Over 750 researchers, scientists and clinicians attended the Great Exhibition Road Festival 2019 last weekend.
Based on the successful Imperial Festival, the Great Exhibition Road Festival 2019 has been uplifted by the collaboration of the country’s most prestigious institutions in this area, including the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Imperial College London, the Goethe Institutes and the Royal Geographical Society.
Each of these festival partners host a series of events, which amounts to 54 live talks, 24 workshops and 19 exhibitions, according to the Imperial College.
‘A Day in the Life of…’ series at Victoria and Albert Museum, for example, present stories of people who worked in the arts and sciences, enabling people to explore the life as a space miner, insect mechanic or prosthetic developer. ‘Great Expeditions’ at the Natural History Museum features adventures of nature and space.
On the exhibition road, more than 10 themed zones focused on nature, space, robot, and design that festival goers found themselves indulged in the live and interactive activities.
The openness and interaction of the events inspired great debates amongst visitors. At the ‘Museum of Food’ zone, a group of Phd students from the Imperial College, through the Grantham Institute’s Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership, were raising awareness of eating edible insects.
With the question of ‘can insects feed a hungry planet’, they offered bbq-flavoured cricket and orange seasoned with worm salt. Nick James, a festival goer who had a try and found it has a “nutty flavour”, said that the edible insects “can be the future”.
However, Trent Grassian, a researcher and campaigner at the festival, raised different voices: “I don’t really understand why we would be talking about finding new sources of foods, when we’ve already have plenty plant-based foods and plants have more than enough protein on their own. So, my opinion is focusing on how to make the plant-based food more sustainable.”
Around the area, there were performance stage and diverse food stands, which decorated the festival with a touch of summer pleasure despite the weekend’s heatwave.