Pathology Spotlight: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

In this Pathology Spotlight our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, explains aortic aneurysms.  The aorta is the large vessel that carries the blood at high pressure from the left side of the heart to the rest of the body. At the top of the specimen shown here is the arch of the aorta just…

A Model Education

In this latest blog, our Curator gives us an insight into what to expect from our upcoming temporary exhibition ‘A Model Education’ Our new exhibition, opening Saturday 4th April, will explore the teaching of anatomy throughout the centuries. By examining the collections of six historic anatomical institutions across the UK, including our own, we build…

Pathology Spotlight: Diabetes

In this latest Pathology Spotlight our Human Remains Conservator, Cat Irving, explains the different types of diabetes and the complications that can arise from the condition.  This foot shows diabetic gangrene, a common complication of diabetes mellitus. The term diabetes mellitus actually refers to several conditions with different causes, all characterised by problems in metabolising…

Surgeons’ Hall Museums and the Franklin Expedition

Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson talks about the ill-fated Franklin Expedition and it’s connection to Surgeons’ Hall Museums. “In Baffin’s Bay where the whale fish blow The fate of Franklin no man may know The fate of Franklin no tongue can tell Lord Franklin along with this sailors do dwell!” -From traditional folk song…

Scottish Women’s Hospital – pioneers in science and surgery project with Canongate Youth community group.

Our Learning Officer, Carl Ronan, talks about the recent pioneers in science and surgery projectproject that Surgeons’ Hall Museums ran in collaboration with Canongate Youth.  The learning team here at Surgeons’ Hall Museums were successful in receiving a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant for an inspiring heritage project based on the Scottish Women’s Hospital (SWH)…

John Goodsir and Charles Darwin’s Stomach Problems

In the latest blog Ken Donaldson, our Senior Research Fellow, talks about John Goodsir’s involvement with Charles Darwin and the potential cause of Darwin’s stomach problems. In the summer of 1863 the Professor of Anatomy in the University of Edinburgh, John Goodsir, was in failing health due to a long-term degenerative condition. Notwithstanding, he still wished…

Pathology Spotlight: Tuberculosis

In the penultimate Pathology Spotlight of the year, our Senior Research Fellow, Professor Ken Donaldson, takes a look at tuberculosis.  The specimen shown in Figure 1 is a right lung sliced open to show tuberculous bronchopneumonia which has caused a large cavity (C) near the top. TB is an infection caused by the Mycobacterium genus…

The Dispute That Rocked 19th Century Medicine

In this new blog post, our Senior Research Fellow, Ken Donaldson, discusses the dispute that rocked 19th century Edinburgh medicine.   Fallouts over scientific theories are nothing new. The first great clash was in the 17th century when Galileo argued that the sun was at the centre of our universe. His opponent was the Pope,…

Pathology Spotlight: Tapeworms

In this Pathology Spotlight our Human Remains Conservator, Cat Irving, tell us all about tapeworms- from how they contaminate humans to their use in ‘diet pills’ in the early twentieth century.

Corrective Surgery

In this latest blog, our Human Remains Conservator discusses the skull and death mask of Burke and Hare’s accomplice, John Brogan, and how pioneering surgery carried out by Thomas Mütter could have helped with a childhood injury. The story of Burke and Hare is well known. In 1828 the pair murdered at least 16 people…