A Peculiar Mark of Infamy: Anatomy and the Gallows

In this blog our Human Remains Conservator, Cat Irving, looks at the case of James Gow. Gow was the last person to be anatomised under the Murder Act. At 10:30 pm on 16th July, 1831, a murder took place on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. James Gow, a shoemaker who lived and worked at 187 High Street,…

Meet Alan Smith!

In this blog our Curator, Louise Wilkie, introduces you all to Alan Smith. Alan has been volunteering at Surgeons’ Hall Museums for 21 years, but his links to the museum go back much further! Our volunteer Alan Smith has featured in the Museum Associations publication, the Museums Journal this month. Our Curator explores his time…

Freehand Surgical robots make their way to Surgeons’ Hall Museums

Surgeons’ Hall Museums have teamed up with Surrey based medical technology company FreeHand Surgical on their brand-new galleries. The new galleries will be called ‘Body Voyager’ and will explore the advancement of surgical technology, focusing on the introduction of robotics in the operating theatre. Surgeons’ Hall Museums, one of Scotland’s oldest museums, underwent a £4.4…

An Elephant Skull in a Surgical Museum; the History of Comparative Anatomy

In this blog post our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, tells us more about the elephant in the room. The Elephant Skull If you have ever visited Surgeons’ Hall Museums you will very likely have noticed the skull of an elephant sitting on a ledge above the virtual dissection theatre exhibit- let’s face it…

The ongoing, man-made pandemic that kills millions every year

Our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, takes a look at the history of smoking. Imagine a pandemic that will kill about 75,000 people in the UK this year, killed the same number last year and the year before that, and in the preceding 50 years and will kill a similar number in 2022, 2023…

Meet our Project Artist!

With our new Body Voyager galleries set to open this summer we would like to introduce you all to Inês-Hermione Mulford, Project Artist for Body Voyager. Inês is an Edinburgh based realist painter who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA (Hons) in Painting in in 2016 and in 2018 she graduated from…

A shot of polio-infected rat brain please, barman!

In this blog our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, explores the history of the polio vaccine. This blog describes the history of the development of the polio vaccine. It was developed in the middle of the 20th century at a stage when our knowledge of the immune response and how viruses behaved in the…

A vaccine trial with a public audience and rave reviews

With the recent roll out of the covid-19 vaccine all eyes have been on the clinical trial data. In this blog our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, tells us more about a very different vaccine trial. As we have seen with the Covid vaccine, the modern vaccine trial process is complex and highly confidential…

2020: A Year In Review

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2020 we thought we would keep up the tradition of looking back at the year with our “Year in Review” blog. 2020 has been a year like none of us have ever experienced before and we have been very fortunate to have a great team here at Surgeons’…