We can customise our presentations to fit your event timings and our talks can serve as an ideal pre-dinner activity to engage your audience. Our existing portfolio of talks range from the darker side of medicine to more light-hearted subjects such as art and medicine. The below list shows our existing portfolio of talks, however these can be personalised based on your needs.

Historical Topics

  • The College and its buildings – a history of the college through its homes
  • Searching for the Elixir of Life – The Ripley Scroll and the riddles of the Philosophers’ Stone
  • Physicians, plants and poisons – the links between botany and medicine featuring some big personalities and some deadly plant poisons.
  • Some very beautiful botanical books – the Earl of Bute's generous gift to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1768
  • People & Portraits: The RCPE Art collection – the inspiring people on our walls. From Andrew Duncan an early mental health pioneer to John Hughes Bennett first described leukaemia.
  • Art and Beauty in Medicine – how art was incorporated into the treatment of 19th century psychiatric patients, how anatomical drawings were crucial to developments in surgical technique and uncover the role of early botanical art in medical advances
  • New Weapons, New Wounds: Medicine in War and Rebellion

The College’s fascinating collections of medical objects and books will show the many facets of medical practice in the history of war and rebellion.

  • Quackery and Bad Medicine - unusual equipment, early medical texts and illustrations reveal how charlatans plied their trade
  • Edinburgh Medical Detectives - Burke and Hare, Sir Robert Christison, Conan Doyle, Professor Sydney Smith reveal the links between medicine and crime

Historic People

  • Politics, Highwayman and Whales - Sir Robert Sibbald and the foundation of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
  • William Cullen and his 18th century mail order medical practice
  • James Lind – oranges, lemons and the search for a cure for scurvy
  • Sir James Young Simpson and the discovery of chloroform in Queen Street
  • Burke and Hare and the search for bodies to enable Victorian anatomy teaching