January 2017

Ensemble Assemble

On the 25th of January a hardy group of inter-disciplinary adventurers met up for the first time at Wyresdale Hall in Scorton, Lancashire. This gathering of unlike-minded people were there to formally kick-off Gordon Blair’s 5 year EPSRC Senior Fellowship programme addressing the role of digital technologies within living with environmental change.

Following coffee and initial introductions to the programme we were then quickly into a ‘getting to know’ each other session. For those of us with long memories of organisational meetings this phrase can give a feeling of rising horror in the heart. But fear not dear readers, it turns out that Dee, our wonderful facilitator for the day, was quite the natural in bringing out our interests and innermost secrets.

The ice now thoroughly broken, we spoke about our disciplinary interests and how we could work across, above and beyond these specific concerns. We identified themes where we had shared interests and could see the value of bringing an inter-disciplinary approach.  Interestingly, some of these early themes have become quickly embedded in our research work where we are looking at open frameworks for environmental science, ideas around data playgrounds and reasoning across spatial and temporal scales.

Following an amazing lunch, we felt the need for some exercise and we merrily tramped off up onto the delightfully named Nicky Nook fell. Alongside beautiful views across Bowland Forest we chatted further and ideas formulated around extra-circular outdoor activities and a social programme. It was lovely to see a community being formed right there on a fell side.

Post-lunch we had discussions on how we might work together and how we promote an open inter-disciplinary style of working. We thought that working through a set of shared values would help us in this endeavour and I look forward to working with a set of caring, daring, sharing, playful, excellent and transformative people!

To round off an excellent day of actives we were all welcomed to a Burn’s Night Supper in the hall where we had renditions of Robert Burn’s fine poetry, including a fine performance of the Address to the Haggis, and interesting background to his life. All in all, a rather wonderful evening to complement a great day’s work.