Was the First World War Good for Medicine?

For our November 2015 Big Question Lecture we were joined by Tilli Tansey OBE, Professor of the History of Modern Medical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London. This lecture was delivered as part of our Wartime Medicine and Innovation project, which brought together young people to investigate the medical history of East London durig the First World War.

The project was split into four parts: a lecture, family trail, family workshop, and an animation. The lecture addressed the question: “Was the First World War good for medicine?”. Watch the lecture below, or scroll down to read about the other activities.

Family Trail

We created a resource to help visitors explore the medical history of Whitechapel. Download the trail here for a trip through the medical ages with quizzes and activities to do as you go.

Family Workshop

We developed a workshop based on the research around the medical history of WWI. This workshop is called War on the Wards and is now part of Centre of the Cell’s science education portfolio for schools and families.


Our youth members developed their artistic skills and communication skills with a stop-motion animation about the medical innovations which arose during WWI, facilitated by artist and animator Lorena Carbajal, of The Art Trolley.