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Dr Watson: A Study in UCL

May 16, 2015 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Dr Watson: A Study in UCL

To download the application form for this meeting, please click here.

In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London… The University of London is a many-headed beast, but University College London seems a likely candidate to count Watson amongst its alumni. Join us for an afternoon in Bloomsbury to discuss why. Tea, coffee and some sweet refreshments will be provided. The event is expected to finish around 4pm.

With special thanks to curators Nicholas Booth and Subhadra Das, we have an opportunity to spend the afternoon at UCL’s Gower Street campus, exploring the Watsonian connection. Nicholas and Subhadra will display items from UCL’s collections, including anatomical specimens used for teaching in the late 19th century, and highlights from the Galton Collection (some of which was used recently as part of the Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London). There will also be opportunities to visit UCL’s museums, and no visit would be complete without paying homage to Jeremy Bentham’s auto-icon. For an overview of UCL’s museums and collections, visit their website: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums

Three speakers will be guiding us through the afternoon, discussing why UCL is likely to be Watson’s alma mater, describing what it would have been like to study there in 1878, and contemplating the connections between medical dissection and criminal investigation:

Catherine Cooke is a librarian and former student of University College, London. She is Joint Honorary Secretary of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, manages the Sherlock Holmes Collection of Westminster Libraries and writes regularly for the Sherlockian press. She won the BSI's Morley-Montgomery Award for 2005.

Dr Alan Bates has been Honorary Senior Lecturer in Pathology at UCL since 2003. His research is principally focused on the ways in which anatomy and embryology have been presented to medical and non-medical audiences in printed works and through the use of models and preserved specimens. He is currently working on a book on the work of nineteenth-century anatomist Robert Knox.

EJ Wagner is an American crime historian and author of the Edgar winning The Science of Sherlock Holmes. Her work has been published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The New York Times, The Lancet, and Smithsonian, among others.
She was organizer and moderator of the Forensic Forum at Stony Brook University in the USA. She served as consultant in forensic history for the traveling Museum exhibit “Sherlock Holmes: The International Exhibit”  Her website is http://www.ejwagner-crimehistorian.com/‎
 and her blog https://ejdissectingroom.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/history-homicide-

UCL’s main entrance is situated on Gower Street, within easy walking distance of several tube stations including Euston Square, Warren Street and Goodge Street. Please arrive at the Haldane Room for a 1pm start. Here is a map to the Haldane Room http://crf.casa.ucl.ac.uk/printRoute.aspx?s=15&d=187&w=False


  • Meet for 1.00pm at the Haldane Room, University College London; nearest tube Euston Square, Warren Street and Goodge Street.
  • Charge – £10.00/ US$20.00  


If you have time to spend in Bloomsbury around the meeting, there are plenty of other things to see and do in the vicinity of UCL.

  • Visit the Wellcome Collection on the Euston Road to explore their new exhibition Forensics: The anatomy of crime http://wellcomecollection.org/forensics
  • Have brunch at Sherlock’s 221B, which is actually Speedy’s Sandwich Bar and Cafe, 187 North Gower Street (open 7.30am-1.30pm on Saturdays) http://www.speedyscafe.co.uk/
  • At the British Library near St Pancras, you can muse over the Magna Carta: see what the British government was like long before Mycroft took over http://www.bl.uk/magna-carta


May 16, 2015
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Tags:


University College London
Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT United Kingdom
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