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Cafe Scientifique: Poisoned Beauty

The quest for beauty has been at the heart of the human experience for a 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 Associate 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'.


Lorna Piatti-Farnell

Associate Professor


Auckland Museum Institute


Horse & Trap, Mt Eden, Auckland

6:30pm Wed 30 October, 2019 - 8:00pm Wed 30 October, 2019