George’s Marvellous Toxins by Will Stahl-Timmins

As part of our light-hearted Christmas issue in 2020, we published an article investigating the toxological impacts of the ingredients of George’s Marvellous Medicine from Roald Dahl’s famous book. The authors wanted to find out what effects the medicine might actually have on the human body, according to the ToxBase toxicology database. Many members of staff contributed to the graphic by hand illustrating the ingredients. We used these within an interactive tool which allows you to experiment with different combinations of these ingredients, to see the likely effects of your medicine. There are even a few “achievements” you can unlock for particularly deadly combinations, and a few easter eggs for those who pay very close attention to the other mixtures that were prepared in the book. At the end of a very stressful year for front line doctors, we wanted to put some extra effort into our Christmas interactive, to give them something amusing as well as educational. It has been our most widely shared graphic on social media to date, with over 500,000 impressions and 13,000 engagements on Twitter in its first month of publication.