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A taste of your sports medicine

Exhibition will highlight wonders of the science behind athletic prowess. Henry Hepburn reports

Exhibition will highlight wonders of the science behind athletic prowess. Henry Hepburn reports

An Edinburgh exhibition shows how sports medicine has driven stunning athletic performances like those seen at the London Olympics.

Human Race uses anatomical specimens, rarely seen film footage and museum collections to chart the story behind more than 200 years of developments, and the pivotal role Scotland played.

Every object has a story to tell, from the early medical technology to equipment at the forefront of modern sports treatment.

Most of the 100-plus items, drawn from Scottish medical and national collections, will be on public display for the first time. They include Bronze Age wrist protectors, early anatomical specimens, and the latest body-imaging technology.

Characters featured include the celebrated Captain Barclay who, in 1807, pushed the boundaries of endurance by winning a bet to walk 1,000 miles in 1,000 consecutive hours. Medical innovators such as George Pirie, Ian Smillie and John Mallard, and their work in X-rays, keyhole surgery and MRI scanning, also feature.

The exhibition includes contemporary art too. Four Scottish artists were commissioned to work around the rich material and themes of the exhibition.

A programme of associated events includes talks, exhibition tours, a schools programme, workshops and films. These bring together artists, athletes and writers to explore the exhibition's themes and issues that surround the culture of sport.

Human Race is an initiative by the Scotland and Medicine Partnership, set up in 2004 to raise public awareness of Scotland's global impact on the history and development of medicine.

The exhibition is at Edinburgh's City Art Centre until 9 September. It will go to the Lamb Gallery, at the University of Dundee's institute of sport and exercise, from 21 September until 10 November.



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