Dr Lorna Piatti-Farnell

WED 25 MAR, 6.30PM

The Cafe Scientifique event has now been cancelled. This difficult decision has been made in order to help protect our communities from the spread of coronavirus. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

The quest for beauty has been at the heart of the human experience for millennia. That quest, however, has also been entangled with poison, as many cosmetics, fashion items, and fanciful objects have relied on the use of toxic substances to achieve their desired effects. From Ancient lead-based makeup to 21st century botox, the history of the beauty industries is, to some extent, the history of poison.

Dr Lorna Piatti-Farnell is Professor of Cultural History at Auckland University of Technology. Her research focuses primarily on the history of popular icons, from food to vampires and superheroes, and how these reflect on our identities and the ways we live at a particular moment in time. She has published widely on these topics, and is currently working on her next book, entitled The Mortal Arts: Poison and the Popular Imagination.