2,000 years of human culture

July 14, 2007 at 3:00 am Leave a comment

Wellcome imagesThis looks like a fabulous, free online resource. On the Creative Commons.org site, I found news of Wellcome Images – a source of images just launched on the history of medicine, modern biomedical science and clinical medicine, being made available under a Creative Commons License. For anyone interested in the study of the history of medicine and human culture, the fact that the images are coming under a CCL unlocks a vast store of historical knowledge for students, teachers, academics and members of the public.

The collection features some interesting stuff: an oil painting of Florence Nightingale; a picture depicting Charles Darwin as an ape (below); a photograph of Alexander Fleming in his laboratory; visual images from Chinese medicine. So I set about finding some curious images.


This image is of blood vessels in the retina emerging from the optic disc (black). Amazingly colourful, you could almost hang this up as a piece of art in the home! Image credit: Freya Mowat.

Wellcome imagesIf this weren’t an image of something we all fear, you might almost be tempted to have this as a piece of art work too. The image shows human cancer cells in culture. Reminds me of peacock feathers. Image credit: Matthew Daniels.

l0003760.jpgHere’s a caricature of poor old Charles Darwin depicted as an ape and holding up a mirror so a fellow ape can catch a glimpse of himself. Image credit: Wellcome Library, London.

l0022522-1.jpgHere’s a fascinating 1904 photo of Pavlov conducting an experiment on a dog in the amphitheatre of the Physiological Laboratory, Imperial Military Medical Academy, St Petersburg. Image credit: Wellcome Library, London.

Wellcome imagesAnd finally, a Parisian lithograph from the late 19th Century – a chart showing the basic elements of phrenology, physiognomy and palmistry, with diagrams of heads and hands, and portraits of historical figures. Image credit: Wellcome Library, London.

Credit for image accompanying this post: Prof R Bellairs. Image shows a 13 day chick embryo that has been stained to highlight the skeleton. The blue stain shows cartilage; the red stain shows areas where bone has started to form.


Entry filed under: Charles Darwin, Creative Commons, Medicine, Science, Useful resources.

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