Last week I had a long but rewarding day at HMYOI Polmont, delivering a 2-hour lecture/seminar to separate groups of male and female learners, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon. The topic was: ‘Where is “science” in the history of psychiatry?’ This is one of a number of presentations I do for prisons. The audiences were lively, enthusiastic, and engaged, with distinctive interests and perspectives. I got help on modern science from Calum, who also works at the University of St Andrews on a public engagement project called ‘Cell Block Science’.
My talk was part of CBS’s collaboration with Fife College, which provides learning to all 13 Scottish Prison Service jails. I was exhausted at the end of the day, but I learned a lot myself and I think those who attended will now be able to think in different ways about both science and mental health. I’m already looking forward to the next ‘gig’ at Perth Prison later in the year.