Learning pharmacological science in context using art

Arrigoni, Francesca and Conway, Clare (2023) Learning pharmacological science in context using art. In: Innovation and Updates in Teaching and Student Education across Physiology and STEM in the UK; 12-13 Apr 2023, Leeds, U.K.. (In Press)


One of the challenges faced by biology students is the overwhelming body of knowledge that they have to learn. Such information rich syllabus's promote rote learning of a breadth of information but sometimes with a lack of depth. In order to promote a greater depth of knowledge surrounding fundamental biological principles of pharmacology a small cohort of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences undergraduates were taught fundamental pharmacological principles but through a creative lens of pharmacognosy. In addition to basic pharmacognosy, the lifecycles of selected poisonous plants were studied and students taught elementary botany and plant structure/function. Students were also taught botanical art at the same time as learning about the pharmacological properties of the plants in order to create an additional creative perspective. The students were then taken to the Economic Botany Collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where they accessed a collection of artefacts associated with these plants.

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