I had the pleasure of being asked to give a Bite-Sized Lunchtime Lecture on the 4th of March. This being the first of the series I was very keen to set the series off to a good start.
My first dilemma was the topic to choose. The aim of the lectures is not for us to present our research per se, but to choose a topic which would be of interest to a general audience. I could see a number of such topics, but the final choice fell on the area of pollutants in museums and archives, particularly those generated inside these institutions themselves.
Part of the reason I chose this topic is that I find that most people think that you only need to protect objects from the ‘big bad environment’ outside. However, sealing things away from this environment is not necessarily the solution; as objects degrade they themselves produce pollutants which if left to reach high concentrations can cause some serious damage.
I won’t say any more about the topic, but will let you go through the presentation yourself.
As for the lecture itself? At the risk of sounding cocky, I must say I really enjoyed it. I was particularly impressed by the level of questions which arose following the presentation. Having a varied audience there definitely made for some interesting questions! Happily, though answering questions at presentations is an area I have identified for improving, I felt like this time round it went well.
So it seems like there was a happy presenter, (a happy supervisor!), and an audience which understood what I was trying to put across. After this experience I can only encourage you to, if a UCL early-career researcher , to apply for a spot in the series yourself. Otherwise, do come and listen if you’re in the area and contribute to the stimulating discussion which arises from such events!