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Geological drugs and prophylactics – discovering how knowledge of geology was used in the past to prevent disease and protect against ailments

Thursday 29th July, 13.00-14.00hrs.

Online Talk with Dr. Chris Duffin

Dr Chris Duffin will remind us that the avoidance of and protection against disease in the historical past, without the benefit of a modern understanding of pathogen transmission, physiology and public health, was an unreliable business. As a consequence the natural world was exploited for potential drugs and protective materials – amongst which are a surprising range of geological components.

The talk will consider some case histories of certain rocks, minerals, fossils and earths to illustrate how a comprehensive geological collection a might protect the owner against poisons and all manner of diseases. Participants will discover how they could have put fossil echinoids, Lapis lazuli and more earthly materials to good use!

Dr Chris Duffin is Scientific Associate in the Earth Science Department, The Natural History Museum, London. His extensive research portfolio includes palaeontology (microvertebrates), the history of geology, the history of medicine and the history of pharmaceutical materials and methods. He has written on the history of coprolites and the associated work of William Buckland.

Chris is a former Secretary of HOGG and is a Fellow of the Geological Society and the Linnean Society and the Royal Historical Society, and Member of the Palaeontological Association, British Society for the History of Pharmacy and the American Institute for the History of Pharmacy

This lunchtime talk, starting at 1pm, will last between 30 and 45 minutes, followed by time for questions and discussion after the talk. The event will close at 2pm.

Registration and admission ticket via Eventbrite:

HOGG members should register via the exclusive emailed HOGG member Eventbrite url to claim their free member admission ticket.

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