Most medical museums are full of historical items and pickled specimens. The Musée De La Main in Lausanne has a different approach. Its interactive ethos is one of the reasons it appeals to families.
Switzerland is renowned for mountains, chocolate and the usual cliches. But it is also famous for its medical care, especially orthopaedics. On a recent visit to Lausanne I spent some time at the Musée De La Main. Having worked in the city and knowing the museum belonged to the university hospital I was expecting a traditional medical display. But how wrong I was.
The Musée De La Main is located opposite the CHUV, Lausanne’s university hospital. It was established in 1997 by Claude Verdan, a renowned hand surgeon. The approach is to integrate art, history, science and culture through interactive and immersive exhibitions. It is designed to raise curiosity and questions about our bodies, and the past and present world of medicine.
Exhibitions on a medical theme ae held through the year. They feature how various parts of the body work or a concept such as taste. One on digestion for example appeals to families but also to curious adults wanting to discover more about their body. As I wandered around the exhibits on taste -pushing buttons and sniffing things in bottles it was engaging enough. It was definitely engaging the children visiting the museum who were asking more and more questions of their parents.
I found the museum to be interesting with some innovative exhibits and activities for kids. It will also be a wnderful space for people who want to learn more about how their body works. The museum is small with changing exhibitions but is designed to stimulate questions in an interactive way. And that is what museums are all about- or should be.
Visiting Musee De La Main: https://museedelamain.ch/