From beliefs and spells to the scientific method: A long slow journey for the art of Medicine

Dr. Henry C. Powell, M.D., D.Sc. will present “From beliefs and spells to the scientific method: A long slow journey for the art of Medicine.” This lecture coincides with the UC San Diego Libraries’ hosting of “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, & Medicine,” a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine. The libraries will be hosting several events in connection with this exhibit.

From a room in a cupboard under the stairs to a room in a castle, the story of Harry Potter begins with the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone in the UK) and sends a young boy on new adventures, both intellectual and physical. The foundation of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry sprung from the early Renaissance period and it is here where “muggle” reality intertwines with literary fiction. Science and medicine were developed and nurtured with lessons learned by experts in alchemy, botany, surgery, as well as theologians. Scientists from long ago include Paracelsus, Flamel, Paré, Harvey and they often benefited from the work of more familiar artists such as van Calcar, Michelangelo and Alberti.

The advance of human knowledge was not an easy road and it often required challenging the current “authority.” This often exacted a personal price. Medicine benefited from the growing understanding of botany, alchemy, anatomy, and art. This talk will fill in some of the details of why, even with this growing understanding, magic and the Philosopher’s Stone retained such enduring appeal. For the full talk abstract, please see

Dr. Powell is Professor of Pathology (Neuropathology) and directs the Clinical Electron Microscopy service at UC San Diego Medical Center.  He teaches medical and pharmacy students and co-directs the Histology and Pathology “threads” for the School of Medicine.  His work has focused on pathology of the peripheral nervous system and he has produced about two hundred publications related to his research interests in the effects of diabetes on the peripheral nervous system.  From 2006-2007 he served as chair of the divisional Academic Senate at UC San Diego, and from 2008-2010 as Vice Chair and Chair of the systemwide Academic Council and Faculty Representative to the UC Regents.  Dr Powell’s interests include the history of medicine as well as the history of recorded music.

Space is limited so RSVP at as soon as possible in order to reserve a seat.  Feel free to bring a discreet lunch; cookies and water will be provided.


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Transforming the Healthcare Experience through the Arts

On March 22 from 12-1 pm, Blair L. Sadler, J.D. will speak about “Transforming the Healthcare Experience Through the Arts” in the Biomedical Library Events Room.

He will address how hospitals have discovered that there are many highly effective low cost ways to transform a patient’s health care experience using art, music and other techniques.

Mr. Sadler is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and a member of the faculty at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Rady School of Management. He served as President and CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego from 1980 until 2006.

He served on the Board of the Center for Health Design for 18 years, and has been heavily involved in developing the business case for building better hospitals through evidence-based design.  He is the lead author of the article “Fable Hospital 2.0: the business case for building better health care facilities” (2011) on building optimally safe, low-stress hospitals through evidence-based design.

He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Society of the Arts in Health Care, and co-author of Transforming the Healthcare Experience through the Arts (2009).

Previously, he served as a Law Clerk for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, medical-legal specialist for the National Institutes of Health, faculty member at Yale University, senior officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and senior executive at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hastings Center.  He is a graduate of Amherst College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Space is limited so RSVP as soon as possible in order to reserve a seat.  Feel free to bring a discreet lunch; cookies and water will be provided.

UPDATE: audio, slides and the video shown in the lecture are now online on our Events page.

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S&E Lecture: Health & Technology: Applications in Pediatric Medicine

On Tuesday, March 6, 2012 from 3-4 pm, the UCSD Science & Engineering (S&E) Library is featuring the second of three lectures by Calit2 researchers.  Dr. Jeannie Huang will speak about “Health and Technology: Applications in Pediatric Medicine.”  Details are located on the S&E Library websiteNote that this talk will take place at the S&E Library in the Geisel Building.  Registration is required.

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Native Hawaiian Health Displays

The Biomedical Library is featuring two displays that highlight Native Hawaiian Health.

“A Voyage to Health” is a traveling display from the National Library of Medicine which focuses on the revival of the ancient arts of navigation and voyaging and the ways in which it can improve Native Hawaiian health. The display consists of six large panels which have been placed in the main entrance of the library. This display will be on loan to the Library until mid-February 2012. Consult the brochure for more information.

A related display, “Native Hawaiian Health: Revisiting Past Traditions,” is located in the display cases in the Biomedical Library breezeway. This display looks at pre- and post-colonial Hawaiian diet trends and health promotion programs (Traditional Hawaiian Diet programs, Hawaiian healing methods, ceremonies like the Makahiki ceremony, and voyaging) that use traditional means to improve Native Hawaiian health. On the middle display case window is a QR code that, when scanned by a smartphone QR code reader, leads to a bibliography about Native Hawaiian Health issues.

