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Alumni Reunion Weekend - Friday 5 October 2012

Friday's programme will focus on the history of anatomy with an early afternoon visit to the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons of England who's current President is alumnus, Professor Norman Williams (q The London, 1970). Later on in the afternoon, we will go to the Museum of London for a Curator's talk on the forthcoming exhibition, Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men which came out of archaeological excavations at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. This event is open to all alumni of Queen Mary, Westfield, Barts and The London.

The programme will commence at the Royal College of Surgeons where lunch will be served in the Cheselden Suite which boasts views of Lincoln's Inn. Following lunch, we will take a guided tour of the Hunterian Museum.

Our next stop is the Museum of London, where we will enjoy a cup of tea in preparation for a curator's talk with  Jelena Bekvalac who will give an indepth talk about the work that has gone into producing Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men.This talk will bring the day to a close.

Please note that the first half of Friday's programme, including lunch, will be held at the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 34-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3PE. Click here for full information about travel to the Royal College of Surgeons.

The second half of the programme will be held at the Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London, EC2Y 5HN.Click here for full information about travel to the Museum of London.

Lunch, Tour of the Hunterian Museum, Tea and Curator's Talk, £25 per person


12.15    Arrival and Registration                        
The Royal College of Surgeons                        
The current President of the Royal College of Surgeons is Professor Norman Williams, who qualified from The London in Medicine in 1970. Professor Williams is also Professor of Surgery and Director of Innovation at the Academic Surgical Unit at Barts and The London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry.

12.30    Lunch                         
Cheselden Suite, The Royal College of Surgeons

13.30    Guided tour
Hunterian Museum, The Royal College of Surgeons                     
This guided tour will take you around the Hunterian Museum which houses one of the oldest collections of anatomical, pathological and zoological specimens in the UK and is based on the items assembled by the surgeon and anatomist, John Hunter (1728-1793).

The collection comprises more than 3,500 anatomical and pathological preparations, fossils, paintings and drawings and also includes specimens donated by Edward Jenner and Sir Joseph Banks. Exhibits include the skeleton of the 7ft 7in tall 'Irish giant' Charles Byrne; a collection of surgical instruments dating from the seventeenth-century; carbolic sprays used by Lister, the pioneer of antiseptic surgery; the tooth of a megatherium (an extinct giant sloth) donated by Charles Darwin, and Winston Churchill's dentures.

Many of the specimens have unusual tales to tell – either about the history of medicine in London, or about John Hunter himself.

14.45    Departure for the Museum of London                         
Guests will make their own way to the Museum of London. The quickest way to travel is to take the London Underground from Holborn (Central line) a couple of stops to St Paul’s (Central line). The 25 bus also goes from Holborn to St Paul’s.

15.15    Arrival 
Museum of London

15.30    Tea/coffee break
Entrance Hall Café, Museum of London 

16.00    Curator's talk

Jelena Bekvala, Curator at the Museum of London, will take you through the forthcoming exhibition Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men which opens at the Museum on 19 October.

In 2006, archaeologists from the Museum excavated a burial ground at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. Some 262 burials were revealed. In the mix of bones was extensive evidence of dissection, autopsy, amputation, bones wired for teaching and animals dissected for comparative anatomy.

The discovery offers fresh insight into early nineteenth-century dissection and the trade in dead bodies, and the Anatomy Act of 1832 which gave the State the right to take ‘unclaimed’ bodies without consent. This remained virtually almost unchanged until the Human Tissue Act of 2004.

Jelena will go through content and show examples of skeletal teaching materials to demonstrate pathologies and how the age and sex of skeletal material is discovered. 

This talk is a prelude to the forthcoming exhibition 'Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men' which will be held at the Museum of London from 19 October – 14 April. Unfortunately we will not be able to preview the exhibition as it will be undergoing final installation work to prepare for the opening. 

17.30 (approx) Close

Incorporated by Royal Charter as Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London

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