Yes good luck with the paper! I love plants and technology so was in geek heaven! I love the barcoding system as I prefer to read in depth about things at home, rather than standing in a museum with people bustling me etc. I also really enjoyed the digital displays so you could turn the pages of books, which are hundreds of years old. We wouldn't normally have access to see such things.
I also liked the fact that you can see the labs from the cocoon too, just like the Millenium Seed Bank.
Oh and one last thing I loved the interactive glass displays, where you can touch things to learn more about them. That was cool.
To start on a positive the architecture inspiring.
However, I was disappointed after my first visit, but I am not the target audience given that I work in ecology.
I could not visit the centre for British biodiversity (your spell check does not like the word biodiversity this is small issue for a website about biology, ecology, geology etc.) centre because it was closed on the day that, I visited. There was no seating at the computer at the end of the cocoon where you could type in your comments and the computer did not allow you spell check these comments. In order to allow accessibility why not have a system were you could speak your comments in to a computer?
I was also very disappointed on the day that I visited the tree protection for the trees within the new garden were not to the appropriate British Standard, BS 5837 (2005) Trees In Relation To Construction. Within the cocoon the importance of biodiversity and protection for wildlife was stated on many occasion but it appears that the Lombardy poplars in the garden can not be saved from a contractors ladder and temporary site office.
Oh well at least the British Geological Society shop is still there!
Love honey fungus!
I enjoyed the barcodes and touch screens the best. However what I found quite annoying was that if you lean on the side of the touch screen it picks your movement which was annoying. Apart from that it was all good. The barcodes were good as you weren't rushed to read everything in a hurry and you could then use it for future reference and you could read it in your own time. But I did feel as though we were intruding in on the scientists space and also staring at them. Hope the paper goes well and you will use my comments in future.
I visited today with my son (aged 6 1/2) and he absolutely loved the barcoding - he's really into anything computer-related so it was heaven for him. He also really loved the activity that involved preparing for a field trip and packing all the right equipment, paperwork etc.
Getting a feel for what the curators and research staff actually do has really inspired him - he's been talking about becoming a scientist which is great (better than 'I want to be a model like my friend and buy loads of cool stuff' which we've had recently!).
Personally I loved the aesthetics of the cocoon, the displays with the butterflies, insects and plants were incredibly beautiful.
Good luck with the paper!