Pandemics! Fighting Infection Past and Present – Edinburgh Exhibition Launch

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

1st November 2018 | 5:00PM

Join us for the launch of our new exhibition, and find out about the past, present and future of infection control nursing during disease epidemics. Our speakers include Rose Gallagher. RCN Professional Lead for Infection Prevention and Control, Marguerite Dupree Honorary Professor University of Glasgow on her research on the history of infection control in hospitals and Elaine Ross, Infection Control Manager at NHS Dumfries & Galloway, on managing infection in today’s NHS. Refreshments will be provided.

This event is free to attend – please book your place here.

Talk at 11am: The Staff of Normansfield

Langdon Down Museum

3rd November 2018 | 11:00AM

This talk is based on research from a U3A Shared Learning Project conducted in 2017/2018. The project looked at the lives of the staff who worked at Normansfield between 1868 and 1997. Staff duties at Normansfield were wide-ranging according and included governesses, medical and care staff, farm workers, maintenance staff and teachers.

The museum and theatre will be open from 10am to 5pm on this day.

Free talk. Booking not required. Donations welcome.


What is a Discourse? Knowledge, Entropy, and Life in Lacan

Freud Museum London

4th November 2018 | 10:00AM

In what is arguably his most politically oriented work, Seminar XVII – The Other Side of Psychoanalysis (1969-70), Jacques Lacan coins the neologism anthropie in order to refer to a form of entropy – a degradation or loss of energy – that would be specific to the anthropos, the human animal. In this one-day intensive course we will scrutinise this expression by first unravelling the closely related notion of discourse, which is the main focus of Seminar XVII.

Second, we will see how, in his early Seminars of the 1950s, Lacan already attempted to single out the peculiarity of the speaking animal with respect to other forms-of-life by pointing out that its potentially self-destructive death instinct is somehow anti-entropically contained through the concomitant production of information as an increase in “levels of differentiation”.

Third, we will dwell on how Seminar XVII further articulates and rectifies this scenario. At this point, the symbolic order of language, discourse, and knowledge is no longer simply seen as a tentative solution to the “perturbed” biological nature of Homo sapiens but also as an integral part of its predicament. The very slowing down of entropy – the separation of linguistic life from animal undeadness – itself enhances entropy. There is a structural entropic feature of knowledge that attempts to totalise knowledge, or differentiation, which increasingly indifferentiates it in a chaotic manner.

On the one hand, this endeavour – epitomised by the capitalist-bureaucratic capture of knowledge and its contradictory brandishing of the “happy life” as an elimination of loss – is itself inconclusive. On the other hand, the enhancement of entropy through knowledge may turn out to be truly irreversible and can already be given very concrete or at least evocative names, such a nuclear holocaust, environmental point of no return, pandemic malware, super-intelligent AI takeover, and so on.

RCN Fellows Lecture: Gender on the Agenda

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

7th November 2018 | 5:00PM

2018 marks the centenary of female suffrage in the UK, yet many of us are still asking why gender equality has taken so long? Join us for the annual RCN Fellows lecture to discuss the connection between women’s rights and health around the world. What has been achieved in the century since women gained the vote, and what still needs to be addressed?

This is a free event – please book your place here.

Grief Works

Freud Museum London

7th November 2018 | 7:00PM

Psychotherapist Julia Samuel in conversation with Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger on loss and bereavement.

Julia Neuberger and Julia Samuel have been friends for many years.

Both know bereavement from every angle.

Julia Samuel wrote Grief Works as the definitive guide for anyone who is grieving the death of someone they care about. Julia Neuberger works with bereaved families and has written textbooks for nurses and others on how best to treat dying people and their families from diverse communities.

The two Julias will discuss the grieving process, how friends and family can support the bereaved, and when it is time to call in the professionals.

A woman and a doctor? Activism, medicine and the fight for equality

Royal College of Physicians Museum

12th November 2018 | 6:00PM

Should gender matter in the medical profession? Join the Royal College of Physicians museum for a special evening focused on the struggle for female medical equality in the 20th century.

