GSA Public Lecture – Making Waves

Written by on November 21, 2018

On Thursday 29th November, the College hosts an event by Glasgow School of Art – Making Waves: a lecture by Professor Dugald Cameron.

Arguably the most important technological development to affect the lives of women in the last 50 or so years has been diagnostic obstetrics ultrasound. For a few short years in the late 50’s and early 60’s, Glasgow led the world in its development. A unique collaboration between experts in clinical obstetrics, engineering, electronics and industrial design created the first prototypes and production models of ultrasound scanners for routine obstetrics scanning in Glasgow hospitals.

To celebrate the the 60th anniversary of the publication of the first and seminal Lancet paper alerting the medical profession to the possibilities of the use of ultrasound, just 10 years after the birth of the NHS, Professor Dugald Cameron, Director of The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) from 1991 to 1999, will give a keynote lecture of his pivotal role, as a final year industrial design student and for his first paid commission, in the design and realisation of the prototype Sundén machine, and then the first commercially produced ultrasonic scanner in the world, the Diasonograph, manufactured by Kelvin and Hughes, Glasgow.

The lecture will be introduced by Professor Alastair Macdonald, who studied under Cameron in the 1970’s and who is now Senior Researcher in the School of Design at GSA, who will also provide details of the forthcoming Ultrasonic Glasgow exhibition at GSA featuring Cameron’s drawings from the GSA archive as well as more recent GSA ultrasonics-related design and research. The lecture will be followed by a reception in the College’s Lower Library.

Here’s a little video about the event –

Visitors will also be able to see the College’s current exhibition Our Science and Art: Visualising the Human Body, which features a section on clinical ultrasound. To book please click on the link below.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
232-242 St. Vincent Street
Glasgow G2 5RJ

Thurs. 29 Nov, 18:00-20:00
Free, booking essential

Image credit: Diasonograph, manufactured by Kelvin and Hughes, Glasgow


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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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