Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Tony Walter delivers lecture at Natural History Museum

Fri Jun 01 09:21:00 BST 2012

dolphin-brain

Take a look at the above image of a brain - do you think it belongs to a human or another animal? If you think it human, how do you feel when you discover it's actually a dolphin's?

Professor Tony Walter, Director of the Centre for Death & Society, took part in a public engagement event at London's Natural History Museum on Friday evening 25 May. The event was in connection to the UK's first exhibition of plastinated animals

Also speaking at the event were artist Jane Wildgoose, and museum and library professional Simon Chaplin.

Tony talked about his ethnographic research into visitor reactions to earlier exhibitions of plastinated humans, where many visitors experienced a new sense of oneness with other humans.

An interesting question about viewing plastinated animals is whether this leads to a sense of affinity with other creatures, and what implications this may have for our relationship with them.

The event held a lively debate, with speakers mingling at cafe tables with a young, diverse and knowledgeable audience.