History is Everywhere
There were many times on this trip where I was genuinely mesmerized by the different locations and artifacts we saw. After diving deep into scientific history throughout the course, I was very appreciative of going to the locations of where various discoveries took place. This is a picture of one of the original copies of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin that we got to hold and flip through at the Royal Society. I couldn’t believe that I was holding a book that made such a large impact on society from the time that it was published! From Stonehenge to Flemming to the many contributions from Cambridge, I was thrilled to be surrounded by such important history everywhere we went during the trip.
Tomorrow Never Knows
Once we learned that we would be staying in England for the remainder of the trip due to the rise of Coronavirus cases in France, I was nervous because of the spread of the disease and we weren’t familiar with the details about the remainder of our trip. However, that experience was a great lesson in staying flexible with the plan and making the most of our situation (while being healthy and safe, of course). I really wanted to visit Abbey Road while we were in England, but I didn’t think that I would have enough time based on our original itinerary. After learning that we’d be staying in England for the rest of the week, I was very excited to go see so many of the places that I wanted to visit prior to the trip. It was so great to see the entire group being so flexible and understanding of our situation, as well as making the most of the time that we had left abroad.
Keep on Walking
Some of my favorite experiences from this trip came from spontaneously planned walks around London. That was the best way for me to really dig into the sights and sounds (sometimes smells) of London, which turned into a deep appreciation for the city. During those walks, I would often go in and out of local restaurants, book shops, and record and instrument stores to really immerse myself in the area. This picture was taken while I was walking around Trafalgar Square right before the sunset. I remember looking around and being mesmerized by large statues of lions, the towering Nelson’s Column, and gorgeous buildings with architecture that you don’t see very often in the US, all while the citizens of London carried on with their evening. Moments like that are what I’ll hold onto after the trip and what will keep me coming back to discover more.
Looking back at our projects, I think they went really well and looked very presentable. For my groups project specifically, I thought it flowed very nicely and was well thought out. However, I do think we could have added visuals like the other group did which I felt helped to keep engaged with the project as a whole. For the final project, my group is already planning on adding many pictures and videos to aid the audio. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility of this project as it is a sort of “free for all” where we can express o0ur interests. Overall, I think the short history of OSU project was successful and the final project can only go up from here!
Visit Darwin’s Garden
Something that I unexpectedly enjoyed the most about visiting the Down House was Darwins gardens and green house. I really enjoyed strolling around and looking at all of the beautiful plants. It was also really interesting to spend time in a place where Darwin spent so many hours making observations and conducting experiments. This was also just a great opportunity to spend time in a beautiful place outdoors!
Tour to Ourselves!
Brooke and I scheduled a walking tour to go to all of the famous Jack the Ripper sights. Well turns out the tube systems can be a little confusing at first, so we ended up getting there a late and the tour left without us. Nevertheless we were determined to take the tour into our own hands and walk to the sights ourselves. After about an hour or so in the small (and arguably terrifying) town of Whitechapel, we understood why this place would be a perfect place for a serial killer to live.
Zoology is universal.
When I found out London had a Zoology museum, I was very eager to go. The Grant Museum of Zoology was a small museum that held thousands of interesting preserved animals including some rare skeletons. I really enjoyed visiting a museum that had just a zoology focus, i really felt in my element! Another interesting thing about this museum was that you could “adopt” a certain animal which would raise money for conservation, documentation, and renovation of displays. I was really glad I stumbled across this gem in London!
Salisbury Not Steak!
Something I was unprepared to love so much was the Salisbury cathedral. It was a stop on the way to Stonehenge so I didn’t think much of the idea. But I was stunned at the beauty of it. The gothic architecture was stunning and I am pretty sure we had discussed this cathedral during my history of art classes. I took the time to light a votive candle as well and make a donation which gave me a nice moment to myself to reflect and pray in what used to be a Catholic cathedral.
An Unexpected Cleopatra
When we decided to go to the British Museum, I expected it to be similar to the Natural History museum. At that museum, it had been a lot of models of animals and gems, focusing on the world we currently live in. The British Museum flooded me with historical artifacts and information and I was stunned by everything I saw. I did not expect to see the mummy of Cleopatra! It was incredible. I also really enjoyed the exhibit on Japanese history and the opportunity to see the Rosetta Stone.
