Biomedical Sciences

Do your looks betray you?

The evening of the 31st of January saw over 200 people fill the anatomy lecture theatre for the latest in a series of Anatomical museum talks.

On this occasion they were addressing ‘Do your looks betray you?’ with a multidisciplinary team.

The evening was hosted by Becky Howell from the National Portrait Gallery and Ruby Hann, an undergraduate and last summer’s museum intern.

The first speaker, Chris Rynn from the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification in Dundee took people through facial reconstructions and what can be deduced from skull shape.  He concluded that looks, whilst not being directly related to personality, did affect the way people treated each other, and hence how they developed and reacted to the world around them.

The second speaker, Tim Squirrell, a post graduate student from Science and Technology Studies, opened the eyes of the audience to the relatively unknown world of the incel community and their beliefs about skull shape and how it can dictate your outcome in life.

The third speaker, Ian Jackson from the MRC’s Human Genetics Unit discussed hair colour, its genetic basis and how this may, or may not, relate to personality.

Finally Patricia Allmer from Edinburgh College of Art told the audience about the history of crystal skulls in art and the fascination that the public have had with them.

The audience loved it. The question and answer panel went on for longer than anticipated and was continued over refreshments by the elephants. The organising group now have the delightful problem of coming up with another topic that crosses the boundaries.


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