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Talk Exhibition launch and lecture: Ceaseless motion - William Harvey's experiments

Exhibition launch and lecture: Ceaseless motion - William Harvey's experiments

Professor Andrew Cunningham


Join the Royal College of Physicians for the public launch of a special exhibition on the life, work and legacy of William Harvey, the anatomist and doctor who put the heart at the centre of human existence.

Be among the first to see fascinating new displays about the physician who upended almost 2,000 years of medical convention to identify that blood circulated from the heart, rather than being 'concocted' in the liver.

To mark the opening of the exhibition, Ceaseless Motion, Professor Andrew Cunningham, acknowledged Harvey expert, will give a special lecture on how a man now regarded as important to medicine as Newton is to physics and Darwin to biology, was orginally fearful of his own discoveries.

How William Harvey discovered the circulation of the blood and why he regretted it
The discovery of the circulation of the blood is without doubt the greatest discovery ever made about the functioning of humans and animals. Yet, it was made by one man working on his own and far from the main centres of anatomical investigation. The unexpected finding and not a welcome one, for it threatened to overturn the whole system of medicine that had been carried on for at least fifteen hundred years.

Harvey feared the worst. He wrote: 'those things ... are so new and unheard of, that not only do I fear harm to myself from other people’s ill-will, but I likewise fear that every man will be my enemy'.

In this talk, Professor Andrew Cunningham will explore how Harvey made this vital discovery, how he hesitated to publish his findings, and how, despite all his efforts, his findings remained highly controversial almost until his death.

This event is free but you need to reserve a place using the Book Now link below.


Event details

Thu 18 Jan 2018, 6:30pm

Live subtitling by Stagetext

Book now

Venue details

Royal College of Physicians
11 Saint Andrews Place
The Arts Council
The Arts Council
The Arts Council