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The Wellcome Trust

Heather Chambers reviews the Wellcome Collection, a museum displaying medical artefacts and artworks.

Vast yet intricate, small but layered; the human brain is complex in its nature and its layers of mass function are magically brought to life at the Wellcome Collection. Interactive and scientific, the Wellcome Collection is at the heart of everything the scientific mind lives for and more.  It is a place where new ideas are spawned and existing ones can flourish; it is a place of innovation.

The Wellcome Collection is a free centre of science, its relations and everything else in between, presented in visually interactive and fun exhibitions. As a part of the Wellcome Trust (the world’s largest independent charitable foundation funding research into human and animal health) it’s a chance for psychology students to really see all that you have been hearing about in lectures and experience psychology in both humans and animals.

As psychology students who are scientists of the “mind” it is our duty to understand the minds brother – the brain. It is useful to gain an understanding of the structures of the brain, how medical advances impact the brain and in turn how these affect our mind and wellbeing.

As a fully-fledged first year student, now well into my student routine I found myself starting to think more and more about the deeper meanings of psychology and its deeper underpinnings. I particularly thought about the brain, and its relationship with the mind, (or the lack of relationship as some would say) I wanted to learn more and as a visual learner, I also wanted to see more. That’s when I thought of the Wellcome Collection as the place to visit.

The exhibitions here, take a top down approach to traditional biological psychology and looks at what we as humans have done to our brains, rather than what our brains do to us! When I visited the ‘Brains: The Mind as Matter’ exhibition in 2012. It was a refreshing look at the medical and biological models of psychology. In turn it helped me to approach my assignments in a more interesting way, combined with fresh, new knowledge.

Located in the heart of the city on Euston road, it has excellent transport links to and from the university. It’s just two stops from Farringdon to Euston Square which means that you could leave in the morning before university and be back in time for your afternoon lecture.

It’s not just the exhibitions that are available at the centre; there are performances, debates, tours and so much more to experience. There is also the newest addition; the reading room, which combines a hybrid space of a gallery, library and event area. It is the perfect place to further explore matters of the human psyche, electrochemical connections in the brain, or to simply engage in conversation with a fellow psychology buff.

If you’re looking for a light lunch or a bite to eat after hours of curious exploring, the Wellcome Kitchen is the perfect place to refuel before looking around further. Or, if you’re looking to wind down at the end of a long day, you can grab a light bite to eat and a hot drink at the Wellcome Café, before setting off on your travels.

The Wellcome Collection truly is described as “The free destination for the incurably curious” and it certainly fed my psychological curiosity when I visited. It is definitely a must see if you want a place where you can apply your knowledge, learn new things and be entertained all at the same time.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.