Body Worlds Opens Up The Body & Mind
Plastination, a process of preserving the human body, has inspired approximately 8,000 volunteers to donate their bodies to science.
For the first time ever in Richmond, visitors at the Science Museum of Virginia can experience Gunter von Hagens’ Body Worlds: the Original Exhibition & the Brain. Already seen by 33 million people worldwide, this exhibit showcases more than 150 authentic human specimens, including twelve actual human bodies that allow guests to learn how the body is constructed and functions.
Body Worlds also serves as a tool to show how diseases, such as various types of cancers and Alzheimer’s, affect and break down the body.
The plastination process takes approximately 1,500 working hours and five steps to complete a single body. The Richmond exhibit highlights some of the latest neuroscience findings and brain development from infanthood through the elder ages.
“The brain is an incredible marvel or engineering. I wanted people to recognize what is known about this amazing gem inside our heads, and be awed by its possibilities and capacities,” Dr. von Hagens.
Bringing the exhibit to Richmond proved to be a new experience for the staff at the museum. Eight members of the Body Worlds team traveled from Germany to work to transform the space displaying the bodies in just three days.
It is their responsibility to make sure the bodies are transported and showcased to exhibits around the world. Since 1995, Dr. Angeline Whalley, the creative and conceptual designer for Body Worlds has been one of very few members to place and handle the specimens throughout the exhibit. Members of this team treat every specimen with the utmost respect and integrity.
While these are educational pieces of art and science, the history and honor of the once living person continues. The individual’s information is kept and when the exhibit travels to a new location, family members are notified. In many cases, the family members will visit the exhibit, as two grandchildren have in Richmond’s display of Body Worlds.
Psychology and spirituality also play a part in the exhibit, with many quotes throughout pondering the connections of mind, body, and soul.
Those interested in learning more about donating their body may find out more information at www.bodyworlds.com.
Body Worlds runs May 25 through September 23. Tickets are $15 per person with admission to the rest of the museum available for an additional $5. For more information on the Science Museum of Virginia and Body Worlds: the Original Exhibition & the Brain, please visit www.smv.org/bodyworlds or call (804) 864-1400.
Bill Johnson is a Detroit native. A Zoology major, Johnson has lived in many cities and states, but calls RVA home.
The Science Museum of Virginia unveiled a new exhibit on May 11th, Robots + Us, and it takes a fresh look back at the history of robotics. From the great number of tasks robots perform each day, to the entertainment they bring to humanity, Robots + Us covers lots of ground. The completely hands-on exhibit [...]May 16, 2013
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