Incredible Creatures at New Scientist Live 2019
Four action packed days, thousands of enthused visitors, and countless ecological insights. Headlining the Earth Zone at New Scientist Live 2019, the society’s ‘Incredible Creatures’ multisensory photography exhibition was a roaring success.
Sights, sounds and smells of the wild
Within our immersive sensory exhibition, visitors were transported into tangled jungle, submerged beneath ocean waves, and cast into the darkest night where creatures prowl.
Stepping inside, real soundscapes and even smells of the natural world accompanied stunning wildlife images. Rain forest cicadas, sonorous whale song, and the uplifting beauty of the dawn chorus washed over observers. Pungent aromas of these environments diffused around them, from the crisp scent of rock pools to the vibrant fragrance of lavender in an urban garden.
“The whole thing was amazing.”
“Informative and fascinating.”
“Please come back next year!”
– Visitors’ feedback
Meeting our scientists
Visitors also met BES members and the photographers themselves who work to uncover the secret lives of animals and protect them. Up on towering digital displays, visitors could get a drones-eye-view of the impact of rainforest deforestation, practice their bird calls with real-time sonogram recordings, and deploy their mammal identification skills with camera trap shots.
A huge draw for the exhibition was the chance handle live insects with the Royal Entomological Society. Whether conquering fears or wanting to learn more about the value of these incredible creatures, the Madagascan hissing cockroaches certainly wowed the crowds!
Visitors also met our team of enthusiastic science ‘buskers’ (who got them hands on with everything from our infamous ‘poo game’ to a real warthog skull!), and attended packed-out stage talks by leading ecologists.
“The staff were SO engaging with kids.”
“Variety, accessible, and information for all levels.”
“The volunteers were brilliant.”
– Visitors’ feedback
The value of ecology, and the role of the BES
But this was more than a photography exhibition appreciating the beauty of animals. Whether through our image captions or demonstrators, ecological issues faced by these species were highlighted throughout. Crucially, they also emphasised that through ecological science there is hope, championing the vital work of ecologists in tackling global environmental challenges.
BES staff shared the important role of the society in reinforcing the impact of scientific research. Our conversations with visitors captured their deep concerns for the state of our environment – from climate change to plastic pollution and deforestation. But they also made it clear that the exhibition left them with a greater appreciation of the value of ecology, and a feeling that the BES can play a vital role in raising awareness to ensure positive change.
“By gaining more information we can learn how to protect the environment and find a way to live alongside nature.”
“I think the BES could be influential in spreading greater awareness of the need to incorporate ecological guardianship into everyday life.”
– Visitors’ feedback
Where next? Capturing Ecology Exhibition 2020, Belfast, Northern Ireland
We are excited to announce that from February 2020 the Capturing Ecology Photography Exhibition will run for six weeks within Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland, in partnership with National Museums Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Science Festival.
The public engagement events programme at the BES depends on the knowledge, enthusiasm, and hard work of its demonstrators, and we want you to be involved in the future of our Capturing Ecology Exhibition.
Through new collaborations, together we will reach and enthuse new audiences to share the excitement and importance of ecology.
Do you want our exhibition in your venue? Do you want to get involved in demonstrating yourself? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Like what we stand for?
Support our mission and help develop the next generation of ecologists by donating to the British Ecological Society.