On 28 February 2013, the ESF-DRUGS networking programme officially came to an end.  Over the next two years the final publications projects of the network will be realized; however, no new meetings or exchange grants will be offered.  The Chair Volker Hess and the Programme Coordinator Brigit Ramsingh would like to thank the ESF, the ESF-DRUGS network members across Europe and its community of supporters and collaborators worldwide for their hard work over the past five years.   


6/7 December: STand Ex: Standard Exchanges Programme, Strasbourg

Standardisation is omnipresent in communication, production, negotiation,
and trade between partners. The means and processes of standardisation
have been explored in industrial production and the manufacturing of large
quantities, in the development of state health administrations and drug
regulations, and in changes in therapeutic and bedside practices.

This workshop will be centred on an exchange between historians, economists,
political scientists and sociologists. The goal is to strengthen historical
observations and examinations of standards by confronting diverging
interpretations of standards, standardization and parallel entities, such
as routines, norms and codes. We herein bring together studies that link
the concept of standardization to a larger history of health and medicine,
studies those that take a theoretically inspired approach of the
relationship of standardization in economy and science, as well as
contributions that look to apply, criticize or explore these concepts with
regard to pharmaceuticals and history of drugs.

Please find the StandEX programme for download on our website:

There are no participation fees, but registration is strongly recommended.
For more details and registration please contact or

We are grateful for funding and support from

ESF Research Networking Programme Standard drugs, drug standards (DRUGS)


 Call for Applications DRUGS Exchange program 2012-2013

The ESF RNP "Drug standards" offers exchange/travel grants in the field of modern drug history and standardization.

Call for Applications for Exchange Grants for visits of 4 to 24 weeks to Network member institutions.
Open to:


Deadline March 1, 2012. 

Download more info here.


Call for Proposals for 2012


"Drugs and the birth of scientific marketing"

Berlin, June 4th-5th, 2012

Download the Call for Papers



Call for Papers

"Beyond the Magic Bullet: Reframing the History of Antibiotics"

Workshop 17-19 March 2011, Oslo, Norway

Organisers: Christoph Gradmann (Oslo) and Flurin Condrau (Manchester)


Download the Call for Papers

Call for Papers

"Drugs, Standards and the Practices of Globalization"

An international conference of the European Science Foundation DRUGS Research Networking Program organized by CERMES3 (Centre de Recherches Médecine, Sciences, Santé et Société) with the support of Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.)

To be held in Paris December 9-11, 2010.

Download the Call for Papers

11th Congress of the International Society of Ethnopharmacology (ISE 2010)

Continuity and change in ethnopharmacology:
Transdisciplinary science for our future.

September 20 to 25th, 2010, Albacete, Spain


Download the Brochure

Standardizing and Marketing Drugs in the 20th Century


Conference 7-8 October 2010

Charité Institute for the History of Medicine, Berlin Germany

Collaboration: ESF DRUGS and DFG-ANR

 The DEADLINE for the submission of an abstract is 15 January 2010


Organised by Ulrike Thoms, Charité, Berlin

Download the Call for Papers


Drugs, Living Things and the Problems of Standardization


ESF Research Networking Program DRUGS

Workshop 25-27 March 2010

Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany

+++ The DEADLINE for the submission of an abstract is 30 October. +++


Organised by the ESF DRUGS network, Group Biologicals

Download the call for papers

Drugs, Standards, and Chronic Illness


ESF Research Networking Program DRUGS

Workshop November 27-28, 2009

Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

University of Manchester


Org.: Dr. Viviane Quirke ( and  Dr. Carsten Timmermann (


Download the call for paper

Exchange program

The ESF RNP "Drug standards" offers exchange/travel grants in the field of modern drug history and standardization.

Call for Applications for Exchange Grants for visits of 4 to 24 weeks to Network member institutions.
Open to:

DEAD LINE: 1 May 2009

Download the call for application




Circulation of Antibiotics: Journeys of Drug Standards, 1930-1970


ESF Research Networking Program DRUGS

Workshop June 16-18, 2009

Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain

Org.: Ana Romero ( and María Jesús Santesmases (


Download the call for paper


The pharmaceutical life cycle. Scientific perspectives and interdisciplinary analysis of medication: product in evolution.

3rd International Conference

Call for paper (download)

Milan, September 21‐24, 2009
University of Milano – Bicocca, Milan, Italy

Opening Conference

The Opening Conference for DRUGS will take place

at Strasbourg the 4-5th December 2008.

Maison Interuniversitaire des Sciences de l'Homme - Alsace (MISHA)

Funding :


Abstract :

Using the theme of standardization, applied both to objects and practices, the network proposes to explore the development of twentieth-century medicine by looking at the production, distribution, prescription and consumption of major classes of therapeutic agents, such as sulfa-drugs, hormones, and psycho-active drugs.
The aim is to evaluate the contribution of industrial, administrative and clinical standardization to the ‘therapeutic revolution’ (1920-1990) in which a series of ‘miracle’ drugs changed the face of Western medicine. Rather than taking twentieth-century developments in the production and evaluation of drugs as ‘natural’ responses to a series of practical problems, we examine the evolution of industrial standards and drug trials, along with prescription and clinical practices, from a historical perspective. Thus, for example, by looking at the role played by accidents or proposed, but rejected, alternatives to standard modern practice, we aim to reveal the multiple forces that have shaped our modern medical world. This approach takes us beyond the usual protagonists in this history – research scientists and their clinical partners – allowing important groundwork in the contextualization of this field with respect to the intervention of the state, industry, and other actors.

A richer view of the context for the scientific innovation that lies behind the modern pharmaceutical industry promises to open up new perspectives in the analysis of today’s health systems. Furthermore, as standardization is a theme common to a number of disciplines, the proposed approach will open up interdisciplinary discussion allowing fruitful exchange between researchers who otherwise might not meet. Thus, we propose an international networking experience around a rich theme with a rich historical terrain, and significant contemporary interest.

The opening conference will launch the ESF DRUGS program and intends to bring together the participating groups as well as outside experts in order to discuss the general issues of drug standardization.

Download the agenda

Download the practical information

Postgraduate/Postdoctoral Programme 2009-2010

The next exchange programme will be announced in the begining of February 2009, after the Steering Committee meeting.

Postgraduate/Postdoctoral Programme 2008-2009


The aim of the Postgraduate/Postdoctoral programme is to encourage young researchers to engage in comparative international or transnational research projects on the development of 20th century medicine with a European perspective.

The ESF RNP "Drug standards" offers four exchange/travel grants in the field of modern drug history, notably oriented to the four following major drug classes:

  1. psychochemicals,
  2. antibiotics,
  3. hormones and sera,
  4. cardiacs

The fellowships will be distributed following an evaluation of the applications responding to the call for application. Grantees will be chosen based on the evaluation of their proposed projects. An evaluation will also occur at the end of each travel term.

Download the call for application 2008