Star Trek and The Clangers inspire a life in science reveals oral history project

Posted by ap507 at May 28, 2014 11:40 AM |
Dr Sally Horrocks plays key role in collaborative project

The Clangers, Star Trek and broccoli are just some of the things that have inspired British researchers to pursue a career in science according to a collection of video interviews launched by the Royal Society and the British Library today. The videos aim to highlight the diversity of people working in science, and are extracted from over 60 hours of interviews with scientists which will be held in perpetuity in the British Library’s Sound Archive.

Researchers at National Life Stories [NLS] at the British Library conducted the interviews as part of an oral history project commissioned by the Royal Society. Inspiring Scientists: Diversity in British Science records the life stories of ten British scientists with minority ethnic heritage and covers topics such as being a minority in science, influences in their childhoods and the fun and importance of science both to themselves and to the wider community. 

Dr Sally Horrocks (pictured) of the School of History has played a key part in planning the project and writing the scoping study as part of her role as senior academic advisor to the Oral History of British Science project, a National Life Stories project at the British Library.

She said: “This has been an exciting project to be involved with.  Not only has it collected 10 unique oral history interviews on an area of British science that has hitherto received very little academic attention but through exploring the life stories of scientists from minority ethnic backgrounds it has generated material that we hope will inspire young people, whatever their background, to consider how a career in science will enable them to fulfil their potential.” 

All ten video interviews can be viewed here

The full audio interviews which range from 6 to 10.5 hours per interviewee are available on the British Library Sounds website here.

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