Disputas: Eira Bjørvik - History of Medicine

MA. Eira Bjørvik at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis CONCEIVING INFERTILITY - Infertility Treatment and Assisted Reproductive Technologies in 20th Century Norway for the degree of PhD.

Foto: Bugge

Trial Lecture - time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • 1. opponent: Professor Nick Hopwood, University of Cambridge
  • 2. opponent: Professor Astri Andresen, University of Bergen
  • 3. member of the adjudication committee: Associate Professor Eli Feiring, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor Eivind Engebretsen, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Associate Professor Anne Kveim Lie, University of Oslo


The thesis offers an account of the emergence of infertility treatment and assisted reproductive technologies in 20th century Norway, a previously undocumented field of medical practice. It is argued that infertility came to the fore in a period and in a society characterized by social and political refractions, and underwent a period of transition simultaneously on many levels, in social politics, clinical practice and science. At the dawn of the 20th century, it became important to raise awareness in the medical community and in the population at large to combat misconceptions about reproductive health perceived to keep people from seeking medical aid for their infertility and medical practitioners from treating them. Infertility developed into a conceptual hybrid that should be understood with the vocabulary of humanity and empathy, but approached with the tools and theories of science and medicine. This rationale was further supported by an expanded political notion of “health” that promoted having children as a healthy and normal expectation of life, as well as principles of universalism and equal access to public health care services intrinsic to the Nordic model of welfare.

Additional information

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Publisert 15. nov. 2018 09:13 - Sist endret 15. nov. 2018 09:49