It is roughly one week until the Lates and
Science Festival. I am collecting final bits for my stall and testing
things out. The big challenge of it all is finding ways to draw people in and
keep them long enough in order to get them interested in my research. This is
not only about designing my stall, but also how I will take visitors through my
Cameras from the National Science and Media Museum’s handling
collection were a major challenge, because they appeared to be more
attractive to visitors than the other ordinary objects on my table. It is
interesting to see people’s responses to the cameras. Visitors seemed to find cameras
from around 1900 strange (and they are), because taking a picture with it is
very different from how we take pictures nowadays. On the other hand, the more
recent ones (1980’s) were more familiar to older visitors, so the cameras draw
people in for two entirely opposing reasons.
Either way, this meant that I had to find a way to get the
handling collections objects in, without entirely losing the visitors to them. As
soon as visitors were allowed to handle the old cameras, it was hard to get
them back on track. Therefore, I tried introducing the cameras later on as a
surprise for visitors who lingered a bit longer, which seemed to work much
This is one of the many things I am learning on my way to
the Lates and the Bradford Science Festival. I think I will learn a lot during
the events themselves as well. For now, I will get ready for the big days and
enjoy a visit to the museum’s partner in Manchester: the National Science and
Day 2 saw us being welcomed by the Science and Media Museum, promising a full day of expert training and wondrous science.
As soon as you enter the space you know that you will be in for a day of adventure. The space is expertly renovated to welcome you into the marvelous world of science and media. I say renovated not built because the original building was not conceived as a museum space. The 1960’s the space was envisioned to be a cinema. Even though the museum has undergone many name changes and it looks fairly different now, the cinema areas are still there. They even had the first IMAX cinema in Europe.
Our day started with a warm welcome from Jo Quinton-Tulloch, Director at National Science and Media Museum. As part of the Science Museum Group, who are DyViTo partners, they are the worlds most significant group devoted to science.
Of course, we couldn’t go the Science and Media Museum without spending some time in the Wonderlab. Not enough time, if you ask me, but we had a schedule to keep. We even had the opportunity to observe the museum staff in action: we got to sit in on a school visit at the Wonderlab Studio. Not only was Liz, the presenter-extraordinaire, inspiring and energetic but she was able to keep the children engaged throughout.
Having air canons helped as well.
Alas, in no time at all we had to leave the Wonderlab. However, the museum staff had one more trick up their sleeve.
We had the privilege of taking a peak at some of the items in the museum storage. From the camera that was used to film the iconic Bohemian Rhapsody intro, to the Daily Herald archives and rows upon rows of classic cameras, everywhere you looked there was something fascinating. Our expert guides made sure we understood the innovative nature and, in some cases, the breakthrough designs that helped shape the world of media and photography we now know.
It was not all fun and games, though. We heard about the work that the museum does in order to engage the community in Bradford. John Darnbrough, Learning Programmes Developer, spoke about the various outreach work that the museum undertakes. The Family Programme alone can have over 30 thousand visitors across the event.
Robin Dark, Partnership and Learning Projects Manager, spoke about the Bradford Science Festival. Their approach to taking the science outside of the museum to Broadway Shopping Center and Centenary Square means that learning has never been more accessible. As Jo Quinton-Tulloch put it “We don’t lecture, we inform and inspire”.
Last, but by no means least, Professor Candy Rowe was kind enough to give a talk about Gender and Diversity in Research. Coming all the way from Newcastle University she was able to start a very spirited conversation around the theme of “Why should we care about equality, diversity and inclusion”.
You will agree that Day 2 was intense. There was nothing left to do but blow off some steam with the quintessential yule-tide pastime, Christmas crackers. The Midland Hotel was kind enough to host us for dinner over a festive menu and cracking crackers. Pardon the pun.
Picture of the University of Bradford sign and campus
Situated on top of the hill looking over Bradford, the University prides itself on being a world-leading technology institution. With a rich history of cutting-edge research across various disciplines, the DyViTo Project finds its home within the Bradford School of Optometry & Vision Science.
The group continues to build on over 35 years of vision research at the University. Research embraces a broad range of disciplines including; ophthalmology, optics, ocular imaging, machine vision, psychophysics, biomechanics and visual neuroscience. There is a big emphasis on research across all faculties at the University of Bradford, as the below infographic shows.
Research Output Infographic detailing the amount of papers and citations across all faculties at the University of Bradford
The University of Bradford may have gotten the Royal Charter in 1966, officially establishing it as the institution we know today, but its origins date back to as early as 1832. Currently, University of Bradford has a lot to be proud of. For example, did you know:
96% of research and innovation was deemed internationally significant in the REF 2014
The university was recognised for the excellence of our teaching with the award of Silver under the Teaching Excellence Framework in 2017
They have been named the 4th greenest campus in the world (2nd in the UK) in the UI GreenMetric World University Rankings 2017
The University have been ranked in the UK top 10 for Occupational Therapy,Physiotherapy, Optometry & Ophthalmics, and Medical Technology by The Complete University Guide 2018