Medicine Myth and Memory – Trusted Voices in the Pandemic

Dr Jenner's House Temple of Vaccinia

Dr Jenner’s House Temple of Vaccinia

This webinar – originally held on the anniversary of the public COVID vaccination programme on 9 December 2021 – showcased and celebrated the creativity and innovation that UK medical museums demonstrated during the pandemic. It is now available to stream.

About this event

Since March 2020, medical museums across the UK have shown an impressive ability to adapt to new ways of working, keeping audiences and collections at the forefront when their doors have been forced to close.

Medical Museums occupy a unique space in the culture and heritage sector. Their historical collections, education and learning programmes, and public engagement offers are more important than ever, as UK citizens seek answers and information during this challenging time for public health. Just when we need a long view of medicine and health, our museums are facing operational challenges and uncertain futures. However, there’s a greater crisis in which medical museums could be playing a greater role – as trusted spaces to capture and share the stories of COVID-19, contextualised within the historic human struggle against disease.

This webinar was organised by the UK Medical Collections Group; a group of museums and collections reconvened in response to the coronavirus pandemic, to support collaboration between medical museums for the public good.

Stream the morning sessions from this event here

Morning session (10.00 – 12:15)

10:00 Welcome and introduction, Nat Edwards, Chief Executive, Thackray Museum of Medicine

Overview of Thackray as vaccination centre/reopening

10:15 Plague participation in the Pandemic: How Eyam Museum developed digital presence and new partnerships. Owen Roberts, Curator, Eyam Museum.

10:35 Experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic: Sharing doctors voices. Lowri Jones, Senior Curator, Royal College of Physicians Museum

10:55 How do you open a building that remains closed? Gail Chapman, Public Programmes Officer, Royal College of Physicians.

11:15 Comfort break

11:25 Enhancing the Science Museum’s catalogue in collaboration with volunteers from the Thalidomide Society – an online project during the third national lockdown. Selina Hurley and Ruth Blue, Curator of Medicine, The Science Museum.

11:45-12.15 Q&A

Stream the afternoon sessions from this event here

Afternoon session (14.00 – 16:00)

14:00 Welcome back

14:05 Memories of the ventilator: Trauma, personal mythology and the role of medical museum. Nina Thompson, MPhil/PhD student, University College London

14:15 Owen Gower, Museum Manager, Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden – title TBC

14:35 Q&A all speakers/reflections

15:00 Round up and close