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Am I Normal?

  • Free
  • Discussion
Photograph of four people seated in a row at a talk. They are looking up to listen to a speaker who is out of frame.
Library Insights, Michael Bowles. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

What you’ll do

In this interactive event you’ll be able to try out some historical tests that measure so-called ‘normal’ development. Then join research fellow Sarah Chaney live in the Reading Room, where she will discuss her book ‘Am I Normal?: The 200-Year Search for Normal People (and Why They Don’t Exist)’. The book is a deep dive into the strange history of the so-called normal and its emergence from sexist and racist endeavours. From our bodies to our IQ scores, Sarah will reflect on the science of how and why we judge ourselves and what really, if anything, constitutes ‘normal’. 

You’ll be able to ask questions and share your thoughts after the discussion.

Sarah Chaney’s book ‘Am I Normal?: The 200-Year Search for Normal People (and Why They Don’t Exist)’ will be published by Wellcome Collection on 14 July 2022.



Need to know


We’ll be in the Reading Room on level 2. You can walk up the spiral staircase to the Reading Room door, or take the lift up and then head left from the Library Desk.

Place not guaranteed

Booking a ticket for a free event does not guarantee you a place. You should aim to arrive 15 minutes before the event is scheduled to start to claim your place. If you do not arrive on time, your place may be given to someone on the waiting list.

Limited spaces available

Spaces are limited and may run out if we are busy so you may wish to arrive early.

For more information, please visit our Accessibility page. If you have any queries about accessibility, please email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 0 2 0. 7 6 1 1. 2 2 2 2

Our event terms and conditions

About your speaker

Black and white photo head shot of Sarah Chaney

Sarah Chaney

Sarah Chaney is a research fellow at the Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions. She spent her teens and 20s furiously rebelling against the mainstream, while secretly longing to be normal. It wasn’t until she passed 30 that she (mostly) stopped worrying about this mythical ideal. Alongside her research work she runs the public exhibitions and events programme at the Royal College of Nursing, occasionally writes for The Conversation and Psychology Today, and reads far too much X-Men fanfic.