Workshop 1: explorations
King's College London, September 2016
The first workshop brought together historians of science, palaeontologists, artists, museum professionals and science communicators to discuss how the deep history of life have been communicated to publics historically and currently. In doing so, we thought about how interdisciplinary engagement and discussion of this area could work, reflected on how popular conceptions feed into scientific research, and discussed the impact this has had upon changing ideas of animals, the environment and evolution.
Over the two days, we discussed questions like:
- How have issues of media profile and celebrity affected palaeontological research and its public presentation?
- How have scientific debates, theories and controversies interacted with popularization efforts and public understandings?
- Why have dinosaurs become so iconic in popular images of palaeontology, when did this happen, and what role have they played in public imaginations?
- How and why have palaeontologists presented new or unfamiliar organisms to the public, and what factors have affected the level of engagement with them?