Just a quick review on the event I attended at St Bart’s hospital on 25th October – the Science of Sherlock.

It was part of London Science Festival Week and held in the Pathology Museum. If anyone hasn’t been there I’d really recommend you go check it out. It’s not always open but if you do get the chance to look round, it’s an amazing place, really fascinating and full of all kinds of crazy specimens.

There were three talks given by three renowned professors/experts on their various topics, all relating to science and to Sherlock Holmes. I initially thought the link would be quite tenuous but they managed to weave in the Sherlock part of the evening very successfully without it seeming clinical.

The topics discussed were Drugs, Tobacco and Poisons, three essential factors in the Holmes world, of course! They were interspersed with quotes from the canon to show where the link came from; the nature and strength of Holmes’ famous seven per cent solution was debated; the types of poison that Jefferson Hope might have used; and why you shouldn’t put three nicotine patches on like BBC’s Sherlock.

In between these three fascinating talks we were given a break to try some of the marvelous concoctions on offer, alcoholic cocktails provided by the Robin Collective – http://www.therobincollective.co.uk/#!historicalbitters/c1bm7

It was an enjoyable little evening and well attended by a wide range of different people and age groups, not just Sherlockians either.

The three speakers were:

Professor Ian Stolerman
Ian Stolerman (BPharm, PhD) is Emeritus Professor of Behavioural Pharmacology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. Professor Stolerman has studied a variety of drugs including opiates and alcohol, but is best known for research into nicotine dependence. Recently, studies have focused on the ability of nicotine to enhance cognition in an animal model, and the effects of prenatal exposure to nicotine on the development of the offspring.

Professor Atholl Johnston
Atholl Johnston is Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry and visiting Professor of Forensic Pharmacology and Toxicology at St George’s Hospital, London. His research interests include drug use and abuse, drug quality, clinical trial design and the optimal use of drugs. Professor Johnston writes expert reports on drug use for many drug regulatory agencies and regularly gives expert testimony in court on the influence of drugs in crime and drugs and alcohol in driving impairment.

Dr Kim Wolff
Kim Wolff is Reader in Addiction Science at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. Dr Wolff’s main research interest is the pharmacological aspects of addiction, including looking at the effects of methadone in pregnancy on both the mother and child. Additionally, she has conducted research into the effects of MDMA in a clubbing environment. Dr Wolff is also heavily involved in teaching a number of Masters courses in addiction science.