University of Leicester involved in launch of new earthquake display

Posted by ap507 at Feb 16, 2016 11:11 AM |
Secretary of State for Education at event in Leicester

Visitors to museums in Leicester and Rutland will be able to jump and make their own earthquakes - when The Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan, MP,  Secretary of State for Education launched a new earthquake display at the New Walk Museum in Leicester on 12 February.

The interactive earthquake display is the latest gift from the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society to the Museum funded from the HS Bennett Fund which was created in 1930s  ‘to assist original investigations’  and promote education in science.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle was among those who attended the launch.

This display links with the Seismology in Schools Project managed by the British Geological Survey and initially started at the University of Leicester.  This project uses simple seismometers installed in schools to detect signals from large earthquakes happening anywhere in the world.  The destructive power of earthquakes excites and fascinates youngsters and many students who find physics uninspiring are stimulated by seeing a simple seismograph detect and record signals from distant earthquakes.

Emeritus Professor Aftab Khan of the Department of Geology said: “The availability of cheap computers and the internet have made it possible for secondary schools throughout the world to install seismographs to continuously record and exchange earthquake data in real time and stimulate interests in geology, physics, hazards, and the exploration for water, hydrocarbons, and other  materials the rapidly expanding world population will need in the future. Installing seismographs in museums as at New Walk and Oakham will expand the outreach to a wider population from  primary school children to grandparents just as the telescope allowed stargazing and the development of interests in science half a millennium ago.”

The Literary and Philosophical Society have a long and close working relationship with New Walk Museum and Art Gallery since its conception in 1849 when the Society formally presented to the town its various collections, and assisted with the purchase of the building in which it has grown and developed over the last 160 years into one of the premier museums in the region.

A second matched display gifted by the Society will be launched by the President, Mrs Joan Beeson, with 90 children from Oakham Church of England Primary School on 11th February at the Rutland County Museum.  The data from both seismographs will be shared live online.   This exciting project will mean that anyone can watch the earth move anywhere in the world, even before the news of an earthquake reaches the media.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Source: Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society

Leicester's first University

In 1885 the President, Rev.West, Headmaster of the Wyggeston Boys' School, suggested in his Presidential Address that the courses of lectures to the Lit and Phil could prepare the way for the establishment in Leicester of a University College. However it was not until 1912 that this suggestion was revived by Dr Astley V. Clarke, who from time to time raised the idea until the Declaration of War on Germany in 1914 caused it to be shelved. Dr Astley Clarke continued his advocacy for a University until 1920 when the College was at last founded to become, with Lutyens' splendid arch, Leicester's Memorial to the war dead. The first Principal was Dr R. F. Rattray a member of the Society and the first students, eight in number, were all women.

The 1904 president Dr F W Bennett was a local surgeon but a keen amateur geologist and endowed a Professorship in the departement of Geology which is housed in the Bennett building. A number or University buildings and rooms are named after former presidents Astley Clark, Percy Gee, Bennett, Gimson and Rattray. The University College has now outgrown its parent to become a full and thriving University but the links between the two establishments remain very close. The society organises a joint biennial lecture after Harry Hardy Peach.

The war years

The Lit and Phil was soon back in its stride after the War and the names of W. Flinders Petrie, Patuffa Kennedy Fraser, Cyril Burt and W.B. Yeats appear on the list of lectures for 1921 and 1922. The Society survived another World War and after 165 years it still meets every fortnight during the winter and brings to Leicester speakers of national and international reputation. A selection of names from the last 25 years will underline the contribution which Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society has made to the intellectual and cultural life of the City. Sir David Attenborough Lord Attenborough (Richard Attenborough) Sir Alfred Ayer Lord Montagu of Beaulieu Dr David Bellamy Atarah Ben-Tovin Professor Malcolm Bradbury Marjorie Blamey Dr Robert Burchfield Heather Couper Lord Deedes (William Deedes) Cohn Dexter Margaret Drabble Dr Levi Fox Jane Goodall Ray Gosling Professor Richard Hoggart W.G. Hoskins Professor Arthur Humphreys Baroness James (P.D. James) Penelope Lively Patrick Moore Professor Andrew Motion Anna Pavord Margaret Rule Helen Sharman Professor Jack Simmons C.P. Snow Lars Tharp Marina Warner Professor Stanley Wells Colin Wilson Sir John Wolfenden

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