Social Responsibility

The Medicine Cabinet: Student and Public Engagement

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:43:00 BST

This September, the Museum of Medicine and Health begins a new year working collaboratively with MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies students. Last years’ project, supported in part through the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund, demonstrated successful joint working with the Institute for Cultural Practices and Centre for the History of Science Technology and Medicine, for the benefit of public engagement.

Students and staff developed a series of public engagement activities that aimed to engage different audiences with medical and healthcare collections. One of the aims of the project was to make an impact on the public through a pop up exhibition, a family activity and a social media campaign.

The Medicine Cabinet was a one day exhibition in December 2015 at Chetham's Library. Curated by 40 MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies students, it gave students invaluable real-life experience in managing a museum collection, engaging with audiences and stakeholders and raising public awareness of the rich medical heritage of the University of Manchester. Over 200 people attended and feedback was positive.

Elements of the exhibition were taken to Manchester Histories Festival, June 2016. Family audiences took part in a fun quiz looking closely at medical objects. In order to make a wider impact, the project included a social media campaign to disseminate research that the students had conducted on its collection. Images were shared on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and engaged informed audiences, such as medical historian networks with the medical objects.

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