Manchester Medical Society

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Arts, Medicine and Science

  • Date: Wednesday 24th October 2018 from 2.00-6.30 pm (Coffee & Registration from 1.30 pm)
  • Venue: Grand Hall (1st Floor), The Whitworth Art Gallery
  • Members £0.00
  • Non Members FREE
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Directions to The Whitworth

To reserve your free place at this meeting please email the Society at  Thank you.

1.30 pm
Registration and Coffee

2.00 pm
A Personal view on art and science
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, FRS, President and Vice Chancellor, University of Manchester

2.30 pm
Creative Expression: Applying arts practices in dementia studies
Professor John Keady, Professor of Mental Health Nursing & Older People/Dementia & Ageing Research Team, University of Manchester


This presentation will focus on some of the creative arts practices that have been integrated into studies conducted by The Dementia and Ageing Research Team at The University of Manchester. Particular attention will be placed on sensory and visual data and by the potential for the arts to enhance well-being in some of the rarer dementias. Attention will also be given to a project designed and developed by people with dementia in Salford, Greater Manchester as part of the ESRC/NIHT Neighbourhoods and dementia mixed methods study.

3.00 pm
Creative Machines
Professor Marcel van Gerven, Head of Artificial Intelligence Department, Faculty of Social Sciences, Radboud University, Netherlands


In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has made tremendous progress, approaching the level of expert physicians in healthcare and providing the technology for autonomous transportation. But can AI also be creative? In this talk Professor van Gerven will provide an overview of the current state of the art in the field of artificial creativity, that are made possible by new developments in neural networks research. He will end with some observations on what AI advances would be required to actually approach human creativity as witnessed in the arts.

3.30 pm
Coffee Break & Tours of The Whitworth (places limited on each tour)

4.15 pm
Panel Discussion
•Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell
•Professor John Keady
•Professor van Gerven
•Mr Alistair Hudson, Director of Manchester Art Gallery and The University of Manchester’s Whitworth

5.00 pm
Coffee Break

5.30 pm
Annual General Meeting of the Manchester Medical Society (See separate agenda) followed by the PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS of Professor Christopher Griffiths OBE, entitled: “Visual Literacy and Dermatology: From Natural History to Art History”


Visual literacy – the ability to construct meaning from visual images – is a cornerstone of art history and medical practice. This is particularly prominent in the case of dermatology where diagnosis is often dependent on the “power of the glance”. The use of observation and the interpretation of such is also fundamental to the study of natural history. This lecture will describe how an understanding of natural history and of art are advantageous to the practising dermatologist and help to form an arts and science approach to the specialty. It will draw on the presenter’s personal experience, including ornithology; the interpretation of artwork; the development and delivery of a visual literacy course for dermatologists in the UK and Europe; and how such a holistic arts and science approach is aiding the development of personalised medicine for skin disease.

6.30 pm