Project management

I have spent considerable time conceiving and administrating my own projects and have a keen sense of the importance of proper planning, oversight, and time management. Through Slagmark and Baggrund I have learnt many valuable lessons on good HR, management, and accountancy.



MA / Intellectual History / Aarhus University, Denmark


MSc / History of Science, Technology and Medicine / University of Manchester, UK


BA / History of Ideas and Comparative Literature / Aarhus University, Denmark



PhD Fellow / Aarhus University

My PhD research revolved around a Danish brain bank holding 9.479 brains from psychiatric patients collected without consent between 1945 and ’82.
You can read my thesis here.

2018 January - March

Visiting Predoctoral Fellow / Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

I joined Lorraine Daston’s Sciences of the Archive Working Group with a view towards a better understanding of how human brain collections can be conceptualized as archives, and what it means to do so, both historiographically, theoretically, and for the implicated historical actors.

Since 2014

Teaching / Aarhus University

I have taught BA and MA courses in history of science & medicine, historiography & methodology, medical ethics, and philosophy of science at Aarhus University. I have taken a number of courses on pedagogy in higher education, and enjoy continuously improving my teaching performance.

2014 - 2018

Editor /

I have edited and written popular history texts for the Danish online magazine which aims to broaden popular access to intellectual history, history of science, and the humanities in general.