Features illuminating short talks, an ‘in conversation’ with Dr Lesley Hall and Dr Leslie Brock, and curator-led tour of the acclaimed exhibition ‘This vexed question: 500 years of women in medicine’.

At the beginning of the 20th century a member of staff at the London School of Medicine for Women said: ‘Medicine is a jealous mistress and those who would win her favours must not worship at any other shrine.’

While women had been included as doctors on Britain’s new medical register since the 1860s, the larger question of what it meant to be a woman and a doctor took on new urgency in the early 1900s.

Could a woman be a doctor and a suffragette?

Should women doctors model themselves on male clinicians or be something completely different?
Did gender matter at all?

This ‘in conversation’ evening with Dr Lesley Hall and Dr Claire Brock will reflect on activism, gender and the tumultuous turn of the 20th century for women physicians and surgeons. Through short lectures and lively discussion, the event will delve into challenging questions around women’s careers, family lives and roles in the political movements of this period.


6.00pm: Drinks reception

Exhibition tour of ‘This vexed question’ (pre-book only, places are limited)

7.00pm: Short talks:
Battles not yet won: women doctors between the Wars Dr Lesley Hall
Vexing Questions for Medical Women, 1860-1918 Dr Claire Brock

Lesley Hall and Claire Brock in conversation with Royal College of Physicians museum curator, Dr Kristin Hussey

8.15pm (approx.): Exhibition viewing and pay bar

9.00pm: Close

‘Please help us to carry on nursing’: Jewish refugees and the nursing profession, 1938-45

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

13th November 2018 | 5:00PM

From the anti-Jewish pogrom on 9 and 10 November 1938, known as Kristallnacht, increasing numbers of young German and then Austrian and Czechoslovakian Jewish women fled Nazi Europe for Britain, agreeing to train as nurses in return for refuge. Using a range of oral history interviews, official documents and correspondence in the nursing press, Jane Brooks will cast light on the lives of some of these women and the contribution they made to nursing in the twentieth century.

This is a free event – please book a place here.

Counting the Cost of Caring – The Winifred Raphael Memorial Lecture

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

14th November 2018 | 6:00PM

To commemorate a century since the end of the First World War, the Research Society’s annual lecture focuses on health in the armed forces. Group Captain Di Lamb, PhD, outlines a novel approach to improving psychological resilience in the Defence Medical Services. The talk will be followed by a drinks reception from 8-9pm.

This is a free event – please book your place here.

Can smartphones deliver better eyecare for everyone?

Royal College of Physicians Museum

15th November 2018 | 6:30PM

Thirty-nine million people in the world are blind, and the majority lose their sight due to curable and preventable conditions.  Millions more are held back because they don’t live near eye health facilities or can’t access treatment.

But how do you test and treat people who live in remote areas, where one eye doctor might serve a population of 2 million people and expensive, bulky eye equipment is hard to come by? 

Dr Andrew Bastawrous, winner of the Royal Photographic Society Combined Royal Colleges Medal 2017, CEO of Peek Vision, and Associate Professor of International Eye Health at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, reveals how smartphones may be the ingenious solution.

Dr Bastawrous tells the story of Peek Vision, which has developed a cost-effective portable smartphone eye camera and app to help identify people with eyesight problems and connect them to local health workers.

Peek’s smartphone-based technology also generates data which enables health care providers to supply cost-effective, targeted treatment. This fascinating lecture explains how the programme has grown from a PhD research project to an internationally-adopted national programme in just five years.

The Combined Royal Colleges Lecture 2018 is being held at the Royal College of Physicians and will commence at 6.30pm on 15 November 2018.

Tickets are £5 (£3 for Royal Photographic Society members and concessions)

Book your place here at the Royal Photographic Society website

My First Death

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

16th November 2018 | 5:30PM

How do healthcare professionals cope with death? In what ways do our deaths affect them? Join us at the Royal College of Nursing for a frank, candid, and informal conversation about death, dying, and mourning. This event is part of the Being Human Festival of the Humanities, in partnership with Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions.

This is a free event – please book your place here.