The newly-digitised exhibition from the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences explores perceptions of women in the field of geology, including Gertrude Lilian Elles MBE (1872-1960), one of the first female members of the Geological Society at Cambridge in 1919N Chadwick

Live music lives!

Socially distanced mini-concerts are set to return to the Cambridge Corn Exchange in January 2021. The programme of concerts includes performances by This Is The Kit, Scott Matthews, Penelope Isles, BD Camplight and Shame.

Strict social distancing methods will be enforced, with temperature checks, compulsory mask wearing and a maximum of 200 audience members, as well as a no-quibble refund policy for ticket holders who need to isolate or in case of government guideline changes.

After having closed in March 2020 at the start of lockdown, the reopening of the doors of the largest concert hall in the East of England has been met with delight, with Cambridge Executive Councillor for Communities Anna Smith describing how thrilled she is at ‘the first signs of a return to live entertainment’. 

Exhibition shows that women ‘rock’

The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences has recently digitised their exhibition looking at women’s contribution to geological science and how women have been ‘seen’ and ‘heard’ throughout their archives.

Women have been present on geological field trips from the 1880s, although only admitted to join the Sedgwick club (for geologists) from 1996.

This look through the Sedgwick museum collections focuses on the late nineteenth century right up until the First World War and shines the spotlight on women such as Gertrude Lilian Elles MBE, one of the first female fellows of the Geological Society in 1919, Vice Principal of Newnham College, attending 200+ meetings of the Sedgwick club and depositing over 3,700 specimens. 

Pounds for Plant Plastic 

The Cambridge University Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging from Plants project is among the ten university-led projects receiving £8million in funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) .

With the overall aim to tackle plastic waste in the UK, the Cambridge project is leading research into changing the genetics of plants, how to engineer materials with new functional properties and ultimately how to reduce the volume of plastic packaging needed to keep food fresh.

Replacing fossil-derived plastics with those from naturally-derived sources means that the materials used in plastic packaging will not only degrade more easily, but also can be engineered to have more functional properties, such as improved strength or better protection. This investment will help with the UK’s fulfillment of a Plastic Pact’ for 2025.

The word on everybody’s lips

The Cambridge Dictionary has named ‘quarantine’ as their 2020 word of the year earlier this week, highlighting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our lives, and indeed the consequent changing frequency of use and meaning of this word.

Quarantine was the third most looked-up word this year (behind only 'hello' and 'dictionary') - and an extra definition of the word was added to the dictionary in order to refer more closely to the idea of people quarantining so that they do not catch or spread disease, not just to contain those already infected.

Similar to Collins Dictionary’s choice of ‘lockdown’ earlier this month, the publishing manager of Cambridge Dictionary, Wendalyn Nichols, commented on how the large number of searches for ‘quarantine’ showcase how "the words that people search for reveal not just what is happening in the world, but what matters most to them in relation to those events.”

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