On Wednesday, the Royal Veterinary College in London opened its doors to the public for an evening of dissection, lectures and tours of its Camden campus. As a graduate of Bristol Vet School, I had high hopes for the RVC, particularly as it was ranked top veterinary school in Europe earlier this year. Having dragged a few slightly reluctant friends to investigate some pathology samples with me, we got stuck in to what was on offer.
Vet students and staff put on a veritable Noah’s Ark of a spread. There was a selection of table displays informing us about RVC initiatives including their RVC Bolton’s Park Farm and interactive learning opportunities like ‘Guess the Embryo’ in collaboration with the Royal Institution. Representatives from the college and the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital (their clinical teaching hospital) were on hand to inform us about the workings of the vet school. We also met some students of the college including Michelle Reeve, a PhD student working on spider locomotion, who showed off her lovely companion ‘George’ the Robugtix™ Spider (he can be seen here demonstrating some fantastic dance moves).
The best was saved until last with a wander around the extensive anatomy museum – a welcome opportunity to brush up on anatomy knowledge. We met ‘Foxhunter’, winner of Britain’s only gold medal in the 1952 Summer Olympics. Then it was past the small skeletons, taxidermied educational specimens and pickled body parts to the dissection demonstration room where Andrew Crook MBE was on hand to show an eager public just what lies below the fleece in a sheep dissection demonstration.
And with that, we were gone, off for some dinner down the road with the smell of formaldehyde forever lingering in our nostrils. Brings back those days of vet school all too quickly…
Sophie Walsh is studying for an MSc in Science Communication