Thursday, 22 August 2013

Green is the Colour

Catherine and Iain setting up in the rain
For us, Green Man Festival with the BES roadies kicked off in true style – a morning car journey in a VW polo packed so full with kit we didn’t have room to swing a bumblebee, let alone a cat. However this all added to the fun of the voyage, and as we approached the Green Man festival in the picturesque Brecon Beacons, we knew that an awesome weekend of science engaging, socialising and scattered showers was just on the horizon.

Beautiful green surroundings for
the stall
The team set up our stall in Einstein’s Garden, an area of the festival set aside for  imaginative, creative and informative stalls and showpieces, so the Sex & Bugs & Rock ‘n Roll team were right at home. After a slow start, news spread of our bee colony, kit swabbing and poo games and we were swamped with revellers, all keen to find out more about our science.

As the festival progressed, not only did a steady flow of the people from all age groups come and see us, but it became apparent that we were getting many return visits from our ‘regulars’ too. These ‘regulars’ were mainly bug-hunting extraordinaire kids, who probably spent more of their weekend catching insects for our stall ID than time spent with their families or listening to the music acts. After routine trips into the wilderness, the regular crowd returned with specimens of pond skaters, stag beetles, garden tiger moth caterpillars, bush crickets and countless other fascinating creatures.

Kate, Caitlin and Hannah -
with signed roadies shirt
Other highlights included swabbing the Green Man for microbial life,  dressing up as a giant cockroach only to be attacked by 5-year olds wielding toy swords, and stalking writer Caitlin Moran in order to get a signed T-shirt.

Tom's cockroach suit proved to be
immensely popular
The highlight of the weekend was the Saturday night, when all nine of the roadie team raved it up at the ‘Denture Disco’ – a DJ booth located in a large mock-up open mouth, pounding out tunes in the middle of a field until the early hours. It was immense, and a great way to let our hair down after engaging with what seemed like the entire festival population in the previous days.

Swabbing the Green Man
All in all, being part of the BES roadies was such a great opportunity for PhD students like us to get out there and start engaging with the public about issues that really matter to us. Finally, the ultimate highlight of the weekend was when one member of the team got asked “Is it wrong that I find you weirdly attractive when you talk about poo?” Timeless.

Post by 
Iain Gould and Catherine Baxendale

The Green Man Team from left to right
Back: Iain, Will, the bees, Catherine, Holly, Tom
Front: Helen, Leanne, Kate, Hannah

No comments:

Post a Comment