My week as a lecturer #8…essays, trees, telephones

Monday I started with the 9am lecture. This time earth-writing and referencing masterclass. The referencing winners? Bribed with Celebrations. IMG_3892.JPGLunch? There is a guy in our department who microwaves the most delicious smelling packed lunch most days. Here was Monday’s selection – salmon, rice and veg. IMG_3893.JPG Tuesday I worked from home. Me, coffee, tea, and a lot of reading. I managed to read quite a few papers by geographers on biosecurity and anthropologists on para-ethnography. This was in preparation for Wednesday. I went up to London to the OPAL HQ to interview colleagues about their tree health citizen science survey. IMG_3894.JPG Trees are never far away in the Director’s office! Whilst the 3 hour interview was a real highlight of my research for this week, the thing that really made me smile was finally getting over to the Science Museum and their new Information Age gallery, from their website…:

More than 200 years of innovation in communication and information technologies are celebrated in Information Age: Six Networks That Changed Our World, our biggest and most ambitious gallery to date.

Information Age is divided into six zones, each representing a different information and communication technology network: The Cable, The Telephone Exchange, Broadcast, The Constellation, The Cell and The Web.

The gallery explores the important events which shaped the development of these networks, from the dramatic stories behind the growth of the worldwide telegraph network in the 19th century, to the influence of mobile phones on our lives today.

Re-live remarkable moments in history, told through the eyes of those who invented, operated or were affected by the new wave of technology, from the first BBC radio broadcast in 1922 to the dawn of digital TV.

Discover how wireless technology enabled lives to be saved and news of the Titanic disaster to be spread to the world within hours of the event, and hear the personal stories of the operators who worked on the Enfield Telephone Exchange, the last manual exchange which marked the end of an era in communication history.

I didn’t have much time so dashed straight to the Exchange section. The Enfield switchboard looked amazing with a transparent photo of women working in the Exhange framing the display. You could put on a head set and plug in a call to hear the oral histories of the hello girls. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. A small criticism – I wanted to see a picture of those women now. But that’s minor. Loved it! IMG_3900.JPGIMG_3896.JPGIMG_3899.JPGIMG_3898.JPGIMG_3910.JPG I also caught up with Alison Hess my buddy and co-author on our object-love paper in cultural geographies. Here she is with 2LO – the BBC transmitter that was the focus of her PhD.

IMG_3914.JPG I also bumped into an old PhD friend – Pegasus – a favourite of the Computer Conservation Society.

Thursday – I spent the day with colleagues from the arts and humanities as we discussed and debated the University’s new strategy theme around heritage, creativity and values. Great conservation about “bad” enthusiasm with our Dean.

Friday – it’s raining. I’ve got 10 student meetings. Can you tell that an essay is due in on Monday?!

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