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medicine

Spring has sprung, summer is heating up; insects and creepy crawlies are starting to buzz, wriggle, and flutter once again. Often these animals are treated as pests, yet bugs and insects play a very important role in our ecosystem. But more than that, many of these insects also have a long and important historical role in medical treatment and healthcare – a tradition that is continued in modern medicine. Here we explore some examples of these helpful bugs – all of which continue to be used by the NHS today!

As part of the Science Museum Group’s COVID-19 Collecting Project we have acquired a portrait by Roxana Halls of Katie Tomkins, Mortuary and Post-Mortem Services Manager at West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, created as part of the Portraits for NHS Heroes project in response to the pandemic.

infant feeding bottle

Assistant Curator Miriam Dafydd looks back at some of the objects used to support parents in feeding babies over the centuries.

Assistant Curator Rebecca Raven explores medicine in the age of the Aztec Empire, from ceremonial birth to death on the sacrificial stage.

Curator of Art Collections Dr. Katy Barrett explores how working with artists in response to themes and objects in our collection can help to illuminate the role of science in our lives and identities. This post is part of our Open for All series.

While our curators identify items to collect to represent our experience of COVID-19, here are ten remarkable items from past pandemics.