Laura Grace Simpkins explores the miniature world of foraminifera - tiny marine creatures which feature in the fossil record as early as 50 million years ago - inspired by Charles Elcock's microscope slide kit in the Whipple Museum of the History of Science.
As a professional "microscopist", Charles Elcock built his career on his ability to produce microscope slides. His microscopy kit and slides reveal his incredible skill. But Elcock and craftspeople like him don't often feature in the stories we tell about scientific discoveries.
"Why does my deep dive from Elcock’s slides to pink beaches make me so excited? Why is pink sand just cool? To me, it’s proof that nature is bright and fun. That nature is colourful, diverse, queer. That there isn’t a distinction between "art" and "science" in nature. That "nature" itself is a construct. Those are all human-centric ideas, borne out of the European Enlightenment. There is little to be gained from continuing those distinctions. Elcock’s scientifically-useful and aesthetically- pleasing slides invite me into imagining new ways of performing science. I’d like to see a pink-sandy kind of science, one that is creative and queered. A science that has to respond to nature expressively, that has a dialogue with it, that works on a give-and-take relationship. A science that moves beyond mere order, control, and labelling, towards appreciation, connection, and imagination."
This track is part of the Museum Remix: Unheard project.