Post-doctoral researcher (PROFI6 Fibrobesity)
History of Sciences and Ideas
Eve Hyrkäs is a historian with expertise in the history of sciences, particularly in the histories of health and medicine. She gained her doctorate in 2022 from the History of Sciences and Ideas Unit at the University of Oulu. Hyrkäs’ doctoral research, conducted as a part of the FIBROSIS DISEASOME project, examined the psychological, social and spiritual hypotheses on chronic disease in the history of Finnish medicine. The original publications of the dissertation showed how high blood pressure was connected to pressures of working life, cardiovascular diseases to secularisation, asthma and ulcerative colitis to poor mother-child-bond, stroma tumours to urban culture and so forth. The twentieth-century epidemiological shift to chronic forms of ill-health hence stimulated varied explanations for what seemed a biological response to social change.
Hyrkäs’ post-doc research in FIBROBESITY looks into the history of obesity through the history of science lens. She studies the temporally changing conceptions of over-eating and fat metabolism and how they have been translated to different scientific and cultural levels. The history of obesity science brings light to what do we really know about what makes people fat, and how do we know it. It also has the potential to complicate current orthodoxies – for example that excess fat is primarily a problem of calories in and calories out – by bringing attention to endocrine dysfunction, constitutional proneness, psychological tensions and predisposing family relations as potential causes for corpulence. Looking at the range of historical alternatives may suggest ways to manage the raging obesity epidemic, where effective interventions still appear as elusive as ever.
- history of health and medicine
- history of science
- history of ideas