Hello! Welcome to my Beetles! series. I am the behind-the-scenes photographer in the beetles department at the Natural History Museum (aka the ‘Coleoptera section of the Terrestrial Invertebrates Division’). The collection is an enormous jewel box of six-legged beauty, and I’ve got plenty of photos to share!
This is a deviation from my usual Beetles! posts, because none of these photos were taken inside the Natural History Museum. Instead, they were taken at the Royal Albert Hall, during TEDxAlbertopolis: ‘an afternoon of inspiring, thought-provoking and entertaining talks exploring how art and science fit together in the modern world.’ I was excited to hear all the speakers, but was particularly looking forward to Max Barclay‘s talk. Max is the collections manager for the NHM beetle and bug collection (you might recognise him from my photos) and he had plenty of interesting things to say.
Above: Max in mid-talk, with his shirt accidentally adhering to the colour scheme!
The venue was the perfect setting for TEDx. the Royal Albert Hall is part of Albertopolis, London’s complex of buildings dedicated to the pursuit of science and the arts. It’s a spectacular building, with its soaring Victorian ceiling and mesmerising colour-changing lights. An inspiring backdrop for inspiring ideas. The event was a sell out – the hall was packed with 5000 people – and I’m guessing most of those people left with a new appreciation for beetles and the work that goes on in museums!
Below: Beulah, Lucia, Lydia, and Hitoshi – curators and research assistants at the NHM Coleoptera department. The team manned the super-popular beetle exhibit, where the TEDx crowds flocked during the interval. They presented all sorts of fantastic 6-legged beasts from the Museum’s collection.
All in all, it was a fantastically inspiring afternoon. If you weren’t able to attend, keep an eye on the TEDxAlbertopolis website for videos of all the speakers!