Outreach and Reaching Out

One area within the Chicken Project’s remit is that of public engagement and outreach activities. We as specialists within our specific fields get an insider’s look at new ideas, techniques and results, whether this be in anthropology, archaeology or genetics etc. As a zooarchaeologist I get a privileged look at the past everyday through my examination of animal-human interactions across time and space. This is all well and good, but the past belongs to everyone and I am of the opinion that we should try to share such interesting information when and where we can. At Bournemouth University we are eagerly preparing for our part in the Festival of Learning. Mark, Julia, Jackie and Mike are giving an evening lecture open to all on the 9th of June. In this we shall introduce the chicken project and our individual research to anyone who is interested in learning what we do … possibly with the opportunity to incorporate a tasting session of chicken foods from around the world! More information can be found here: http://bit.ly/1jI4HsG Whilst this is a fairly formal setting, public engagement takes many forms and it is important to ensure that we have many strings to our bow so that we can engage and involve as many people as possible.

Today, between collecting zooarchaeological data from reports for our academic research, I have been preparing a chicken skeleton for outreach activities and handling. This chicken has been ‘simmered’ for several hours and now has to have one more careful wash and then be left to dry slowly, after which it can be used at various events to explore changes in the skeleton exhibited today by many chickens bred quickly for meat. The juvenile nature of the bones made them rather crumbly and fragile, but this in itself will be interesting for people to see. I always think that it is important for people to be able to link the present to the past and have materials to handle. This chicken will be joining more bone material and a range of other activities which are going to be part of a very exciting outreach opportunity that I am just finalising the details for. We shall announce it soon – watch this spot!

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Room B13 Humanities Building
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info [at] scicultchickens.org or click here