The plenary speaker events on the second day were really good. The day started with Tim Smit a Dutch-born British business man famous for the Eden project. This man knew how to grab the attention of the audience by the adept use of highly controversial thoughts. Here are some of the most interesting quotes:
If you can get 3 people to believe in something it will happen: the Tinkerbell theory. (1)
Most science centers are profoundly crap. Dominated by middle aged men who believe in interactivity but have never done it. (2)
Science centres are missing the concepts of mystery and romance in their infrastructure.
We don’t let our scientists who look like scientists in front of the public. (3)
Reform the few most charismatic students in a school and you’ll reform the school.
We are living at an exciting time, much more exciting than the time when the Renaissance began.
The more you charge people the better they think about the offer you are making.
I feel like a pork sausage that’s walked into a convention that doesn’t like pigs. (4)
Science & Art begin with the same idea of learning from observation. We need to bring that forth.
The Science Communication Conference 2010 had been a much awaited event in my schedule and it was a great privilege to attend the conference having been awarded the bursary by the organisers, the British Science Association.
The conference was held in one of the best venues I have been to in the UK: King’s Place. It suited the needs of the conference perfectly with its big concert hall for plenary speaker events and many smaller located close by were used when the conference split into many parallel events. The centrally located foyer, with its little island tables, was ideal for networking during breaks. The catering service did a decent job with the food and the supporting staff did an excellent job to keep things running smoothly.
I missed the first part (the introduction to public engagement, presentation of the department of business, innovation & skills and a session on jargon) of the conference due to prior commitments on that day. You can read about what happened in that period here. I reached the venue very close to the end of the lunch break and barely had time to grab a bite. I was looking forward to meeting tweeple but that had to wait till the next break.
A month has passed since TEDxCAM 2010 and yet it as fresh in my memory as the last meal I had. My second TEDx event (after TEDx Warwick) proved to be many times better. It had more speakers, free food and was held in the Cambridge Union. It was a very professionally organised event for which I managed to get tickets only in the last week presumably because of over-subscription.
After a very foggy morning and a 3-hour train journey, I reached Cambridge feeling nippy. The fog was still lingering and all I could think about was reaching the venue on time. I paced myself through the tiny lanes to find the Cambridge Union (CU), and just like Oxford the walk from the train station to the union did not reveal much of the beauty of the town. The Union was located behind a very cute-looking church that was called, very unimaginatively, the ‘Round Church‘. I reached with about ten minutes in hand only to find a long queue of attendees trying to get inside the Union hall. After a brief wait and to my satisfaction, I found a great seat just behind Aubrey de Grey.