The necropsy, or animal autopsy, involved a recently deceased Dalmatian and was performed in UCD Veterinary Hospital by Professor Sean Callanan and Brian Cloak. It was streamed live to an audience of students in Astra Hall. The event was followed by a panel discussion covering the topics such as illusion, magic, pharmaceuticals, consciousness, and humans existing alone. The panel featured psychologist, author and former magician Richard Wiseman, TCD geneticist Aoife McLysaght, and Futureproof regular, Ian Brunswick, hosted by presenter Jonathan McCrea.
The event was the first of it’s kind held in UCD, and was organised as a joint project between Futureproof and UCD Students’ Union. SU Education Officer, Shane Comer explained how the event came about. “I was approached back at the start of September by the Futureproof, its a weekly show done on Newstalk that focuses on science and stuff like that, and they wanted to do a live recording here in UCD. They did it in Electric Picnic to huge success and they said it encouraged them to do one here in UCD… Nothing like this has happened in UCD before, which is why I was really eager to get something like this.”
Turnout for the event was high and Comer expressed his delight at the events success. “There was about 80 to 90 people there, which I was really pleased about. It was open to everyone but it obviously more focused on the veterinary sciences, the health sciences, Ag, that kind of stuff but I’m pretty sure I spotted one or two law students in there as well. I was very pleased with attendance.”
Although no plans are currently in place to hold similar events in future, Comer has high hopes that this could become a regular feature in UCD. “If the opportunity arose definitely… should the opportunity arise I’d be more than happy to do something like this in UCD again. I hope it’s not a once off but it’s the first one that’s been done. It ties back nicely to my wanting to do something different with the Education Office. It certainly was different.”
The recording of the UCD show was broadcast last Saturday at 6pm, and is currently available online as a podcast. A video of the necropsy will also be available online in the coming days. Futureproof will hold another live event in UCC this Thursday, with the recording to broadcast the following Saturday.