Posted by: henrymcghie | April 17, 2016

Dear diary

Most of the last week was spent on various aspects of our ‘Climate Control’ exhibitions and events, which open at Manchester Museum on the 11th May. These are our main contribution to Manchester’s time as European City of Science. Climate change was a perfect topic for us: everyone has heard something about it, its complicated, it crosses science and society, and relates to each of us and to all of us. Climate change can seem so abstract, so massive, that it can be difficult to relate to. When we’re told that ice sheets are melting and we should switch off the light, the problem and suggested solution seem so different that it’s hard to believe it’s worth trying. The challenge I’ve been working on is how to turn all this into a positive, and find creative ways to connect people with the subject in meaningful ways. On Monday I met with our volunteer co-ordinator to plan objects for a handling table. On Tuesday I had a Skype call with an academic at Nottingham University, Georgina Endfield, as we’ve been putting together a project that captures people’s memories of extreme weather based on sending out postcards. We’ll be having a ‘Climate Exchange’ where the public can have short, focussed discussions on climate change in the broad sense, and I’ve been drumming up interest in this among academics, enthusiasts and students. On Thursday we had a project team meeting, to monitor progress and work through any outstanding challenges, of which there are always some, but to which solutions can usually be worked out. I met with our buyer and assistant buyer to help with developing some items for the shop linked to the exhibitions. On Friday I met with Manchester Climate Change Agency and the Manchester Youth Council at the Town Hall, to make plans for an event linking the Youth Council Assembly with the city’s ‘zero carbon by 2050’ commitment. In among all that there were a million other things and many more emails, to help make the whole thing as good as it can be.


The idea of Yin and Yang, of cause and effect, is important in our exhibitions. The black of coal and oil, and white of snow and ice make for a good contrast.


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