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How has Culture and Art Influenced the Study of Anatomy?

Audio

Aired 4/27/09

How has religion and culture affected the way we view our bodies over time? When and why did the study of anatomy begin? How do different cultures around the world view the body differently? We speak to Professor Kevin Petti about his upcoming lecture on "Connecting Art and Science: The Historical Influence of Culture on Anatomy."

Maureen Cavanaugh: Genesis tells us that after Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they realized their bodies were naked, and they were ashamed. It seems humans have had a long history of ambivalence about the human body, and that love/hate relationship is not just skin deep.

The quest to find out how the body works, what it looks like inside, has faced prohibitions from the pulpit and revulsion from the public. And yet, what we've learned from the science of human anatomy has not just improved our health, its affected our art, culture and the way we think about being human.

Professor Petti's lecture on "Connecting Art and Science: The Historical Influence of Culture on Anatomy" will be held tonight at 6:30pm at the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Guest

Dr. Kevin Petti, is a professor of Science and Health at San Diego Miramar College, and president of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society.

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