Oral history of British science

Aderin-Pocock, Maggie (13 of 14). An Oral History of British Science

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  • Subjects

    Space Science and Engineering

  • Recording date

    2013-08-15, 2013-08-22, 2013-09-26, 2014-01-14, 2014-02-13, 2014-04-03

  • Recording locations

    British Library, London

  • Interviewees

    Aderin-Pocock, Maggie, 1968- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Merchant, Paul (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 13: Story of own appearance on BBC ‘Newsnight’ television programme, hosted by Jeremy Paxman, to explain why the Moon appears red during a lunar eclipse [15/6/2011]. [3:38] Mentions funding from Science and Technology Facilities Council [STFC] (through ‘Fellowships’) to present talks on science to school children and others. Comments on reasons for speaking about science to groups of people other than school children. [6:17] Comments on recent work on media training courses for female experts, linked to ‘BBC Learning’; related work in collaboration with company ‘Screenhouse Productions’. [8:26] Comments on insight afforded by own work in schools into reasons why female school children may not focus on science subjects at school/apply to read science subjects at university; emphases in own talks to school children. Mentions Marie Curie. [11:19] Discussion of aspects of science that are perceived by female school children as unattractive, including description of particular Dilbert cartoon. [14:33] Comments on differences in aspirations in science of children belonging to particular ethnic groups. [16:50] Comments on plans for future of own career, in relation to approaching school age of daughter, including interest in return to work in practical space science (ideally working from home) and concern to continue work in science communication. Mentions view that popular image of science would benefit from appearance in television soap opera of a scientist character. [19:56] Discussion of this view in relation to aspects of elitism/eccentricity in the appeal of science. [21:09] Detailed comments on reasons why a career break in space science is less disruptive than in other fields in which technology/methods change more rapidly. Story of effect of experience of parenting, including change to intention to return to work at Astrium six months after birth of daughter, with comments on new valuing of working independently and flexibly. Further detailed comments on this decision including protective feelings concerning experience of daughter.

  • Description

    Life story interview with space scientist and television presenter, Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

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