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Robert D. Hicks
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Robert D. Hicks, Ph.D.
Director, Mütter Museum/Historical Library
William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
|Interests:||American History / Studies
Atlantic History / Studies
History of Science, Medicine, and Technology
Maritime History / Studies
Robert Hicks directs and supervises museum and library operations at the home of the oldest professional society in the United States, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, also designated by the federal government as the Birthplace of American Medicine.sm The Mütter Museum, founded in 1859, includes a diverse and historically significant collection of artifacts and anatomical specimens displayed within a 19th-century medical cabinet environment. Artifacts include medical tools and instruments, furniture, memorabilia of significant physicians, teaching paraphernalia, and images from early X-rays to lantern slides to drawings and paintings of pathological conditions. Anatomical specimens include pathological anatomy, teratology (monstrous births), and osteology. The Historical Medical Library, once the most important medical library in the country, contains 325,000 volumes, including rare and important incunabula and Renaissance anatomical atlases and seminal works in most medical fields. Dr. Hicks supervises a staff of librarians, educators, a curator, exhibits manager, as well as part-time workers, contractors, and volunteers.
Dr. Hicks directs and participates in conceiving, researching, and writing exhibit texts, from the recently-opened Mütter exhibit on the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln and Garfield, to a recent exhibit on lead and health, The Devouring Element, funded by the City of Philadelphia. For over thirty years, Dr. Hicks has developed and presented museum-based educational programs and participated in designing exhibits, with an emphasis on the history of science and technology. Before his current position, as Director, Roy Eddleman Institute for Interpretation and Education, he supervised exhibits, collections, archives, and scholars’ fellowships at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. Since 1993, he has developed history and science educational programs and exhibits for museums and historic sites in the USA and the United Kingdom on behalf of Loxodrome History Consultants. Further, throughout this period, he has trained students, museum interpreters, docents, and guides. He has managed multimillion dollar budgets, including the $12 million construction of a new conference center with exhibit galleries. He has also supervised librarians, educators, curators, analysts, and grants administrators.
Robert Hicks has written two books, chapters of a dozen books, and about 50 essays and articles. Through his experience as a senior program manager for Virginia state government and as a Naval officer, as advised state and local governments on policy development, program evaluation, grants writing, and other topics, and he created and taught Time Crime, a program for law enforcement and archeologists on the investigation of crimes involving cultural resources. As an educator and trainer, he has conceived and taught programs in history, legal topics, training theory and methods, and science. His doctorate in maritime history was earned at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom, and at the University of Arizona he obtained a B.A. in anthropology and archeology and an M.A. in applied anthropology.