By Meghan Harper, on 8 June 2010
Hi! My name is Meghan Harper and I am currently working towards my MA in Museum Studies through the Institute of Archaeology here at UCL. I am really excited to attend the Cheltenham Science Festival this year, and hope to share with you what is sure to be a great experience!
Even though the discipline of Museum Studies may seem a far cry from involvement in any of the sciences, one of the things we very regularly focus on in our courses is how to engage an audience with information that may be very familiar or completely unknown to them. As a requirement for one of our courses, my classmates and I had to conceptualize and develop an exhibition about cutting edge research in archaeology, medicine and science at UCL. None of us had academic backgrounds in science or medicine, so we had to do a lot of learning before we could present this information to our audience. The more we learned about the research, the more passionate we became ourselves, and it was much easier to think of ways to pass this passion along to the audience when it was something that we were invested in.
This experience of passionate learning and sharing is what I think public engagement is all about and I can’t wait to see what the Cheltenham Science Festival has in store. I hope to not only widen my knowledge base about so many interesting scientific discussions and discoveries but also continue to learn how to help people build a passion for something they may not even realized they had an interest in.
Many, many thanks to UCL Graduate School for the opportunity to attend and participate in the Cheltenham Science Festival as well as the UCL Communications team for giving me the ability to share this experience with all of you. There are many great things on the horizon for this week, so stay tuned!