CfP: Medicine, Myth and Memory - Dec 2021

Online event – Wed 8/Thu 9 December 2021

Medicine, Myth and Memory: Trusted Voices in the Pandemic


Since March 2020, medical museums across the UK have shown an impressive ability to adapt to new ways of working, keeping audiences and collections at the forefront when their doors have been forced to close. Medical Museums occupy a unique space in the culture and heritage sector. Their historical collections, education and learning programmes, and public engagement offers are more important than ever, as UK citizens seek answers and information during this challenging time for public health.


Just when we need a long view of medicine and health, our museums are facing operational challenges and uncertain futures. However, there’s a greater crisis in which medical museums could be playing a greater role – as trusted spaces to capture and share the stories of COVID-19, contextualised within the historic human struggle against disease.


This online event will be free to attend. It is being organised by the UK Medical Collections Group; a group of museums and collections reconvened in response to the coronavirus pandemic, to support collaboration between medical museums for the public good.



This event aims to:

  • Showcase the impressive range of projects and innovations that medical museums have delivered throughout COVID-19.
  • Demonstrate the important role that medical museums play in education and information sharing, particularly during public health crises when it is most needed.
  • Continue with the creative and engaging online activities that museums have offered to their public audiences this past year.



The event will be hosted online on Wednesday 8 Dec 2021 10am – 4pm, with the possibility to extend into Thursday 9 Dec. It will comprise of a series of talks and workshops delivered by a range of contributors, showcasing brilliant work from across the medical museums sector. The more creative and engaging the better. We want the event to be for our public audiences, as well as a chance for colleagues in the sector to come together and share innovations.



We welcome a variety of proposals to keep the day as varied as possible. Your proposals will help us shape the programme. This is not an exhaustive list, but your proposal could be;

  • A 20-minute talk (single or joint speakers)
  • Interactive workshop
  • Panel discussion (3 - 4 members and Chair)
  • Lightning talks (10 minutes each)
  • The submissions should cover one of the following themes, which are aligned to the aims of the event:
  • Innovative ways of engaging audience during the pandemic
  • Adapted ways of working in response to building/site closures during the pandemic
  • Digital engagement
  • Health and wellbeing activities provided during the pandemic
  • Citizen science


Proposals for your talk or workshops should be up to 250 words detailing what you would like to present and how it responds to the themes. Up to two supporting documents can also be submitted. Please keep a public audience in mind.

Deadline for expressions of interest: 10 September 2021

Send to:


Questions about the event? Just ask Caroline Hamson or Frances Reed.