Creative training programmes for healthcare professionals

Agents of Change: The Power of Placebo Symposium

Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE

Join Clod Ensemble for a day of provocation and engaging discussion at Wellcome Collection with leading scientists, cultural thinkers, artists and medics, exploring how our attitudes, beliefs, relationships, rituals and environments can affect our health for better or for worse.

What is the placebo effect and what can it tell us about the way we practice healthcare today? How can expectations, suggestibility, belief, charisma of the healer, ritual and environment impact on our health? Can we be agents of our own pleasure and pain? How are we affected by those providing us with care, the manner in which we are cared for, or the setting in which care is given?

Session One: Mind and Body. 11am – 12.30pm

How do the mind & body work together to impact on our health? Hear from award winning science journalist Jo Marchant, as well as Professor of Neurology and specialist in unexplained symptoms Jon Stone, to explore the increasing body of evidence unearthing the ways that our beliefs and emotions have an impact on our physical health, and the ways these ideas are being used in healthcare practice. Featuring a reading from legendary performer Peggy Shaw.

Session Two: Rituals of Care. 1.15pm – 2.45pm

What kinds of rituals are involved in healing? Hear from academic and broadcaster Sarah Goldingay, Professor of Health and Wellbeing Paul Dieppe, co-founder of the legendary Welfare State International John Fox, and meditation expert Christina Lee who will unearth the ways that connections between people, meditation, interpretation and performance have an impact on our how we heal. Stay afterwards to participate in artist Sheila Ghelani piece, Infinity Knot.

Session Three: Healing Spaces. 3pm – 5pm

What effects do the spaces we inhabit, both inside and outside in natural environments, have on our health and wellbeing? Hear from experts in hospital environments, Trystan Hawkins and Andrew Hall, as well as Oxford medical anthropologist Elisabeth Hsu who will explore how placebo effects can be brought about through elements of our environments. Featuring a reading by award winning author John Burnside from his collaboration with artist Amy Shelton, Bee Myths.

Drop in and out for the whole day, or come along to one or two of the individual sessions.

This event is part of The Power of Placebo – a national programme of events to accompany Clod Ensemble’s new performance, Placebo.

Image – Lullaby, the Seasons, 2002 (detail of Summer) by Damien Hirst. Credit – © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2018. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

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