Creature was given to me decades ago by a family friend who influenced me hugely when I was growing up. He is carved out of bone and is about four inches long. I have no idea where he came from, for his origins are lost. He sits on the mantelpiece in my house, gazing out with a quizzical expression. His smile has unsettling undertones. I feel he knows more than I do about what is really going on.
Creature is smooth, cool and hard, though not reptilian. He has animal and mineral qualities. Creature is detached, though not repellent. His incisions are decisive yet his contours remain open to question. He invites yet discourages touch. He is thoughtful and concerned, yet remote and unaffected. He can never be completely known.
Creature inhabits a parallel world. Steeped in the ways of remote northern regions, he keeps his own counsel and never betrays his feelings. He is always at one remove from what I’m thinking, yet we remain close. He captures an essence of my family friend and I love him dearly. I keep him with me always.
Roger L Kneebone is Professor of Surgical Education and Engagement Science, Imperial College London Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow.
Roger is a clinician and educationalist whose multidisciplinary research builds on his experience in surgery and general practice and his interests and expertise beyond medicine. He is passionate about engagement in bridging the worlds of clinical practice, biomedical science, patients and society. He leads the Imperial College Centre for Engagement and Simulation Science and the Royal College of Music-Imperial Centre for Performance Science and is Professor of Anatomy at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Roger presents Countercurrent, a fortnightly iTunes podcast featuring 40-minute conversations with people whose interests and careers cross boundaries.