Obscura Day alert: Biomedical curiosities galore!

I am a huge fan of medical museums and scientific entertainment. Some of you may have gathered this from coverage on the Heart of Cape Town Transplant Museum. One of our recent news roundups featured a talk about the unexpected history of blood transfusion. And lord knows it’s newsworthy when art and tissue donation intersect.

In keeping with this longstanding love, I had to share the upcoming Obscura Day, taking place worldwide on April 28th. While many of the events buoyed by the popularly niche Atlas Obscura don’t really have any relation to transplantation, there are nice handful that will attract the health history buff in you, and provoke the donor recruiter to consider the vintage manifestations of the medical sort as sparks for the imagination. As we’ve pointed out before at TransplantInformers, visual representations matter in donor outreach and education. Many of the events on the Obscura Day agenda are displays of direct specimens that inspire with their beauty, illustrative power and/or gore. Plus, knowledgeable tour leaders pepper the visual feast with fabulous factoids.

Our top pick is for Londoners, who are very lucky to have Dr. Richard Barnett give them a walking tour of Bloomsbury, clearing the London fog to reveal the neighborhood’s storied medical arcana. Some of our readers may be familiar with Dr. Barnett from our coverage of Heart to Heart, a fascinating discussion on heart transplantation. Barnett does not disappoint, including transplant surgery on cockerels in his guided gambol.

Dr. Richard Barnett totally rocks on tour

We’re also glad to say that although the Hunterian Collection surgical tour is sold out, Lindsey Fitzharris, The Chirugeon’s Apprentice, is donating the proceeds of the lecture to Live Life Then Give Life, which promotes organ donation in the UK. On that surgical tip, Edinburgh’s Surgeon’s Hall is also hosting an event.

Other honorable mentions include Know Your Enemy, an Australian expedition into disease and dissection and a day at the Cushing Brain Collection in New Haven, CT. I also highly encourage any Germany-located folks to check out the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics for a foray behind the scenes of this world-renowned lab. From my fieldwork in immunology labs, I can testify firsthand that observing the inner workings of a laboratory can really revolutionize your thinking about transplantation.

Some of you might want to explore the Echo Park Time Travel Mart in Los Angeles too. Their stock features cures and remedies, hearkening back (or forward?) to a different era of medicinal concoction, including flavorful blood pills. Plus, The Walking Dead fans we’ve amassed on TransplantInformers might be particularly amused by Professor Clutterbuck’s products.

For a full list of the Obscura Day festivities, visit here.

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