Filling in the gap: dental disease in past populations | Human Anthropology

Roman adult dental decay
Roman adult, probable female from Cannon Street with heavy dental calculus on right premolars and molars

Today many people, both children and adults, dread going to the dentist. Whether it’s the odd smells, the gritty taste of the polishing paste, or the fear of being told you need a root canal, most people find it to be an unpleasant experience. For me, however, as an Anthropologist who has seen just how bad dental health can be, I look forward to my dentist visits! It only takes looking at the teeth of people from the past to make me brush my teeth and floss everyday.

Continue reading “Filling in the gap: dental disease in past populations | Human Anthropology”

Endorsing the Science International Open Data Accord | Digital Collections Programme

A growing number of museums are joining open data initiatives to publish their collection databases and digital reproductions online. The Museum has operated a policy of open by-default on our digital scientific collections.

Photograph of Vince Smith, Head of Informatics reading the Science International Data Accord
Vince Smith, Head of Informatics reading the Science International Data Accord

By signing the International Open Data Accord, the Museum recognises the opportunities and challenges of the data revolution and adopts a set of internationally recognised principles as our response to these.

Continue reading “Endorsing the Science International Open Data Accord | Digital Collections Programme”

Automating mass-digitisation with Inselect | Digital Collections Programme

Natural history collections provide an enormous evidence base for scientific research on the natural world. We are working to digitise our collection and provide global, open access to this data via our Data Portal.

A full drawer image of Mayflies with the boundary boxes around each specimen
Tray of mayflies (Ephemeroptera) with bounding boxes from the Inselect programme

To digitise the collection we are developing digital capture flows that cater for a wide range of collection types. One of the applications we have developed is Inselect – a cross-platform, open source desktop PC application that automates the cropping of individual images of specimens from whole-drawer scans.

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What do scientists do at conferences? | Curator of Micropalaeontology

The micropalaeontology team attended the annual conference of The Micropalaeontological Society in Lille last week. My wife thinks that conferences are just an excuse for drinking, but I keep telling her that this is only partly true.

Micropalaeo team
The Micropaleontology team at the TMS conference dinner at Dubuisson Brewery

Read on to find out what we were doing in Lille, besides drinking Belgian beer of course! Continue reading “What do scientists do at conferences? | Curator of Micropalaeontology”

‘The bacteria on our buildings.’ An interview with Dr Anne Jungblut | The Microverse

Are the bacteria found on our UK buildings dangerous and what impact do they have? In this the third and final podcast in our series interviewing Dr Anne Jungblut, the lead researcher of our citizen science project The Microverse, we find out about the initial results of the project.

In the podcast questions posed by participating students from The Long Eaton School, Nottingham, and Prospect School, Reading, are presented to Anne.

Two female staff rub cotton wool swabs across the surface of a stone wall.
Museum staff collecting a sample from one of the iconic buildings of London

Produced by Olivia Philipps and Caroline Steel. With thanks to Long Eaton School and Prospect School for contributing questions. And thanks to Helen Steel for reading the questions on their behalf.

You can hear more from Anne and more about the project in the first and second podcasts.