Tuesday, 11 December 2012

New Science Faculty Videos

Check out these 3 wonderful new films on the Faculty of Science website, a really fascinating look behind the scenes at what it means to do science. As the web page says:
Researchers working on everything from theoretical chemistry, to geology, to psychology, discuss what it means to be a scientist in the 21st century, and what it takes to survive the emotional rollercoaster that sees them tackle frustration and failure before critical acclaim.
Here's a taster, entitled "Quantum collision: A Meeting of Science, Art, Dance and Music" - a beautiful and thought-provoking film:

There are also lots of profiles of the scientists who were interviewed in the films on the website. Says Aliya Mughal, part of the team who made the films:

In a nutshell, the films explore some of the perennial issues in science – the role and responsibility of science and scientists in how their discoveries are used; how scientists feel about the role they play (or not) in influencing policy when it comes to issues such as climate change, global poverty, etc; how much of science is about progress and impact and how much is about pure curiosity. That’s the first film. The second explores the idea of failure and how scientists deal with frustration and mistakes, what gives them the resolve and determination to continue, basically what it takes to succeed in science when you are continually reminded of how much you don’t know versus how much you do.

The film above focuses on danceroom spectroscopy (dS) –  spearheaded by Dave Glowacki, a science-meets-art interactive installation that brings the atomic world to life and seeks to encourage non-scientists to engage with the world around them at a molecular level. Dave’s project debuted at the Barbican in November so we followed his group from Bristol to London to show just how and why it works, with some very interesting perspectives from members of the public who were quite philosophical about how dS made them realise their place in the world!
The films take quite a candid look at the reality of science, hopefully offering a more personable insight into the ideas, thoughts and people that shape scientific discovery. Our aim was to pitch them in such a way to make science accessible, inspiring and interesting, and to move away from a pure academic exploration to a more imaginative one – in particular, we want to encourage more students to think about science as a creative, exciting (ad)venture that is worth pursuing on a multitude of levels. We worked with some of the newest recruits to the University, selected for their passion, enthusiasm and understanding of the importance of communicating about science.

As Sandra Arndt says in her Q&A, “Science is not really a job, it’s a passion. You get to follow your ideas and do what you really want to do," and this is something that really comes across in these wonderful films!Find it all on the Faculty of Science website.

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