Visual Sociology of Questacon and National Library of Australia

Canberra blends science, education, arts and humanities with various public art around the Parliamentary Triangle. Questacon, Australia’s national science museum, has various outdoor mathematical and scientific sculptures. A tree-lined pathway from Questacon to the National Library of Australia has more musical and artistic installations. The National Library is currently hosting an exhibition called “Celestial Empire,” covering 300 years of Chinese culture. This video also covers some of the history of the National Library and its extensive collection.

Filmed on my Snapchat: @OtherSociology. 

London Calling: A Visual Sociology

Late in June 2015, I visited London for work. I’d visited London almost one decade earlier, having just submitted my PhD thesis, and wanting to stay busy while I waited for the results. Back then, I did what people do in their mid-20s, lots of partying and lots of touristy things. In this most recent trip, I invested in longer visits to art galleries and museums.

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Visual Sociology of Art in Amsterdam

A visual sociology of my weekend trip to Amsterdam during my secondment in London! Learn more about the Stendhal Syndrome Pavillion, the psychological condition elicited by artworks. The Oasis of Matisse was wonderful, but offers an opportunity to apply the sociology of gender.  The Zero Exhibition recreates an experimental exhibition from the 1950s and 1960s.

Stendhal Syndrome Pavillion

Continue reading Visual Sociology of Art in Amsterdam

Italian-Australian Migrant Women

Italian-Australian activist Anna Moo talks about her attraction to social justice and how she worked with a group of migrant women in the 1970s to achieve policy changes on migrant women’s reproductive health. Moo says:

We really wanted to connect back with the women that we were advocating with. They were not aware of health services that might have been available to them. The W.I.C.H. [Women in Industry Contraception and Health] education project was developed in conjunction with Australian women and women from many different backgrounds with the support of a number of organisations.

And the fantastic aspect of that education kit is the fact that it was taken to the factories by women who were themselves from multicultural backgrounds. Each worker spoke a language, a community language, whereby women could actually ask questions and be supported through the discussions. You know, what’s really amazing is that we still have Women in Industry Contraception and Health, it’s called a different name but it’s still that organisation…

It’s really a testament to what women can do together.

Source: Immigration Museum.

Largest Museum Collection of Brains in Peru

There’s only one place in the world where you can view row after row of brains afflicted by mad cow disease, Alzheimer’s, and alcoholism. It’s Lima’s Museo de Cerebros, home to the largest collection of gray matter that can be viewed by the public. More than 3,000 samples of diseased brains and fetuses have been assembled by neuropathologist Diana Rivas for the Brain Museum. The museum is part of Peru’s Institute of Neurological Science, and while academics come from around the world to examine Rivas’ collection, she’s much more interested in educating the public about brain disease. She hopes that, if folks can see her damaged brains firsthand, they’ll think more about the health of their own noggins. The Brain Museum isn’t quite the largest collection of brains in the world. Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center at McLean Hospital has around 7,000 specimens, but it’s brains aren’t open to the public. So just how has Rivas amassed such an impressive collection? It helps that she supervises 100 autopsies a year, giving her the first look at potential new candidates.  

Image: Brain Museum [Atlas Obscura] Diseased brains on display at Peru Museum. Source: