Glasgow Science Festival: Mapping the Museum

This year’s Glasgow Science Festival theme is ‘Glasgow Explores’, celebrating the many ways in which scientists charter new territory and uncover the mysteries of the world around us. To celebrate this theme, a group of PhD students from the University of Glasgow have developed a fantastic new event – Mapping the Museum – as part of Science Sunday on 18 June. They had a chat about what’s in store…


1. Who are you and what do you do?

Lianne – I’m Lianne, a 1st year PhD student in chemistry, investigating chemical treatments for conserving wooden and textile artefacts from the Mary Rose Tudor ship.

Gianluca – My name is Gianluca and I am a PhD student in engineering. My scientific research is devoted to the optimisation and testing of a fluorescence imaging system integrated in capsules for endoscopy and, capable of detecting early cancerous lesions in the gut.

Annemarie – I’m Annemarie, a 3rd year PhD student in earth science, working on the refining the age of the Chicxulub “dinosaur killer” impact structure.

2. Have you done public engagement before? What made you want to get involved?

Lianne – I’ve done a little bit through volunteering as a gallery guide and carrying out interactive activities in a museum.

Gianluca – I have never done public engagement before and that is the main reason why I decided to get involved with the Glasgow Science Festival.

Annemarie – I’ve done a fair bit of public engagement before, through previous involvement with Glasgow Science Festival, The Royal Society of London, and Pint of Science. I’ve also been heavily involved in my school’s public engagement activities, both during my time at Glasgow and while at the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration in Canada. I wanted to get involved to broaden the scope of my abilities to outreach beyond my specific area of expertise.

3. Describe your activity to us. Why should we come along?

Our activity, “Mapping the Museum”, involves learning to navigate using cardinal compass directions (north, south, east, and west) and estimating distances as you walk. Through this activity you will follow directions to create a “treasure map” that explores some of the most exciting exhibits at the Hunterian Museum, and then navigate your way back to the starting point to receive a prize for completing the mission! In addition to the fun of exploring the museum, you will learn valuable skills like how to navigate, how to estimate how far you’ve walked, and how to estimate the size of objects. This will be a great activity for anyone who loves exploring!

4. This year’s festival theme is ‘Glasgow Explores’. Where would you like to explore?

Lianne – I’d love to explore Indonesia

Gianluca – I would like to explore Japan

Annemarie – I’d like to explore Mars

 5. What’s the best thing about being a scientist or engineer?

Lianne – Constantly rethinking things you thought you understood

Gianluca – You are continuously challenged and therefore there is no time for over-confidence, you have always to put your ideas into discussion.

Annemarie – The best thing about being a scientist is being able to work out the solutions to problems that you’ve never encountered before and having a job in which you’re constantly learning new skills.

Join Lianne, Gianluca and Annemarie in the Hunterian Museum as part of Science Sunday on 18 June. For more details, visit the website


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