Paris Descartes University - Conference dinner and museum visit


The Paris Descartes University (Paris V): the university of humanities and health in Paris

The General Conference buffet dinner to be held on Tuesday 9 September 2008 will be hosted at the Paris Descartes University.  Located in the heart of the lively left bank area, the 6th quarter of Paris was the forefront of the city’s intellectual life in the 1950s.  The dinner will be held in the university's hall (Hall de l’université), starting with an optional tour of the History of Medicine Museum.

Cultural heritage

Paris Descartes University is also rich in decor and art objects.

The “ salle des actes” at the Faculty of pharmaceutical sciences is the reconstitution, on a larger scale, of the 18th century hall.The University headquarters contain art objects of the highest quality: a set of Gobelins tapestries, the four elements, by Charles Le Brun, with the arms of Louis XIV; numerous pictures by Van Clève, Philippe de Champaigne, Rigaud, Nattier and Girodet; marbles by J-B Lemoyne and Houdon.The 18th century architecture (colonnade, main staircase, amphitheatre) and the noble 19th century architectural additions create an elegant setting for these art objects.

René Descartes (1596 - 1650)

Born in the Touraine region, René Descartes studied at the Jesuit school of La Flèche. One night, while in the army, three dreams were to change his future drastically, letting him foresee the founding principles of an admirable science which he was to try to clarify all along his life. A mathematician and a physician, a metaphysician and a moralist, he is the philosopher who started the great adventure of modern thinking. “In addition, I had always a most earnest desire to know how to distinguish the true from the false, in order that I might be able clearly to discriminate the right path of life, and proceed in it with confidence.” Discourse on the Method

“By wisdom is to be understood not merely prudence in the management of affairs, but a perfect knowledge of all that man can know, as well for the conduct of his life as for the preservation of his health and the discovery of all the arts” Letter-preface to the Principles of philosophy

History of Medicine Museum

Paris Descartes University has the privilege of housing several museums within its premises. Since 1905, the History of Medicine Museum has been located in the present University headquarters, on the 2nd floor. The collections of the Anatomy department, created under the reign of Louis XV, constituted the first elements of the museum which developed later, owing to numerous donations and legacies. It contains paintings, engravings, lithographs, tokens and medals, in addition to an exceptional range of surgical and physiological instruments. Restored and extensively open to the public, this museum has become a museum for higher education and research. The beautiful collections of pharmaceutical crockery pots and bronze mortars of the Faculty of pharmaceutical sciences and a Museum of medical materials and equipments, which is unique in the world and has been constantly growing since the 18th century, must also be mentioned.


12 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine
75006 PARIS

Metro: Odeon

RER: Luxembourg

View map

Access from OECD Conference Centre:

Take the RER C from Avenue Henri Martin to St-Michel Notre-Dame or take the Number 63 bus route from Porte de la Muette to Odeon

Go to the Parisian transport website


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