The RAI is please to announce that the Wellcome Medal for 2016 has been awarded to Dr Elizabeth Hallam for her book Anatomy Museum: Death and the Body Displayed.

The prize judges said it was an innovative, painstakingly researched and excellently produced and illustrated volume on the medical museum as a space of (anatomical) knowledge creation. Focusing on the displays and related medical work at the Aberdeen Anatomy museum this fascinating book discusses the interconnected and shifting meaning of objects and diversely located, socially dense sites of display. As the author describes, ‘exploring bodies, of the anatomized and of those involved in anatomizing, this book attends to material and visual aspects of displays as well as the relations that enable, and are forged by, processes of body collecting’(p9/10). In her book Hallam brings together visual anthropology and medical perspectives with the anthropology of death and dying.  Conceptually, the book contributes to an understanding of ‘biological artefacts’ in medical collections as both natural and artificial, historically and culturally variable. Beautifully crafted, this is a unique anthropological and historical contribution to the study of contemporary anatomical and surgical learning. In awarding Hallam we can both award excellence but also indicate the broader, interdisciplinary connections made by anthropologists as applied to medical problems.