Some of our volunteer anatomists have never presented to the public. Anatomy Nights has not only been a way of getting accurate anatomy knowledge to a broad audience, but also to support and guide more of our peers in their development as science communicators, providing the tools they need to co-ordinate and host their own events.
The Anatomy Nights event series are set in public places to encourage an audience who would not usually consider attending a university-based event. In Hull, we’ve had packed events at The Brain Jar and Sailmakers Arms. The anatomist leads a presentation about the organ of focus e.g. where is it, what does it do, how does it work, what happens when something goes wrong? The presentation is followed by an animal organ dissection so the audience can see the structures themselves, and the night is finished with a Q&A.
A short anatomy quiz before and after has allowed us to evidence the positive effect that Anatomy Nights has on the public’s knowledge of anatomy – you’ll be pleased to hear that people leave the event knowing significantly more about their bodies as when they went in.
In October, I piloted a new show with the lungs as the organ of focus. Presenting at the W5 science museum in Belfast for their adults-only Halloween-themed night, I covered inhalation of UFOs and the problems with a pneumothorax for a 300-strong audience. The lungs will expand (pun intended) to global sites in late-2020. If you can’t wait till then, Anatomy Nights – Matters of the Heart will be out again in February. Come along and see if you really know where your heart is. Follow @AnatomyNight on twitter and check the website for more details closer to the time.
As well as co-founder of Anatomy Nights, Dr Kat Sanders is a Lecturer in Anatomy and Programme Director for the MSc in Clinical Anatomy (and Education) programmes at Hull York Medical School. This year, she is a finalist in the External Engagement category of the Employee Excellence Awards. Follow Kat on twitter @AnatomyKat.