Sławomir Łotysz – Project Leader and Principal Investigator, Polish team

Sławomir Łotysz is a historian of science, medicine, and technology, with an interest in environmental history. His most recent publication is a monograph titled The Pripet Marshes. Nature, knowledge, and politics in Polish Polesie until 1945 (in Polish: Pińskie Błota. Natura, wiedza i polityka na polskim Polesiu do 1945 roku, Kraków 2022), which is a study of the environmental history of the largest wetlands in Europe. In his previous monograph, Factories as Aid. Penicillin beyond the Iron Curtain, 1945-54 (in Polish: Fabryka z darów. Penicylina za żelazną kurtyną 1945-1954, Warsaw 2020), he analyzed the political, social, and medical aspects of knowledge dissemination on penicillin production in Eastern Europe. He is currently a Professor at the Institute for the History of Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.

Within MEDEP, Sławomir and his team will examine how people with disabilities dealt with health crises, particularly the outbreak of HIV/AIDS and the Covid-19 pandemic. The study will focus on how medical knowledge was and continues to be communicated to people with limited access to the public sphere and communication on account of deafness, blindness, or intellectual disabilities. The team will focus on the Polish context, but a wider transnational background will be taken into consideration, including the role of international organizations in communicating health in Poland in the 20th and 21st centuries.