Adventures in Anatomy is a series which will explore different parts of the body, combining science, myth, history and folklore to look at the way our understanding of them has changed through time, and the part they play in culture and the way we look at the world.

Labour of Love: the Heart

Our heart occupies a central role in the way we think about feelings and emotions. You might wear your heart on your sleeve, or have a heart made of stone – and if you’re a very good person you may have a heart of gold. If you fall in love you might give your heart away, or someone may steal. The Tin Man was desparate to ask the Wizard of Oz for a heart. How has a pump in the middle of our chest come to have so many other jobs to do?


Cat Irving has been the Human Remains Conservator for Surgeons’ Hall since 2015 and has been caring for anatomical and pathological museum collections for over twenty years. After a degree in Anatomical Science she began removing brains and sewing up bodies at the Edinburgh City Mortuary. Following training in the care of wet tissue collections at the Royal College of Surgeons of England she worked with the preparations of William Hunter at the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University. Cat is a licensed anatomist, and gives regular talks on anatomy and medical history. She recently carried out conservation work on the skeleton of serial killer William Burke

don’t worry if you miss it – we will send you a recording valid for two weeks the next day

See all the events in the series – Adventures in anatomy with Cat Irving

Nov 20th 2023 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

£5 - £10 & By Donation

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