Visualising Medical Heritage and Innovations – Meet the Experts

Written by on January 10, 2018

The College is taking part in an exciting event during British Science Week, in collaboration with the University of Glasgow’s Anatomy Facility, and Glasgow Science Centre. On 16th March, Visualising Medical Heritage and Innovation – Meet the Experts will show how visualisation techniques such as 3D photography, 2D VR models, gaming and animation, can unlock the stories of scientific innovation, the evolution of medical and surgical care, and the latest advances in anatomy teaching.

The event will celebrate Glasgow’s rich medical heritage through world-famous figures such as Joseph Lister and David Livingstone, and point the way to the latest innovations in surgical care. We will also show how medical heritage can be visualised using unexpected raw materials such as paper and poetry. The six stalls present on the day will take you on a journey from the state of medicine and surgery hundreds of years ago, to the exciting new technologies used today to save lives. Come and talk to medical historians, artists, surgeons, and anatomists to discover the innovations that have shaped the healthcare practice as we know it.

This event will take place at the Glasgow Science Centre and we are expecting a big, broad audience, including school children.

Here’s a preview of what is available on the day:

The First Stethoscope (RCPSG)

Includes an example of the first wooden stethoscope, animations, and an interactive Make your Own Stethoscope activity.


2003.50_stethoscope 8

Virtual anatomy museum (RCPSG)

How can we use technology to visualise a 19th century anatomy museum?


anatomy museum shot


Joseph Lister and antiseptic surgery (RCPSG)

See an example of an original Lister carbolic spray, animations and poems showing the development of Lister’s innovation, introduced in Glasgow in the 1860s, and how it changed medical science.


Lister portrait


Surgeons viewpoint (University of Glasgow / RCPSG)

Meet a real-life surgeon demonstrating advances in medical imaging and visualisation.




3D printing of David Livingstone’s Humerus (RCPSG)

Using visualisation to tell the story of the lion attack that almost killed explorer David Livingstone & live 3D printing of a cast of his fractured humerus!


Portrait of David Livingstone taken from the Last Journals of David Livingstone, John Murray, 1874.


Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy (University of Glasgow)

Highlighting the amazing work done on student projects on this MSc course – a collaboration between the Laboratory of Human Anatomy, and Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation.



Visualising Medical Heritage is a two year digitisation project at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, supported by Museums Galleries Scotland.



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About Us

The College’s heritage collections – including thousands of medical and surgical instruments, rare books, archives, and pictures – span over 6 centuries and are an excellent resource for exploring the history of medicine and the history of the city of Glasgow. Many items from the collections have been digitised and are available to view here. Our digitisation work is ongoing, and we add new items to the site regularly, so keep checking back to discover more.

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