Laura Sumrall is a Visiting Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science from October 2018-March 2019.

She is studying for her PhD at the University of Sydney in the School of History and Philosophy of Science, where she completed her MSc in 2015. Her dissertation project, "Deposing the Demon: Jan Baptista van Helmont and the Authority of Magic in Early Modern Medicine," examines the works of the Dutch chymical physician Jan Baptista van Helmont (1579/80–1644) and his followers, focusing on the demonological origins of van Helmont’s disease theory and the reception and transformation of his ideas in later medical philosophies.

Her research interests within the context of early modern medicine include disease etiology and nosology, occult qualities, demonology, and epistemology, informing her broader interest in the engagement of esoteric knowledge and early modern science.

Experience

  • –present
    PhD Candidate, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science