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Durham University

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Previous Events

School of Medicine & Health Seminar: 'Wonder, embodiment and the clinical consultation' by Professor Martyn Evans

7th June 2011, 12:00 to 14:00, F009, Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University, Queen's Campus, Stockton


The School of Medicine and Health Seminar Series continues on the 7th June 2011 with a paper presented by Professor Martyn Evans of the Centre for Medical Humanities, entitled 'Wonder, embodiment and the clinical consultation'.

Abstract: There is something of a renaissance of interest in wonder and the sense of wonder, but with little sign of its being connected at all with clinical life. Whilst not being a clinician myself, nonetheless I have previously suggested that a sense of wonder might be an invaluable personal resource over a clinical lifetime, but in this paper I will propose three reasons why wonder and the sense of wonder might be important - both diagnostically and morally - in the very particular circumstances of the clinical consultation. In doing so, I will sketch an account of what constitutes wonder, and I will also argue for a refocusing of attention within medical ethics, away from the dramatic or extreme and towards the routine. Strange as it may seem, it may be in the routine rather than the sensationally extreme that wonder is most valuably to be sought.

Biography: Martyn Evans is Professor of Humanities in Medicine and co-Director of the Centre for Medical Humanities, School of Medicine and Health and is a Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute. He has a doctorate in the Philosophy of Music and joined Durham University in July 2002 as Principal of John Snow College, at the Queen's Campus, Stockton, having previously taught philosophy and ethics of medicine at the University of Wales. Martyn is now Principal of Trevelyan College, Durham University. He is married to Janet Evans, a professional pianist and teacher of piano and woodwind; they have two teenage sons.

Where and when: The seminar will take place in the Wolfson Research Institute Seminar Room (F009) at 12.30pm. A buffet lunch will be available from 12 noon, so please come and join us for a relaxing, pre-seminar get-together, and an opportunity to talk informally with our speaker. Please RSVP by 1st June for catering purposes.

RSVP to:
Suzanne Sanders
Administrative Secretary to Professor Mason School for Medicine and Health Wolfson Research Institute Durham University, Queen's Campus Stockton University Boulevard Thornaby, Stockton On Tees
TS17 6BH
Tel - 0191 33 40826
Fax - 0191 33 40374

Contact suzanne.sanders@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.