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American Urological Association and William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History To Open 2014 Urologic History Exhibit
Knowledge Unbound: Literature of Medicine

The American Urological Association’s 2014 history exhibit Knowledge Unbound: Literature of Medicine is a bow to great ideas and the media on which they were stored: whether cave walls, strips of papyrus, scrolls of vellum, bound books of paper or the bits and bytes of the digital age.

Writing is one of the great cultural innovations of humankind. It allows for information to be stored and passed down through the generations, not only in a much more stable manner than through oral tradition, but also over vast distances and time.

This exhibition illustrates the revolutionary effects writing down and spreading new knowledge has had on the world of medicine and contains contributions that speak to three broad themes.

  • The first showcases the history of medicine and medical publishing from antiquity through the Renaissance. Here the focus is on the establishment of medical writing, on classical and medieval textbooks and on how the influence of the classical authorities was only slowly balanced by understanding the value of novel findings.
  • The second theme is medical journals and medical books. These include not only textbooks, but also books on the history of medicine itself. The closer we come to the present – and many of the journals and books featured stem from the 20th century – the clearer the role of individual authors becomes. These are the people who formulated ideas - sometimes alone, sometimes in groups, often after exchanging thoughts with their colleagues at a conference.
  • The third theme includes information management and the opportunities and challenges of the digital world.

As you wander through our exhibit on July 24, ask yourself: What were the most important, most interesting and most pleasurable pieces you have read? And while you might still read your morning paper on a digital tablet and your journal articles on a computer screen, could you live without books? And if you could, would you want to?


The William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History and American Urological Association


Grand opening of the 2014 William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History Exhibit: Knowledge Unbound: Literature of Medicine


The American Urological Association, 1000 Corporate Boulevard, Linthicum, MD 21090


Thursday, July 24, 2014
4-8 PM ET
Light fare to be served


4:30 p.m.

Dr. Michael Moran, Curator, William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History, will present an introduction to the exhibit, "Knowledge Unbound: Literature of Medicine."


6:00 p.m.

Dr. Philip Mackowiak, Professor of Medicine and the CAROLYN FRENKIL AND SELVIN PASSIN HISTORY OF MEDICINE SCHOLAR-IN-RESIDENCE at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, will present, "Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and the Dark Side of the Medical Science."


Admission is free.

"To study the phenomena of disease without books is to sail an uncharted sea, while to study books without patients is not to go to sea at all." – Sir William Osler

About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 20,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy. To learn more about the AUA, visit


Christine Frey, AUA