Basilisks and Bezoars: The Real History Behind Harry Potter with Mark Waddell, PhD

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Imagine a time when magic was real, the desperate or greedy pursued the fabled Philosopher's Stone, and your local apothecary carried bezoars, mandrakes, and ground unicorn horn. If it all sounds like something from Harry Potter, that's because J.K. Rowling borrowed from history to create her magical world. In this talk, we'll explore some of that history and consider why it's still meaningful today. Mark Waddell, formerly a professor at Michigan State University, is a historian of early modern science and medicine whose research focuses on the intersections between science, religion, and art.  He played a major role in developing the Harry Potter Exhibit which has been enthusiastically received throughout the country!