BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 3309

William Harvey's discoveries

William Harvey's discoveries
Key Info
  • William Harvey's discoveries
  • Duration: 03:59
  • English physician William Harvey used scientific experiments to challenge ideas and knowledge about the body, and some of his experiments are reenacted here, involving body parts and blood. Harvey studied at the University of Padua, Italy, just 50 years after Vesalius. Many doctors still relied on Galen for much of their knowledge, but Harvey liked to experiment. Galen believed that blood was produced by the liver and then 'used up' by the body. Harvey experimented on animals to prove that Galen was wrong, showing that the same blood circulated around the body. In 1628 he published his work so anyone could do his experiments. His ideas gave birth to modern medical practises like transfusions.
  • Warning: Contains some scenes which viewers may find upsetting.
  • Credits: The Wellcome Institute
  • Subject:



    Medicine Through Time

  • Keywords: William Harvey, Vesalius, University of Padua, circulation, experiment, medicine through time
Ideas for use in class
  • The teacher could pose as Harvey for students to question having watched the film on his work. They could be prompted to ask the hot seating teacher questions that relate to his impact on medicine, his 'enemies' etc.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 4x3

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