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Biomedicine in museums

4,000 images of ('occasionally macabre') medical objects soon online

Science Museum already has two educational websites: and Now (as announced last Tuesday) they are going to build a new multimedia website based on their medical history collections aimed at high school and undergrad student (and the general public, of course).

The goal is to place images (supplemented by a series of interactive tools) of around 4,000 “interesting, sometimes beautiful but also occasionally macabre objects” online — objects that range “from carefully decorated 16th century maiolica made for pharmacists to ingenious 20th century prosthetic devices to help soldiers damaged in the First World War”. Hopefully they will also put images of some contemporary biomedical objects online, even if these are usually much less macabre than some classical blood-and-gore objects.

The first batch of object images will go online in 2008 and the whole project (which is supported by the Wellcome Trust) will  hopefully be completed in 2011. Congratulations to the grant — we’re looking very much forward to see the final result, including some crisp images of gene chips and transgenic mice!

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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