Brits Lack Anatomical Awareness poll shows.
12 September 2012
One in two of us are unable to correctly identify the location of our heart, according to new research by the Museum of London.
The revealing statistic comes ahead of the opening of a new Museum of London exhibition exploring the relationship between sinister Resurrection Men and pioneering anatomical surgeons in early 19th century London,
The survey tested 2,000 Britons on their knowledge of anatomy and the results indicate a worrying ignorance of body basics. The survey was carried out by OnePoll on behalf of the Museum of London.
• 50% of those surveyed were unable to correctly identify the location of their heart
• 60% could not name their own blood type while only a third (35%) of could correctly state that the average adult has between five and six litres of blood;
• A puzzled 62% have no clue about the purpose of their pancreas;
• Three quarters (75%) were stumped when it came to guessing how many bones are in the adult human body;
• Half were unsure as to how many teeth we have while nearly a fifth (18%) thought a visor was a type of tooth;
• Three quarters (74%) did not know that the liver is our biggest internal organ;
• And nearly half (47%) of the respondents couldn’t get anywhere near to guessing the healthy temperature of the human body (37C).
Jelena Bekvalac, Museum of London Osteology Curator, said “It seems we have a depressing lack of anatomical awareness. The Museum of London’s new exhibition, Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men explores the extreme lengths nineteenth century medical pioneers went to increase anatomical understanding. Surgeons faced a torturous dilemma: learn their skills on stolen corpses or practice on a living patient. And so began a gruesome trade. Body-snatchers stalked the city’s graveyards to supply fresh corpses for medical dissection. Londoners were fearful of the shadowy resurrection men; dissection was then considered a shameful fate. It is therefore sobering to consider our less than exemplary knowledge of basic biology.”
Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men opens to the public on 19 October 2012 www.museumoflondon.org.uk/ddrm.
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5. Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men, 19 October 2012 – 14 April 2013
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Due to its subject matter, Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men is not recommended for children under 12. Please note this exhibition features human skeletal remains.