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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.

By day, I am a research consultant at the School of Culture and Society at Aarhus University. By night, I write about the histories of medical science and give public talks in Danish and English about medical collection practices and the ethical controversies attendant on such practices.

I am currently working on two books in Danish. One is about The Danish Brains (with Lise Kabell Søgaard), and the other about medicine’s challenges with coherent thinking about mind, body, and diagnoses (with Victor Hvingelby). I am also 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, historical epistemology, and STS.


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

November 2021

Thomas Erslev

historian of medical science

Current activities

2021 - Present

Research consultant / Aarhus University

As a research consultant at the School of Culture and Society at AU I support the school’s researchers and develop research strategies across disciplines and departments.

2015 - Present

Editorial Board Member / Slagmark

Slagmark is 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.


2020 February - July

Editor /

I edited the online teaching resource, which presents short videos and texts about academic topics. This work consisted in soliciting new material, as well as web-master functions.


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 more about 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.

Academic interests



PhD / History of Science / Aarhus University, Denmark


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

Press appearances


BBC Reel: The Danish basement housing 10,000 human brains

CNN: World’s Untold Stories – The Brain Collectors


Text media

,, S., &

Vuroela, M. & Tuxen, J. P.: Vi ved, at hjernen er en vidunderlig maskine, men vi kan ikke finde manualen, Information. Moderne Tider.

Sonne, F. G. H.: På 37 år blev 9.479 hjerner skåret fri fra kraniet hos psykiatriske patienter i

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