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I was having a “Sunday Roast Social Media Conversation” the other day, trying to explain to a friend my views on the beauty of medicine, and the importance of aesthetics in life; he said “a pill is a pill, mate”, to which I replied “Ceci n’est pas une pill”, paraphrasing René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images.

He didn’t get it. Neither did I.

The nitty-gritty, anyway, is that a pipe is a pipe but also something else, and pills are pills but are also something else – something beautiful to look at, with all their colours and shapes – and once again art and medicine found themselves sharing a compartment on a train, and once more we should try to think outside the (pill) box, and realise a pharmaceutical company should have a social presence that goes beyond the mere link-news-functional-post-done-ciao.

Nothing new here – Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome, the American-British pharmaceutical entrepreneur who co-founded Burroughs Wellcome & Company, was also a philanthropist and an art lover. According to Wikipedia “Wellcome had a passion for collecting medically related artefacts, aiming to create a Museum of Man. He bought very widely anything related to medicine, including Napoleon’s toothbrush, currently on display at the Wellcome Collection. By the time of his death there were 125,000 medical objects in the collection, of over one million total.”

If you leave in London, go see the Wellcome Collection TOMORROW. If you don’t leave in London, come down here and visit the Collection instead of Primark and other “cheap and unchic” attractions. Here’s the Collection’s website: http://www.wellcomecollection.org/

How to turn this into digital matter, then? A few suggestions will follow.
Anyway, once again, remember the dogma: INFORM AND ENTERTAIN.

Pinterest
In 2009, I went to the Wellcome Collection to see “Exquisite Bodies: or the Curious and Grotesque History of the Anatomical Model”, an astonishing collection of anatomical models. From the bearded lady to Damien Hirst’s Hymn, how cool would they look on a Pinterest board?

You can’t avoid Facebook
Yep, that’s true – Facebook is like Rihanna: wherever you go, you can’t avoid it. Therefore, make the most of it.
Pfizer is doing a good job on the social network, posting inspiring things, vintage photographs and beautiful etchings.

(From the Pfizer Photo Archives: An etching, circa 1915, of Pfizer’s manufacturing plant in Brooklyn, New York)

Use Tumblr!
As you probably know, I’m a big fan of Tumblr. How to use it, when it comes to medicine-related stuff? Look at Medical School (http://medicalschool.tumblr.com/). Brilliant.

Is this one of Yves Klein’s monochrome works from The Blue Epoch? Nope, it’s the human spinal cord in cross section.

 

Abstract painting or colourised SEM of anthrax bacteria?

What do you think?
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