First Review for Built on Bones!

So, I spent this week doing a lot of things. One of my favorites was freaking about my photoshopped proximity to lifetime hero author Neil ...

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Adventures in Outreach: #SU2013 at the Natural History Museum

For those of you who have somehow found this blog without either being personally shown it with my hand on the mouse, or through my highly serious and infromative twitter feed (@brennawalks -- or even @trowelblazers, which is my identity 1/4 of the time), welcome. I always enjoy meeting new spambots.

For the rest of you, I'll assume you have an interest in either a) museums b) outreach or c) the life and times of our Human Origins research group. In which case, hurrah! Because that's what I'd like to talk about.



Prof Stringer lays down some knowledge
Every year, under auspices of the EU 's Framework Programme 7 , museums across europe recieve funds in order to hold a giant Open house. And it is giant, especially for us at the Natural History Museum London - we have hundreds of researchers here, normally safely hidden behind locked doors in the labryinth of cabinetry and slightly past sell-by-date skeletal models of obscure animals that is the 'working' part of the museum.This is Science Uncovered, or #SU2013 to its friends. However, an enthusiastic approach by the museum (and free drinks vouchers for the employees) means that the scientists and specialists are all gently pushed, blinking, into the limelight for one glorious night, and exposed to several thousand members of the public. Honestly, it's a ton of fun, and you can see how we tried to drum up interest in our Human Origins research last year  too.


So what did we do this year? What were people interested in? The most valuable part of Science Uncovered is working out what aspects of our research are easily communicable, which are 'eye-catching', and how any of that might work into our longer term involvement with special exhibitions (like the upcoming awesomeness that will be our early homo in britain exhibit) and our general goal of Making Science Interesting to Other People.

 The fossil and skeleton casts are always a huge draw, and we had lots of experts on hand to explain them (C. Stringer, L. Buck, M. Lewis, L. Humphrey, C. Rando, A. Freyne, H. Liversidge, E. Grant!).








Also standing by with a measuring tape was I. De Groote and C. Coleman, waiting to put you down on a chart of hominids based on your foot size...

 The make-your-own cave art run by R. Kruszynski and G. Delbarre, with help from A. Turner, M. Holloway and M. Dekleva was as popular as ever, and for ONCE, we didn't accidentally spray paint the Earth Galleries ;)



And, of course, because I was there, we played with reality ever so slightly. Here's C. Coleman, next to his very own 3d avatar created in Photoscan -- seperate post on my latest computer based time sucker to follow!


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Trivia (personal)

archaeologist. dental anthropologist. yes, that's a real thing. Author of Built on Bones, available in February 2017 (UK), May 2017 (USA) from Bloomsbury.

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