I gave at talk to the Cockermouth Cafe Sci group held at the Moota Garden Centre, click here for more details. There were 50 local folks who attended on a very foggy night in the Lake District and we had a lovely conversation about 'What makes an animal smart?' I strongly encourage academics to connect with the public via the Cafe Sci format. The speaker usually talks for 20-30 minutes, followed by a short break (to replenish coffee or beer). The last bit of the evening is an interactive q & a with the audience. To find your local Cafe Sci group, click here.
We took our wonderful, hands-on, educational nest-building display to Exploration '16.
This event was part of European Researchers' Night. We had loads of people stop by the Byre Theatre to try their hand at building a nest> Just remember - birds don't have hands - they do it with their beak!
I traveled south to take part in The Next Big Thing, hosted by the Royal Society at the Gravity Fields Festival in Grantham, UK. Pictured below are the panelists (L-R) Dr. Libby Gibson, Dr. Megan Gray, me and the chair, Christine Horrocks, Headmistress at the local Elizabethan Academy. We discussed our research, the state of funding in the UK, and some of the major challenges we face in our respective fields. I think we all agreed that political issues (ahem, Brexit), funding and residency/visa restrictions are not helping to advance science. Science is global and we need to work together! We also had a Q & A session with the audience, which included several of Christine's students. The event took place in the Guildhall Arts Centre, pictured behind the statue of Sir Isaac Newton, who when to school in Grantham. Excerpt from the program pictured bottom left and the best schwag ever pictured bottom right, brewed special for the festival!
Lauren, Sophie and Alexis spent two days at the Edinburgh International Science Festival as part of the pop-up science event. Our exhibit 'Why Do Birds Build Nests?' included two games where you travelled around Scotland and the world to match the bird and its nests to its environment. Our display included two hands-on (beak-on!) activities: the first was to build a nest that was able to hold a chocolate egg, the second was to build a nest (and eggs, and bird) to take home. Lastly, we had nests that you could touch, made by experts - the birds themselves! There was also a larger-than-life video of our zebra finches building in the laboratory and wild weaver birds building in South Africa.
We had hundreds of people stop by to visit us in the amazing National Museum of Scotland!
Thanks to the BBSRC for funding to deliver this event.
Lauren recently presented a Cafe Scientifique titled What makes an animal smart? This public event was sponsored by The Royal Society and hosted by Glasgow Cafe Scientifique at the lovely Victorian Bar at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow.
For an overview of the event visit The Royal Society public events page found here.
Café Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. For more information about Café Scientifique please visit the Glasgow Cafe Sci website.
We had a fantastic time at the Dundee Science Festival held at the Dundee Science Centre. We were part of an animal themed family fun day called Curious Creatures. Our exhibit 'Why Do Birds Build Nests?' included two games where you travelled around Scotland and the world to match the bird and its nests to its environment. Our display included two hands-on (beak-on!) activities: the first was to build a nest that was able to hold a chocolate egg, the second was to build a nest (and eggs, and bird) to take home. Lastly, we had nests that you could touch, made by experts - the birds themselves! There was also a larger-than-life video of our zebra finches building in the laboratory and wild weaver birds building in South Africa.
Please check out the pictures below and leave a comment/suggestion if you visited us! Thanks to all the visitors (and staff at Dundee Science Centre) who made this days so much fun.
I will post the resources we created, to share, shortly.
Another table by the Cognition in the Wild Lab at Biology Open Days! I spoke with high school students from Fife, UK and from all over the USA!
I gave a talk at the University of the Third Age and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland 2014 Study Day held at the Edinburgh Zoo. It was a great audience and lots of fun! We gave the talks in the lovely lecture theater in the Budongo Trail Chimp exhibit. It was an amazing experience to hear the chimps vocalize and play during the talk. At one point during my presentation the chimps starting vocalizing (in response?) after I played chick-a-dee calls of black-capped and mountain chickadees! Ida Bailey and myself gave a talk entitled: From Art Critic to Structural Engineers: The Amazing Abilities of Birds. We focused on (1) how we can use categories to ask question about how birds perceive the world, (2) tool use, and (3) how birds learn to select appropriate nest building material. Click here for the program.