We plan to have a morning-long event, showing off fabulous fossils and amazing reconstructions from 9.30am to 1pm, with an hour-long talk session from 10.30-11.30am, featuring presentations from 3 research teams
18. Please give any details about the format of your event you feel are relevant.:
We plan to have an event that lasts for an entire morning (or afternoon). Within this, a key part of our event would be a 1-hour long series of presentations in which palaeontologists give short, high-impact presentations about their exciting new research into the evolution of body plans. The remainder of the event would involve the speakers (and colleagues) showing off their fossils, reconstructions and interpretations to the public in an open display area. The talks session would be ticketed, but the displays would be accessible to all interested members of the public. A possible timetable would be: 9.30am, display area open to public; 10.30-11.30am, presentations on ‘Bodies of Evidence’ by 3 speakers; 11.30-1pm, speakers and other researchers discuss their fossils, reconstructions and research in display area. The Palaeontological Association, which will be supporting our session financially, might also have a display stand, which would be open for the whole event.
Venue and location to be allocated by the Festival team
20. Venue requirements:
For it to work properly, the event needs to be held in a building with a lecture theatre and an adjacent display area, enabling the talks to take place in the theatre, and the hands-on demonstrations to be in the display area. Though the talk session would need to be ticketed, we would be happy for the display area to be open to the general public, as we expect that a lot of the specimens will be of broad interest. We would require a lecture theatre of ~100 capacity, and a display area in which four display areas of 4x4m could be easily set up next to each other, and with space for the public to inspect the specimens.
13. Description of the core message of your event and key topics to be covered (c.100 words):
In the modern world of genomes, DNA, and molecular biology, the importance of the fossil record is often overlooked. When it comes to understanding the evolution of animal body plans, however, fossils are absolutely critical: they provide the only deep-time dataset with which hypotheses can be tested. From the ice caps of Greenland to the deserts of Australia, new fossil discoveries are being made all the time. With expert presentations and a hands-on session, Bodies of Evidence will unveil the latest finds and show off cutting-edge techniques, from rotting fish to robots, revealing how evolutionary palaeontology is revolutionizing our knowledge of animal evolution.
22. Do you consider that the event will attract press interest?:
23. If yes, please summarise up to 4 key points you think will be of press interest:
1. The robotic resurrection of a 360 million year old fish! 2. The rotting fish that are revolutionizing our interpretations of how animals get fossilized (and a chance for the public to handle the rotters first hand!) 3. Jaws! The ancient fossil fish that are showing how vertebrates got their bite. 4. The new fossils from Greenland that are giving us dramatic new insights into the Cambrian Explosion of animal life.
24. Do you have any other comments you would like to make or information you would like to include?:
The Palaeontological Association has proposed Dr Alex Liu of Cambridge University as its candidate for the Lyell and Darwin Award Lectures. If Dr Liu was given an award, he is only available to speak on September 7th, 8th, or 9th, and we would like to run our event on the same day as his presentation, or on the day following.
I am the event manager:
I am the event manager
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Department of Earth Sciences
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10. Which of the following areas of science does your event best fit into?:
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