Thursday’s event at the Natural History Museum went very well. There was a great turnout, and the audience was very enthusiastic. As you can see from the photos*, there were two fierce-looking large dinosaurs in attendance in the audience, but it did not have any effect on the overall time-keeping, and the lectures ran over the allotted time quite a bit.
But people had fun, and the museum staff were very kind and flexible, so that’s ok. I actually learned a lot from Ed Krupp’s talk about the astronomy and astronomical objects along the Silk Road from the Far East to the Middle East especially. Laura Danly gave a talk that was mostly a detailed history the Internet including at least three internet cat videos as illustration (an emphasis that I found unexpected, I’ll admit, since I was expecting more about contemporary astronomy). It was certainly a modern perspective on the Silk Road, as we promised the audience, and it seemed to go down well. The observation opportunity that Laura arranged outside (with the telescopes that were set up in the new gardens) was also well received. Jupiter and its Galilean moons were on show, and so this nicely helped fit the theme of my overarching remarks in the introduction, that we were going to connect ourselves to the ancient peoples of the Silk Road by also looking up into the sky and wondering.
Although I was actually slightly ill throughout (inexplicably super-tired, and with an all day headache – perhaps allergies?), it was an enjoyable event.
*Thanks Vanessa Curwen, for the photos and taking such good care of logistics!