The exhibition 'Gelukkig Gezond!: Histories of Healthy Ageing' in the University Museum has drawn attention from national media. On Wednesday 21 June 2017, rector magnificus Elmer Sterken and alderman Mattias Gijsbertsen opened the exhibition. Historian of medicine and ICOG researcher Rina Knoeff was interviewed by the radio programme Nieuws & Co. An article based on the interview is published on the website of the Dutch Broadcast Foundation (NOS).
Knoeff shows that early modern advice book on health present many tips and tricks for longevity which are quite similar to what we nowadays regard as healthy behaviour. However, some of the advices are also completely opposite to contemporary notions of healthy living. Knoeff mentions a recipe for a ‘healthy’ pizza baked for an old pope. The recipe was based on Galen’s theories on bodily fluids. To heathen up the cold body of the pontiff he was fed a fat cake with a lot of sugar and spices. Knoeff: “Nowadays we would say: ‘you would better not eat that’.”
The exhibition is part of Knoeff’s NWO-funded project Vital Matters. In the context of this project, a three day international conference on the Histories of Healthy Ageing is held this week (21-23 June 2017) in the Van Swinderen Huys. Healthy Ageing is one of the societal themes of the RUG. Knoeff’s research project shows that not only the Medical, Natural and Social Sciences can contribute to this theme, but also the Humanities.
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