Research MAGPIES

As well as involving members of the public in the work and research funded by the CBMA, Jo Welsman also brings together academics, members of the public and schools in collaborative research projects. Our current project is based around recreating the laboratory of 17th Century physician and scientist, Santorio Santorio. Santorio was the first person to recognize the fundamental importance of measurement and quantification when treating his patients and in studying aspects of science and medicine. Although he was a friend and contemporary of Galileo, unlike Galileo, Santorio’s inventions, discoveries and research have largely been forgotten and his huge and unique contribution to medicine ignored.

Why are we doing this?

Although based around an historical figure, the Santorio project mirrors the projects being undertaken by the CMBA. It is interdisciplinary; bringing together experts in history, medicine, physics, maths and engineering and others. It is also collaborative, bringing together academics, members of the public, young people and schools, and professionals with skills ranging from engineering to business and curating.

Santorio was unique in wanting to quantify and measure “that which cannot be seen” in order to develop a scientific understanding of his patients in health and disease. Although we now have “cutting edge” technologies and advanced mathematical modelling techniqes to work with, in many respects we are still attempting to do what Santorio did - but our “unseens” are the complex patterns of electrical activity in the brain in epilepsy or the build up of proteins or plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimers. Read our plain English summaries to find out more about the world leading biomedical research being conducted here in the CBMA.