Harvard University’s Katharine Park Named a Recipient of the 2021 David Dan Prize

Katharine Park, the Samuel Zemurray, Jr. and Doris Zemurray Stone Radcliffe Research Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, will share the 2021 Dan David Prize, an award endowed by the Dan David Foundation and headquartered at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

The Dan David Foundation annually awards $3 million to individuals and organizations that expand the knowledge of the past, enrich society in the present, and improve the world’s future. The fields change annually to reflect society’s current quandaries. This year’s areas of focus include the history of health and medicine (past), public health (present), and molecular medicine (future).

Professor Park will share a $1 million prize with two co-winners in the history of health and medicine category.

Dr. Park studies the histories of the body, sex differences, and medicine in medieval and Renaissance Europe. She broadens the range of historical actors studied by most historians of early medicine, looking beyond the highly educated authors of texts and treatises to include members of other social groups invested in the empirical study of human bodies and the natural world. This included most women, who were largely responsible for caring for the health of their families, dependents, and neighbors inside and outside the context of the household, as well as specialists who provided assistance in conceiving, managing pregnancy, and childbirth.

Professor Park is the author or editor of several books including Secrets of Women: Gender, Generation, and the Origins of Human Dissection (Zone Books, 2006). She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and literature and a Ph.D. in the history of science from Harvard University. She also earned a master’s degree in combined historical studies of the Renaissance from the University of London.

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