Research Dinosaurs: A Multidisciplinary Symposium
Lapworth Museum, 8-9 July 2019
The case of dinosaurs ‑ hugely popular scientific and cultural objects – provides an under-explored terrain through which to examine contemporary interdisciplinary research and teaching in UK higher education. Drawn from across a spectrum of disciplines in the arts and sciences, participants will discuss dinosaurs not only as subjects of primary research but as objects of the university, engaging with how physical and cultural remains of long-extinct animals figure, and can figure, in our diverse intellectual work - and our engagement with the public. Invitations will not be limited to those with established dinosaur research track records, but will include experts with any kind of stake in the broader issues of interdisciplinarity and scientific communication on which this symposium naturally rests. Can the enormous public appeal of these extinct animals provide an avenue for longer-term collaboration between the arts and sciences in HE? What are the potential pitfalls of such an approach? And what does a multidisciplinary dinosaur look like? Our attempt to engage with these questions will see us discussing museums and public outreach (with hands-on sessions in the Lapworth museum, our venue), teaching practice (with support from Birmingham’s Liberal Arts & Natural Sciences programme), and research priorities and pressures (across the UK HE sector).
Organized by Will Tattersdill (Birmingham) and funded by the Narrativising Dinosaurs fellowship, this symposium is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.