Feb 282024
Level 6, National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
National Museum of Scotland, light sandstone with a curved tower and modern architectural features.

Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak (born 1954) is a medical researcher, Scotland’s Chief Scientist of Health, and the first woman to be appointed Regius Professor of Medicine – the oldest existing chair at the University of Glasgow. She has held positions as Vice Principal and Head of Medical Veterinary & Life Sciences at Glasgow University and was awarded a DBE in 2016 to recognise her contributions to medical science. Dame Dominiczak has published extensive research across various fields, including hypertension, cardiovascular genomics and precision medicine. She was the Editor-In-Chief of the prestigious American Heart Association journal, Hypertension from 2012-2022, and in July 2023 launched the new journal Precision Medicine as Editor-in-Chief with Cambridge Prisms. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and her pioneering work in medical science is recognised in this exhibit at the National Museum of Scotland.

Portrait of a light-haired woman in a corridor wearing a dark suit and pink shirt with her arms crossed.

Portrait of Anna Dominiczak
A display of medical equipment and books, including a blood pressure monitor, a book on the genetics of hypertension, and a Scotswoman of the year award.


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Nov 242020

145 Canongate, EH8 8BN

Scottish poet Robert Ferguson (1750-1774)
Scottish poet Robert Ferguson (1750-1774)

The famous Scottish poet Robert Ferguson (1750-1774) died tragically when he was just 24 years old. In the years before his premature death, he suffered from bouts of depression taking the form of debilitating religious guilt. While out on the town with his friends he took a fall, which caused a serious head injury. Because his mother (then his only living parent) was unable to care for him, he was committed to the Edinburgh Asylum for Pauper Lunatics, where he later died in his cell. Fergusson’s incarceration and death inspired physician and joint founder of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Andrew Duncan (1744-1828), to establish Edinburgh’s first public lunatic asylum in Morningside. Duncan had been one of the physicians treating Fergusson and was appalled by the conditions in the asylum. In a letter to the Scottish Sheriff Deputy he wrote of his experience of his visits with the poet that it “afforded me an opportunity of witnessing the deplorable situation of Pauper Lunatics even in the opulent, flourishing, and charitable Metropolis of Scotland”. By establishing the asylum in Morningside, Duncan contributed to Fergusson’s legacy, not just as a brilliant poet, but as someone who had a lasting impact on public health in Scotland.

 Portrait of Robert Fergusson by Alexander Runciman, about 1772. (National Galleries Scotland)
Portrait of Robert Fergusson by Alexander Runciman, about 1772.
(National Galleries Scotland)

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