Row to Myself
Yes it was great to have the leg room, but joking aside it was a unique experience that we had traveling abroad during the beginning of a global pandemic. Nearly empty airplanes, restrictions in stores, and increased flight security were all new and part of our trip. We are so lucky to have returned safely and healthy, but we all had to be aware of our everyday risk behaviors and limit the chances we would pick up a disease. We all shared our hand sanitizers very generously and avoided touching things unless absolutely necessary. Even though we didn’t get to go into Paris, I know it was for the best. We got to see so much about London as a result and dive even deeper into the history and culture that it had to offer.
The little things
I got to visit the famous water pump from the third cholera pandemic. Supposedly, this little pump caused the outbreak in London, which I learned was not true. However, the small action of John Snow removing the handle greatly reduced the cases in SoHo. Sometimes small actions have greater impact. I this trip we were constantly telling each other to wash our hands, not to touch the escalators in the tube, and use hand sanitizer (because nature is dirty). We were only asking each other to do small things, but as of 3/27, none of us have gotten sick. This caption also applies to other aspects of the trip. I enjoyed so many of the little things London had to offer. On my adventure to the water pump, I found a book store off the beaten path and just sat in there for awhile.
All roads lead
The first couple of days on the trip, I didn’t really know how to navigate. Kelly and I ate at the Dog and Duck ONE time. And the rest of the trip, if we were walking around, we would always end up across the street from this pub. This made me believe the phrase “all roads lead to Rome” is actually “all roads lead to the dog and duck”. But as I kept winding up near this pub, I realized how many things are actually near the Dog and Duck (still don’t know why its famous). John Snow’s first private practice is actually next to this pub. His water pump is two blocks away.
Larger than life
The one thing I wanted to do in London was see & Juliet, the story of what would Juliet do lived. And I loved this show. However, during intermission, I got the news that we would be staying in London and didn’t know when our flight was. I kept hearing people say that what was happening, the cancelations, the uncertainty, was out of a sci fi movie. That the situation was larger than life. However, if the trip to France wasn’t canceled, I never would’ve seen stone henge, Cambridge, or Alexander Fleming’s laboratory. We took a chance in the face of a bad situation, like Juliet, and the had an amazing time.
Visit the greenhouses!
I took this photo at the entrance to the Palm House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. I’m a sucker for greenhouses / botanical gardens in general in Kew is probably the coolest one I’ve ever visited. I’ve been wanting to go there ever since I was a child and it exceeded my high expectations. I spent 3 hours there and wasn’t able to see all of the greenhouses, or really much of the grounds, in that time. The palm house was probably the coolest part of Kew for me. It was cold and rainy when I went so it would have been worth it for the climate alone, but all of the rare and odd plants made it even more worth it. The cycad in the foreground of the picture is 245 years old, making it 1 year older than the USA and also the oldest living potted plant in the world. Seeing that right when I walked in was pretty awe-inspiring.
I also visited the greenhouses at the Cambridge Botanic Garden, the Chelsea Physic Garden, and Darwin’s greenhouse at Down House. All of those were also very worth seeing. They were unique in their own ways, but seeing the commonalities to all of these Victorian greenhouses also helped me imagine what botany might have been like in England in the 19th century.
No Sheep Worrying!
These sheep were watching me as I walked along Darwin’s “thinking path” at Down House. The woods there are in a very different state than they would have been in Darwin’s time, but it was still very cool and humbling to be able to retrace his steps. It was a bit “meta” to be thinking about Darwin thinking there. I’ll admit I didn’t come up with anything as brilliant as “descent with modification” on my walk.
The caption here refers to a sign near the entrance advising visitors not to “worry” sheep. There wasn’t an explanation of what that meant, and I assumed it was telling people not to harass the sheep. I Googled “sheep worrying” later and found out it was actually telling people not to let their dogs harass the sheep. Definitely a very English thing to call it.
Jar of Moles?
Why is there a jar of moles? No idea. I saw this in person at the Grant Museum of Zoology and there was no further information about this than the label in the photo. I visited the Grant and also the University Museum of Zoology at Cambridge, and would highly recommend visiting both. They contained a lot of really interesting and rare zoological specimens. A lot of mounted skeletons, stuffed birds, and very confusing jars of things in formaldehyde or alcohol. Both contained multiple specimens of the extinct thylacine, or “marsupial lion”, from Australia. It was really cool to see their bones in person, but also a bit depressing when you consider that hunting thylacines for museum collections would have played a role in their extinction. I’d still really recommend visiting both zoological museums though.
