What about the men? The paternity data gap in DOHaD research

Emily Wheater // The ‘Developmental Origins of Health and Disease’ (DOHaD) hypothesis posits that environmental exposures that occur during critical periods of development have long-lasting and/or penetrative effects on offspring health by acting on developmental processes. Even if you have not heard ‘DOHaD’ before, you are likely to already be familiar with the concept and…

Mother-tales: otherness and doubt in the neonatal intensive care unit

Emily Wheater // Recently in Synapsis, Jessica M.E. Kirwan discussed the portrayal by male, Enlightenment-era physicians of mothers in obstetric texts and images. William Hunter’s illustrations of pregnant bodies are deeply dehumanising in their presentation of butchered female bodies, and gradually stripping away the mother’s body altogether leaving just the uterus behind. What a wonderful…

The Evolution of Comparative Anatomy

Emily Wheater // A Design for Life, an exhibit on at the Surgeons’ Hall Museums in Edinburgh, is tiny. Yet, in one room, the contribution of 18th – 19thC comparative anatomy to medical education and training of the day and to the development of early evolutionary theory is told cogently and precisely. The tale encompasses…

Life Hacks: How Non-Specialist Journalism Fuelled the MMR Scandal

Emily Wheater // Cases of measles worldwide have quadrupled in the past year. For years we have been waiting to see what the consequences of vaccine scepticism would be. Now that they are apparent, they are as unsurprising as they are alarming. The issues around why people do or do not vaccinate themselves and their…

The Benefits of Reading: Happy Endings or Horror Stories?

Emily Wheater // Is reading good for us? For most of my life, the enjoyment of reading was incentive and justification enough for me to read. I read to cheer myself up, to escape, to learn, to engage. This belief in the inherent value of reading first came under attack when I went to university….

Review – Living with Buildings

Emily Wheater // It was a dark, and extremely wet London evening, when I sought shelter in the Wellcome Collection in London a few weeks ago. Like many of Britain’s museums, it is free to enter (though you are free to spend money in the bookshop), and it is dry (despite the sodden Britons). And…

Picture This: The Art of Looking Like a Scientist

Emily Wheater // Earlier this year, the Wellcome Trust in the UK announced their new Photography Prize. They call on photographers to share, uncover, and disseminate new insights into medicine and healthcare at several levels of resolution: the global and social, technological, and biological. The Awards are a celebration of photography intersecting with science to…