At each stop on the walk there will be a story and an activity. Worksheets for children to use during the walk need to be downloaded and printed off at school and brought with you.
William Harvey (1578–1617)
• Stand on the pavement opposite Caius College, just beside Michaelhouse
This is Stephen Hawking’s college.
• Show the picture of Stephen Hawking – Resource card G
Has anyone heard of him or even seen him?
He spends a lot of time thinking about huge things, like how the universe works. He showed the world some of his ideas in the Paralympic Games opening ceremony!
We are going to hear about someone who was very interested in little details, but who was just as important for science. They have both seen how important it is to try to understand how things work.
• Point out the statue of William Harvey (on the corner of the shop to the left of Michaelhouse)
This is a man called William Harvey.
What do you think his job is?
What is he holding?
• Point out the bust of Harvey above and to the left of the entrance to the college
I wonder why there are two statues of William Harvey? Was he such an important man that he needed more than one?
• Go into the Michaelhouse chapel (through the café) or Great St Mary’s church to tell the story of William Harvey
William was another Cambridge student who became a royal doctor [like William Gilbert – Stop 1]. This is what he looked like:
• Show the portrait of Harvey – Resource Card H
He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, so he would have spent a lot of time wearing one of these:
• Hold up the blood-stained apron – Artefact 8
Who would like to model it for us?
As well as being a student at Cambridge, William went to Padua in Italy to study anatomy – how the body works. Whilst he was there he learnt that the most important thing was to look carefully at the human body to see how it worked. He helped in operations and saw people being cut up, so he could actually see what went on inside their bodies. He made very detailed drawings of what he saw, so he could remember and try to work out what was going on.
• Show anatomical drawing – Resource card I
When he came back to England he got a job as doctor to King James I and then King Charles I. But in his spare time he liked to do scientific experiments. He was really interested in blood!
He worked out that the heart pumps the blood, and it moves round the whole body in a circuit. He realised that the blood moves through the arteries away from the heart and then travels through the veins back into the heart. He looked closely and saw that the veins have little valves to stop the blood going backwards. William didn’t have a microscope strong enough, but he guessed that there were lots of little blood vessels he couldn’t see.
• Show the paperback copy of Harvey’s book – Artefact 9
William wrote a book about his ideas and experiments, called “On the movement of the heart and blood”. You can see one of his pictures on the front cover. The original book had lots of careful and detailed drawings to explain his ideas.
It took a little while, but eventually William’s theories spread all over the world, and changed the way people thought about medicine and how the body works. Nothing would be the same again.
All through his life William took time to watch carefully and think about what he saw. Even in his spare time when he wasn’t working, he loved to sit quietly outside and watch birds. He saw the blood moving round the body, and thought about God moving through the world. When he looked at all the different types of birds, and how perfectly the bodies of animals worked, he praised God for the wonderful world He had made.
Make a drawing of an interesting object in the church. Try to make you drawing as accurate as possible. Take time to really look!