Stepping into the Natural History Museum Late’s “Your Planet Needs You” exhibit, I was immediately greeted by a giant model of the earth. This served as a reminder to all visitors that this is what the exhibit was here to showcase: this beautiful, vibrant planet is being torn apart by mankind unless we take action. Every person who walked into the exhibit marvelled at the model of the earth, which made me think: you’re destroying something so amazing with your actions every day and not even realising it. Or if you are, you don’t care enough to change.
Talks at the exhibition were first-come, first-served, and filled up half an hour before they were due to start, so I sadly didn’t manage to attend any. However, I did speak to a few female NERC researchers who specialised in the detrimental impact of plastics on coastlines. Their research included examining plastic remnants on coastlines and evaluating the damage that they were doing to coastal life. Environmental damage from plastics is only beginning to be highlighted in mainstream media, so I found it a fascinating insight to speak to these women about how important plastic consumption is to environmental damage.
I also had the pleasure of speaking with Alastair Hendry, one of the organisers of the exhibition. He explained that it was a collaboration between the Museum and the NERC to explain research surrounding environmental damage and climate change to the general public. He also explained that researchers in the exhibition host panel discussions on their research every weekend to highlight its importance to contemporary environmental affairs. I was worried when I attended the exhibition that everything would be in scientific terms that I didn’t understand; however, scientists and researchers at every stall explained their research programmes in simplistic, well-articulated terms, complemented by the easy-to-read NERC magazines distributed to all visitors.
If a similar event is held at the Museum in future, I recommend you attend - it really was a worthwhile insight into the importance of environmental research to saving our planet.