Psychology students' 'mind-blowing' New York museum tour

Students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) spent their first day in the Big Apple on an expert's tour of the American Museum of Natural History.

Psychology students were given a tour of the museum, considered one of the world’s most outstanding scientific and cultural institutions, by DMU lecturer Dr Carlos Crivelli, who used his own research and field experience to give more detail and context to the exhibitions.

Tabitha West, third-year Psychology student, said: “We’re looking at evolution today. We have a conceptual issues module on the course and we’re comparing lots of theories on evolution.

“Carlos is so passionate and knows so much, everything he says is so fascinating. It blows my mind.”

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The tour covered the way that animals adapt to their environments through evolution and the group spent time looking at primates and the different genus and species as well as looking at how each has evolved.

Ed Archer, a third-year Psychology student, said: “Today we’re specifically focusing on the primates and the Papua New Guinea sections, because that’s Carlos’s area of expertise.

“Our lectures have been linked specifically with the things we’re looking at today so that’s really good. It’s really interesting hearing his personal stories, he’s really excited about it.”

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Psychology student Jaiya Chopra said: “I’ve come to the American Museum of Natural History to expand my knowledge on my critical thinking module.

“We do a lot about ancient history as well as the evolution of facial structure and facial emotions, so it was good to see how the artefacts relate to theories from Darwin.”

The group discussed customs from different cultures and the importance of traditions as part of cultures and societies.

Dr Crivelli talked about how body modifications have influenced contemporary styles and European culture, including Maori practices.

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Students analysed cultural evolution and the way that globalisation has existed for a long time, with western influences found in other cultures.

Biomedical Sciences students also spent the day at the museum as part of their biological hazards itinerary.

Emily Pratt, a third-year Biomedical Science student, said: “We’re at the American Museum of Natural History to learn more about science and biological hazards in New York.”

The group gained a broader view of public health and considered how to keep large urban centres, such as New York, safe from major outbreaks of disease.

Students spent their spare time exploring the Big Apple and finding out more about the culture of the city.

Jaiya Chopra said: “New York is amazing, it’s a bit cold, but it’s amazing. It has been on the bucket list but I didn’t think I’d be able to come until after studying and the fact that it came along while I’m studying is great.”

Ed Archer said: “This is my first time in New York and my first in the US as well, it’s quite intense and overwhelming at the moment but I’m really enjoying it.”

Posted on Saturday 5th January 2019

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