Complete with tumours

May 2, 1997

Dundee University is a museum it's official.

The university has just been awarded official museum status by the Museums and Galleries Commission for its collections of specimens and artefacts, catalogued by curatorial officer Ruth Neave over the past two and half years. The 9,230 specimens include the preserved forearm, complete with tumours, of Dr Pirie, a Dundee pioneer of X-rays who developed the cancers after his early scientific and medical work exposed him to excessive radiation.

And a collection of what appeared to be junk, including tobacco tins, matchboxes and pill cases, turned out to be Heath Robinson-style apparatus used in determining the properties of amorphous silicon, first identified by Dundee scientists and now used worldwide in a vast range of items such as pocket calculators, fax machines and flat screen TVs.

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