Baeg Hyemin

Years of Stay at HYI: 
Aug 2015 to May 2017

Hyemin Baeg is a Master’s candidate in Regional Studies East Asia at Harvard University. She obtained her M.D. (DKM) from Dong-eui University in Korea and M.A. in History and Philosophy of Medicine from Yonsei University, College of Medicine. Her thesis focuses on the conflict surrounding pseudo-philology which emerged in the context of medical positivism in eighteenth-century Japan. She has a wide range of research interests. Her other research focuses on the issue of drug-based clinical experiments in pre-modern East Asia: how pre-modern doctors set up their pathological hypotheses on diseases and how these clinical experiments were conducted. These pre-modern medical experiments in East Asia have a lot in common with present day lab research topics and the issue of drug discovery in the US. Her other research targets the ‘gap period of the 1990s’ in modern China, which refers to the intervening years between mouse-model based research (1960-1980) and bioinformatics research (after 2000) on TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). More specifically, she reconstructs the process of how Chinese Zhangfu (organ) mouse-models began to be built and why these experiments ended around the late 1980s. She analyzes the content of experiments, scientific polemics, and politics within scientific communities, rather than describing only accepted scientific results in textbook fashion. Her research explores the fundamental discrepancies between the critical concerns of groups of scientists and physicians that were involved in experiments on TCM and those outside of it. She is also interested in critical reflections on cultural history, anthropology, and the sociology of Chinese medicine.