Here are more detailed images of each of the three display case panels:

* Left-hand side of breezeway case
* Middle of breezeway case
* Right-hand side of breezeway case

Many thanks to Erik Matwijkow for creating the display, to Heather Smedberg from the Mandeville Special Collections Library for selecting cookbooks and other materials from the American Institute of Wine & Food Culinary Collection, and to Alanna Aiko-Moore for selecting books on voyaging and other topics from the Social Sciences and Humanities Library collection.

Stop by and enjoy these two excellent displays.

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Data Management Plan Workshop

Learn the basics of how to write Data Management Plans (DMPs) for your National Science Foundation (NSF) grant applications. Discover resources available to help you develop and execute your DMPs. This workshop will describe NSF-recommended components of a DMP and introduce you to data management services and tools currently available for UCSD researchers.

* Tuesday, October 25, 4-5 PM, Biomedical Library Events Room
* Wednesday, October 26, 12-1 PM, Geisel Library, Seuss Room

To register for one of these workshops, sign up at

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Conscious and unconscious memory systems of the mammalian brain

On October 18 from 12-1 pm, Dr. Larry R. Squire will speak about “Conscious and unconscious memory systems of the mammalian brain” in the Biomedical Library Events Room.

Studies of memory-impaired patients with circumscribed brain lesions, together with parallel studies of nonhuman primates, have identified the anatomical components of the medial temporal lobe memory system. This work also revealed that memory is not a single faculty of the mind and that different brain structures support different kinds of memory. Further studies have illuminated how medial temporal lobe structures, including the hippocampus, support the formation and consolidation of conscious memories.

Dr. Squire is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Neurosciences, and Psychology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, and Research Career Scientist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Diego. He received his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College, his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and did postdoctoral study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine before coming to UCSD in 1970. Dr. Squire investigates the organization and neurological foundations of memory. His work has involved the study of neurological patients, monkeys, and rodents and combines the traditions of cognitive science and neuroscience. His publications include more than 450 research articles and two books: Memory and Brain (Oxford Press, 1987) and Memory: From Mind to Molecules with Eric Kandel (W.H. Freeman, 1999). He served as President of the Society for Neuroscience (1993-1994) and is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and The Institute of Medicine.

Space is limited so RSVP as soon as possible in order to reserve a seat. Feel free to bring a discreet lunch; cookies and water will be provided.

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UC3 Summer Webinar Series

The UC3 Summer Webinar Series is a forum for the discussion of timely topics of interest to the UC community such as digital preservation, web archiving and data curation.  The purpose of this series is to raise awareness of these issues, and the resources and services available to the UC community.  The webinars will feature librarians, scientists, and technologists.

Webinars are scheduled twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays from 2-3 pm PT, but check the schedule for exceptions and additions.  ReadyTalk will be used to provide both desktop and audio access.  Please feel free to drop in to whichever portion of the session that you can use.  After each seminar, the slides, audiorecording, and notes from the session will be added to this web page.

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The Latest Buzz: Honey Bee Talk Slides and Audio Posted

The slides and audio from Dr. James C. Nieh’s April 19 talk about “The Decline and Fall of Bees:  Pollinators in Peril” has been posted on the UCSD Biomedical Library website (a link to the mp3 file is included for people who can not see the Flash audio player).  Enjoy!

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“Founding the Future” Seminar Videos

The videos from the Founders’ Day seminar,  “Founding the Future: Health Sciences’ Legacy of Excellence,” co-sponsored by the Biomedical Library and Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences, have been posted on the UCSD Biomedical Library website.  Four Health Sciences faculty members spoke about their current work, future initiatives, and the pioneering efforts of founding faculty that paved the way.  The featured speakers were:

  • Steffanie A. Strathdee, PhD, Associate Dean, Global Health Sciences; Harold Simon Professor and Chief, Global Public Health, Dept. of Medicine, and Director, UCSD Global Health Initiative
  • Joseph L. Witztum, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • Victor Nizet, MD, Professor of Pediatrics & Pharmacy; Chief, Division of Pediatric Pharmacology & Drug Discovery, School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Mark A. Talamini, MD, MJ Orloff Family Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery

Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Pharmacy David N. Bailey, MD, former Interim Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences and Dean at UC San Diego, and former Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences and Dean at UC Irvine, served as the moderator.

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Go Green, Save Green Display and Guide

As part of the UC San Diego Green Open House taking place today (, the Biomedical Library has created a “Go Green, Save Green” display in the library breezeway, and an associated web guide with tips for saving money and the environment by using library resources (

The breezeway display has three panels.  The first one summarizes eight tips for saving money and the environment – which are described in more detail in the web guide.  The middle panel describes the “green research” taking place in three UC San Diego laboratories.  The third panel highlights the green features of the Biomedical Library building that were designed to save energy.

A QR code on the display case window enables viewers with smart phones to scan the code to bring up the web guide on their phones.

We hope that you will come to the Biomedical Library to enjoy the display – and will take a look at the web guide, as well.

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