Conferences and other group activities

Outreach activities

The OGU is keen to disseminate its findings to as wide an audience as possible as well as to other researchers. We are keen to pass on what we have discovered to students, teachers and the wider general public.

Palaeodectectives Online Game

As part of our outreach activities (see below)  we have developed a game based on various aspects of our work, this can now be accessed online so you to can now be a Palaeodetective.

Bristol 'Doors Open Day'

One day every year, a variety of buildings and amenities which are normally closed to the general public open their doors across the city of Bristol. The OGU participated in a public science exhibition hosted in the Great Hall of the Wills Memorial Building during this event. The OGU stand was based on an updated version of the Palaeodetectives game (see below) and group members spent the day talking to adults and children alike about the science we do and how it relates to the natural world.

Bristol Festival of Nature 2011

Once again members of the group to part in this weekend long event showcasing a diverse mix of natural exhibits with links to the natural world, the biggest event of its kind in the country! The OGU stand was based on an updated version of the Palaeodetectives game (see below) and group members spent three days talking to adults and children about the OGU and what we do!

Image of OGU members talking to the public at the 2011 Festival of Nature event in Bristol

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2009

Researchers from the OGU revealed secrets of ancient worlds at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2009. An exhibit full of prehistoric artefacts and molecular models, alongside display screens and real-time chemical analysis, gave visitors a taste of life as a 'Palaeodetective'.

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is an annual event that showcases cutting edge scientific research in the UK, via interactive exhibits designed and manned by the scientists themselves. Competition for places is intense and the OGU’s entry, entitled The Palaeodetectives: Digging up small molecules with big messages from the past was one of twenty exhibits selected from over one hundred applications.

The team presented eight mysteries that have been solved by identifying the biomarkers in samples sent to them from around the globe. The public was invited to see original samples and molecular models of key biomarkers on the archaeological and geological pillars that formed part of the exhibit. Visitors then solved cases on the basis of historical, geographical and chemical information using a touch-screen ‘Palaeodetective’ computer game. The game proved so popular, particularly with science teachers, that we have decided to make it available as an online resource. The rest of the exhibit will also be reused for local science events including Discover! and the Bristol Festival of Nature.

Social activities

Being a member of the OGU is not all work! We’re a great friendly and social bunch, making the most of Bristol as a great city for all kinds of social life. A break from work to a local coffee shop, namely Boston Tea Party, is a favourite. You will probably find us every Friday night attending one of our favourite pubs such as the Hope and Anchor, the Apple or the Bag o' Nails. When summer arrives, there are numerous ale or cider festivals dotted across Bristol which are also well attended.

Events such as laser tag, bowling or trips to watch Bristol City and Rovers in the past have really made good use of Bristol’s sporting venues. Our bigger socials, such as our annual Christmas social, involve everything from black tie dinners to clubbing the night away.

As Bristol is not far from many great areas for both geological and archaeological sites, we've also previously done away days to nearby sites such as Avebury and Silbury Hill. We also take part in a 5-a-side football with members of Geography which is a great opportunity to get some exercise in a low-competitive atmosphere, as well as friendly squash and badminton games year-round.

 

Members of the OGU out on a walk near Avebury