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Patrick Fournier

Physicians and the mediatisation of the “climate theory” in Enlightenment France

Le Temps des médias n° 25, Automne 2015, p. 18-33.

DrapeauFrancais

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From the Provençal Plague of 1720-1722 to the French Revolution, the « climate theory », stemming from the Hippocratic tradition and updated by Montesquieu, has received an increasing attention from the media. The analysis of this phenomenon is based here on the study of correspondences and publications in the scientific and medical journals of the 18th century. This mediatisation is the instrument of a politicization of the doctors’ role : in their opinion, the study of climate and environment is a major issue in justifying their knowledge and their intervention in the public space.

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