A fellow Fellow from Malawi has been really helpful in showing me around and answering my numerous questions. Wapu is an Associate Professor of Environmental History at Chancellor College, University of Malawi. He comes across as a very wise, humble and patient gentleman.
Today ugly weather reared its ugly head, my hands froze during the 20 minute walk to the office. But despite the chill I could not help but notice how pretty Cambridge is in the autumn. The pavements are coloured with warm tones of pink, red, yellow, orange and brown leaves. I can not help but think of little children jumping into huge piles of raked up leaves.
Everyone at the office is wonderful, it is so nice to meet them after being in contact with them for over 6 months via the internet. Formalities out of the way, familiarisation of fire exits, tour of the building, expenses claimed, meet and greet of everyone – time to get down business.
I started first by highlighting all the events that I wanted to attend during the Festival of Ideas which is celebrating 800 years of Cambridge. They range from Women in Comics to Digitize Me to Reasons for Sleeping Patterns of Japanese students. I am so excited! These events are just the sort of meal for a hungry science communicator, feeding my appetite for science engagement tourism. I will certainly keep you posted of all the weird, wonderful, and zany events that I attend. I will offer you my opinions, my thoughts, debate and argue with you, and provoke you sensitivities.
During the day my thoughts also turned to my other project African Science Heroes – what is the best method to identify and document inspirational African role models. Should I be meeting African scholars at Cambridge and asking them who inspired them and why? Or should I set up a site where people can post their thoughts? Or should I do both? What do you think?