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Biomedicine in museums

Putting the magic back into medicine

By October 31, 2012No Comments

Just learned from a job ad on the UKMCG-list that the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds is launching a new research and curatorial project titled “Putting the Magic Back into Medicine”.

The project, which is funded by Arts Council England, is meant to lay the foundations for transforming the Thackray Museum’s identity by, as they put it, “overcoming the perception of medicine as scary and serious”. Instead they want to “make medicine magical” for their visitors, both kids and adults:

As a medical museum, audience research has shown that our current interpretation needs balancing with more positive stories of health and medicine. This project will develop a strong and positive theme combining intriguing history and inspirational contemporary stories, while asking more profound questions of the collection in terms of how we understand the links between medicine and magic both in the past and in the present.

Personally, I’m not sure that making medicine “magical” is the same as introducing “more positive stories”. But it’s nevertheless a refreshing new perspective from the side of Thackray’s.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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