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The Researcher’s View

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  • William James: radical empiricist

    19/09/2016

    For the next in our series on Crick and Consciousness, Dr Emma Sutton contrasts Francis Crick’s materialist science of consciousness with that of 19th century psychologist William James, who developed a much broader understanding of what ‘counts’ as scientific evidence.… Continue reading

  • Francis Crick: anti-vitalist crusader

    16/09/2016

    In the next in our series about Crick and Consciousness, Dr Christine Aicardi tells us how she came to the conclusion that there may have been one underlying motivation for all of Crick’s research choices across different scientific fields. Although… Continue reading

  • What did the Victorians make of spectacles?

    04/08/2016

    Nowadays spectacles are commonplace, but in the 19th century some commentators were alarmed by their proliferation. The author of the ‘Health, Beauty and the Toilet’ column, for example, asked “WHY do we see so many children wearing glasses now-a-days, when… Continue reading

  • Fighting Fit: the wartime battle for Britain’s health

    13/07/2016

    “We’re on Number 12 platform at Waterloo Station, one of the ten big metropolitan stations that are engaged today (1 September 1939) on the evacuation of London’s schoolchildren,” reads the BBC’s radio announcer to the sound of puffing steam engines.… Continue reading

  • Who was the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Prospero?

    27/04/2016

    In Shakespeare’s play The Tempest the character Prospero uses magical powers to intimidate his enemies and to manipulate the natural world. The character may have been inspired by the Elizabethan mathematician, astrologer and book collector John Dee. Prospero is the… Continue reading

  • Shakespeare’s twins

    25/04/2016

    Why was Shakespeare so interested in twins? Did they have a special meaning for his audience? Dr Daisy Garofalo investigates in the second of our Shakespeare themed posts. Shakespeare features twin characters in two of his comedies, The Comedy of… Continue reading

  • Shakespeare’s medical world

    23/04/2016

    Why should a library that specialises in the history and culture of medicine commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death? Dr Anna Maerker, who provides a Shakespeare and Medicine lecture at the Wellcome Library for acting students, kicks off our… Continue reading

  • Madame Ruppert’s beauty secrets

    03/02/2016

    A box of confectionery arrived at the green room of the Princess’s Theatre, Oxford Street, on 6 November 1894… with no well-wishes attached. Madame Anna Ruppert, starring in ‘Robbery Under Arms’, ate a considerable quantity of sweets. The next day,… Continue reading

  • Linking letters across archives

    19/01/2016

    On a recent visit to the Library, archivist Karen Rushton made some interesting connections between letters in the Wellcome Library archives and others in archives at the University of Manchester Library. By their very nature, correspondence by particular individuals often… Continue reading

  • Hoping for prosperity in the New Year

    01/01/2016

    One hundred years ago, on 1 January 1916, the Chemist and Druggist trade magazine presented the annual opportunity for manufacturers, wholesalers and importers to woo their retail pharmacist customers with new year greetings. Browse through the New Year’s issue and… Continue reading