A good example of public outreach

Since 1942, University College London (UCL) has hosted forty minute long lunchtime lectures for the general public at which UCL academics present their research. For the past few years, the lectures have been broadcast live online and can be viewed on YouTube after the event.

This June, the UCL Lunch Hour Lectures went “on tour” to the British Museum where four lectures highlighting collaborative work between the two institutions were presented. Two of the lectures, “Discoveries and re-evaluations: painting practices under the microscope” (Libby Sheldon on her examination of English Renaissance paintings) and “A book by any other name would smell as sweet”(Dr Matija Strlic on how intensity of smell is used as a means of determining state of decay) were related to conservation and technical studies. As an average of 200 people view the lectures each week on YouTube (www.youtube.com/UCLLHL), this is the type of public outreach program that other institutions might wish to use as a model.

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