Shoulders of Giants
This picture was taken at the Royal Society while I was paging through the manuscript of Newton’s Principia. The caption, “Shoulders of Giants” refers to Isaac Newton’s quote, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Seeing some of the amazing books in the Royal Society’s archives was one of the highlights of the trip. Newton’s work changed the world, and many of our modern technologies were made possible by standing on the shoulders of giants such as Newton. This moment not only fit really well with the theme of the class, but it was also a meaningful personal moment for me.
How’d People Survive???
This was the question on my mind the entire time we were at the Old Operating Theater. I’ve always been kind of morbidly interested in the gruesome history of medicine, always glad that I live in the days of antiseptic. Learning about medical history always makes me wonder what kinds of procedures we do today that will someday seem outdated and crazy. For example, today we would never crowd hundreds of people into an operating room to observe a surgery the way that they did in this operating theater. The entire operating theater presentation just made me want to wash my hands!
Come From Away
I learned a lot about musicals while I was in London, thanks to Emma! While we were walking around Soho one night, she pointed out a Come From Away poster and we talked about the plot – a bunch of people stranded in Canada after their flights to the U.S. were redirected after the 9/11 attacks, and a story about their humanity. Our situation with the COVID-19 pandemic was nowhere near as severe as being stranded on foreign soil, but it did significantly shape our experience abroad. The U.S. response to the pandemic was changing daily, and due to our canceled France trip, there was a period where we didn’t know exactly when we’d be coming home. Without all the changes, we wouldn’t have gotten to see Stonehenge, or the Salisbury Cathedral. Our experiences over the next several months will probably not be what we had planned for – there will be canceled trips, online classes, heightened anxiety – but there will no doubt be some unexpected positives, like seeing Stonehenge (and getting photographic evidence of our inability to practice social distancing). Maybe I’ll spend some of my time in quarantine reading the true stories that Come From Away is based on.
I really enjoyed interviewing Dr. Brzezinska for this project. Though it got cut short in the final version presented to the class, Dr. Brzezinska shared very insightful advice based on her experiences as a woman in science and engineering. I’ve wanted to be an engineer since 9th grade, so I’ve gotten used to being in classes with mostly men. Talking to Dr. Brzezinska reminded me to stay aware of how I behave in classes – do I stand back and allow others to answer questions I know the answers to? Do I defer to the guys in my group projects for expertise, even though I’ve taken the same classes as they have? I notice myself STILL doing these things sometimes, always without realizing it, and working on this project reminded me that I should pay attention to these behaviors and correct them. I belong on that engineering team, in that classroom, in that Mission Control Center just as much as the guys do.
Other than my own portion of this project, I really enjoyed hearing all of the other topics my classmates studied. I didn’t realize Ohio State had so many prominent researchers and discoveries in its history! One that stood out to me was the discovery of the feline leukemia vaccine. I have three pet cats, and am very grateful to Dr. Richard Olsen for this discovery.
I think this project should be continued in future years of this course. It made me appreciate how much OSU has contributed to society, and makes me more aware of the importance of research institutions around the world.
Location: Abbey Road
Always look right
A lot of us on this trip not only have a passion for science and its history, but we also have a fascination with London’s musical past. Having the opportunity to visit one of music’s greatest landmarks was incredible (except for the busy road we happened to be on!). This picture turned out great, but like anywhere else in England, you have to look right instead of left before you cross – something we finally got used to right before we returned to the US!
Explore our history
The whole purpose of this trip was to explore our scientific history. Going to museums and exploring London was absolutely amazing, but having the opportunity to see one of the greatest wonders of the world took it to a whole new level. I thoroughly enjoyed the extra moments we were able to experience through the extension of our stay in London!
Location: The Eagle
Take every opportunity
This picture was taken inside The Eagle, which, to us science nerds, created an unmatched level of excitation and awe. How many other people have been to the bar where Watson and Crick were regulars?? Being able to go to Cambridge and be in the environment where so many of the greats started out was something we wouldn’t have been able to do if we left London on Wednesday; we truly made the best of our situation and took every opportunity to learn more and gain incredible experiences!
I thought our project went super well. The only thing I could have wished from it was maybe slightly clearer instructions an requirements, but the grading was lax and it was known that expectations were unknown, so it really wasn’t a big. I think if it was going to be done again, that our project should be played for the next group, so they at least have some sort of idea what it should look like. After that, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to get it all figured out. I think having a day in class was great, and that only one class period really should be enough as long as they’re reminded at the end of a few classes before hand. Another thing I think that could be improved would be length, as I know my clip at least was probably far to long, and honestly shorter bits might be a bit better for certain topics.