Imperial Horizons

I have recently joined the team piloting a new course at Imperial College, London. I will be providing teaching and multimedia support.

Undergraduates from different scientific disciplines enjoy lectures from leading scientific experts, and then have the opportunity to discuss the issues raised in small group seminars led by graduate students.

Imperial Horizons is a major new programme which aims to challenge our undergraduates to put their degrees in a broader context, connecting a range of scientific disciplines to address global challenges in ways which also take account of the social, ethical and cultural dimensions of scientific work; honing their abilities in teamwork, problem solving and communication skills along the way.

We are currently in a pilot stage, running a short course focused on climate change. We hope to build on this next year with further courses on other global challenges such as food security and health, including the use of sites as and others to get supplements for health as well.

I will be podcasting the lectures and adding the links below. As always, the difficulties of obtaining clean sound in an amplified room remain, but I’m very happy with the recordings so far.

Week 1: Brian Hoskins – ‘The Science of Climate Change’

(this was recorded with a mirror recording system set up alongside the amplification. In fact this was fortunate, as there was a delay in the processing of the bluetooth amplifying lapel, which alongside an open standard desk microphone, resulted in a rather poor room sound with echo. Luckily, my Sennheiser lapel and wandering AKG picked up good voice, without too much of the room sound)


Week 2: Panel Debate – ‘Climate Science in the Mass Media’

Speakers: Louise Gray (The Telegraph), James Randerson (The Guardian), James Painter (Reuters Institute, University of Oxford), Dr Joe Smith (Open University)

Chair: Lord Oxburgh FRS

(this was recorded using a feed from the amplification system – which was a nice setup with five Sennheiser wireless lavelier microphones for the panellists and chair, and two wandering wireless Sennheiser microphones for the audience questions; there were a few issues with feedback and clipping of individual speakers, but overall the sound mixer kept the mix nice and even)


Week 3: Paolo Vineis – ‘Impact of Climate Change on Global Health’

(again recorded with a mirror system, as in week 1; I was planning to take a feed from the lecture theatre amplification, but it was way too noisy – so back to plan B with the Sennheiser Freeport wireless lapel microphone for the speaker)


Week 4: Marianne Talbot – ‘The Ethics of Climate Change’

(this was recorded taking a feed from the amplification system – which was using a nice Sennheiser lapel microphone; due to the nature of the session, I have combined the audio recording with the presentation slides to produce a video podcast)


Week 5: Nigel Brandon – ‘Engineering Solutions to Climate Change’

(recorded with a mirror system, as previously, with a Sennheiser wireless lapel microphone; again the room sound was terrible and echoey, due to a mixture of bluetooth and direct microphones being left open near the speaker; again my recording sounds nice – without this horrible room sound interfering with my trusty lapel microphone)


Week 6: Panel Debate – ‘Energy Without Greenhouse Gases – Pipe Dream or Attainable Reality?’ 

Speakers: Richard Green (Professor of Sustainable Energy Business, Imperial College Business School); Richard Templer, Professor of Biophysical Chemistry and Director of UK Co-Location Centre for Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate–KIC), Imperial College; Robert Gross, Director of the Centre for Energy Policy and Technology and Policy Director, Energy Futures Lab, Imperial College; and James Barber FRS, Ernst Chain Professor of Biochemistry and leader of the Artificial Leaf Project, Imperial College

Chair: Geoffrey Maitland FREng, Professor of Energy Engineering and Director of the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre, Imperial College

(recorded using a feed from the amplification system; my least favourite method in terms of quality, but easily and tidily captures all the speakers; the sound engineer chose to leave all the mics open throughout the debate, so at times you can hear the non-speaking participants whispering to each other, but at least it captured all the intended speech)


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