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Curator of Lepidoptera

2 Posts tagged with the european_researchers_night tag

As free events go one cannot expect more happenings than the annual Europe-wide celebration that is European Researchers' Night, and the Museum is just one of the 100s of institutions that once again will open its doors for an evening bonanza of science at Science Uncovered.



Science Uncovered, our annual celebration of science as part of European Researchers' Night, is fun, free and gets better every year.




4 Successful Years: as part of the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme, our Museum has successfully hosted 4 Science Uncovered evenings, one each September, with a total of more than 30,000 visitors attending so far!


Every year has been more popular than the previous, and with around 300 scientists taking part, our visitors have enjoyed activities as diverse as interactive science stations, debates, behind-the-scenes tours and science bars.


Science Uncovered 2013_27092013_0327.jpg

This year's Science Uncovered is on Friday 26 September and we are confident it will be another great success. You'll be welcome to join in from 15.00 and our aim is to enthusiastically entertain you until 22.30.


The event will be programmed according to the 3 main strategic themes of the Museum: Sustainability, Biodiversity and Origins & Evolution and there will be activities related to these themes in the Darwin Centre, Life and Earth public galleries respectively.


Because I was away at the time, I wasn't able to take part in last year's Science Uncovered but I will be there this year with some of my colleague curators, in one of the forest stations, so do drop by and say hello.


This is an opportunity not to be missed as we'll be taking with us some of our favourite specimens, usually jealously protected in our extensive state-of-the-art collections.


We would love to show and tell you about some of the work we do in our Museum and we'll endeavour to answer many of your questions. We'll be setting up some games to test your knowledge and stimulate your curiosity; of course there will be prizes too, but only if you are smart enough.


I really hope you'll be one of the thousands people who visit during the evening, joining in to celebrate biodiversity, knowledge and the importance of all inquisitive minds.


See you then.


I have always enjoyed taking part in Science Uncovered with its vibrant, interesting, exciting and revealing ambience.


As part of the European Researchers' Night, the Natural History Museum is one of the hundred institutions in 33 countries all over Europe to open its door for a night of discovery, learning and inspiration. The Museum's Science Uncovered for 2013 is here today, Friday the 27 September from 16.00 until Midnight, and it’s free!


Now, having said that, unfortunately I won’t take part in this year's event! I know this is very sad news for all my fans, or rather for all the fans of Lepidoptera, because they would have been the stars of the show, not me obviously!


Science-Uncovered-2-science-station-copyright-NHM.jpgThe Lepidoptera Station at last year's Science Uncovered.


But don’t despair! There will be lots of bugs on show, from large and shiny beetles to attractive and colourful butterflies and moths. Some of my entomology colleagues will be manning Science Stations so you can get up close to their favourite specimens and find out what they're working on.


Display_Drawers-png.jpgSome of the entomology display drawers you might be finding at this year's Science Uncovered.


One of the stations not to be missed is the iCollections projectdigitising the museum’s British and Irish Lepidoptera.


Let me tell you few things about this project and what you’ll find if you visit the station. The iCollections project is one of many digitisation activities currently undertaken by the Museum. The aim of the project is to make part of the vast entomology collections at our Museum more accessible to the public and to researchers.


POster Icollection.jpg

The iCollections project – digitising the museum’s British and Irish Lepidoptera.


Each specimen of British and Irish butterflies and moths from the Museum collections is currently being photographed, and the data on the label of each specimen is also photographed and transcribed. This is great news for curatorial and scientific purposes. In fact, once the specimens have been photographed they are re-housed into new drawers that will provide better conditions for many years to come.


The data from the specimens will also be extremely useful to examine the pattern of distribution of the species of British and Irish Lepidoptera, and how factors such as climate change and human impact through urbanization and intensive agriculture are affecting it. The data would also be valuable to assess the scale of the historical collections of the Museum.


Digitisers 1.jpg

Some of the digitisers at work.


Elisa.jpgOnce the specimens are digitised they are re-housed into new drawers.


The project started at the beginning of this year and so far the digitising team has managed to photograph more than 80,000 specimens and transcribe each of their labels.

Erebia drawer.jpgA drawer with specimens of Scotch Argus (Erebia aethiops), one of the 60 or so British species of butterflies currently being digitised.


Apparently it is a reliable and very productive team, digitising one specimen every 2.9 minutes!


So, tonight, at Science Uncovered, do pay the the iCollections project Station a visit. Meet Elisa, Gerardo, Jo, Lindsey and Sara, the digitisers. They’ll be happy to tell you more about this project, answer your questions, and since the process of capturing the data from the labels is rather interesting and complex, they will have some of these labels for visitors to have a go at transcribing and deciphering them! And there’ll be prizes to be won, if you are smart enough that is!


Meet the iCollections Project digitisers!


They will also have some drawers of their favourite species which have already been digitised. The digitising team will be located in the noisy Nature Games room (Marine Invertebrates Gallery), so listen out for our animal-themed buzzers!




Science Uncovered takes place today, Friday 27 September at the Natural History Museum, London. Join us from 4pm to midnight.