Saturday September 8th marks the first ever world rabies day, designed to bring attention to a preventable disease which still kills around 50,000 people each year worldwide.


Emm Barnes (Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester) and Julia Hyland (Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Birmingham) will be holding workshops suitable for all ages at the Thackray Museum in Leeds on this day, from 11am to 4pm, on the history of rabies, exploring how our understanding of and responses to the illness have changed since the 1880s.

Come and join in a recreation of the national news sensation of 1886, the passage of 5 children from Bradford to Paris to receive Louis Pasteur’s new life-saving treatment after they were bitten by a rabid dog. Participants will be encouraged to dress up as the original patients, and can have “dog bites” applied by a professional make-up artist, while discussing the treatment options and the new “germ theory” with the city’s Medical Officer of Health.

Museum entry is £5.50 for adults, £4.50 for concessions, and £4 for children. There is no additional charge for the roleplay sessions.


The same sessions will be run again as part of the Manchester Science Festival, at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, from 11 until 4 on Wednesday 24th October, and there is no entry fee at this venue.


You may also be interested in the new book on the subject by Neil Pemberton and Michael Worboys Mad Dogs and Englishmen: Rabies in Britain 1830-2000 To be published by Palgrave MacMillan on 28 Sept. Web: