Monday, October 25, 2010

TAM London speaker 6: Karen James

Who’s she?  She’s a botanist who works for the Natural History Museum in London and in particular on the Beagle Project, which she spoke about.

The idea is to build a replica of The HMS Beagle - the ship that carted Darwin around the world – and recreate his voyage, doing experiments along the way.  These include a fairly awesome collaboration with the NASA and the ISS.  Science aside, it’s basically a publicity stunt, but an excellent one.  You should donate.

There’s something exciting about this.  I think it’s because the idea is so tangible. It’s a bloody great ship from another era, made out of the proper wood and everything, doing cool modern stuff.  It’s a laboratory, a library and museum all in one.

Karen’s talk was enthusiastic and funny.  She’s a great science communicator.  She also seems to be good at getting stuff done.  I wanted to speak to her about the project after the talk but for various reasons I didn’t get the chance.

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