After going to Diamond to do the synchrotron experiment, I also took the time to visit a few other places in the UK. I did some more work-related things, like visiting Warwick University to look at the synchrotron data a bit more, and meeting up with my former research group and other collaborators in Cambridge. But I also did some more fun-science, the stuff that puts my work into broader perspective and gets me excited about my job!
I made a couple of visits to the Royal Society, the UK’s foremost body of scientists. Their main building is pretty close to Buckingham Palace and it houses various treasures, like paintings, books and historical science-y artifacts. They also had a summer exhibition on, showcasing current science in Britain to the general public, at which a couple of my old friends were demonstrating very capably!
Robert Boyle’s (of Boyle’s Law about pressure and volume of a gas) notebook, describing challenges for 17th century science, such as the prolongation of life, the art of flying and transmutation of metals, and more obscure ones like the transmutation of minerals, animals and vegetables…
An amusing quotation from Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, describing how the Royal Society’s “soirees” were boring to 9/10 men and filled with silver-haired, bald-headed men!
I also checked in at the Royal Society of Chemistry, where, as a member, I can use their library and have a coffee right in the centre of London any time 🙂
And finally I stopped by the Natural History Museum, where all summer they have a butterfly marquee!