The most public display of science engagement 

  

 Today the science communicator in me feels all warm and fuzzy inside. This was the second solar eclipse I have had the opportunity to view, and I seem to remember a lot more build up last time. I was on placement at the Science Museum in London  and remember many colleagues driving off to France for the total eclipse while we were limited to only a partial in London. But we watched in in Hyde Park and it was notably eerie despite partial cloud cover.  

This time the day dawned bright and sunny. I had my toddler with me and we had our swimming class at ten so there was no trips to the hills, instead we headed to our nearest city centre park on the way to swimming. 

The local high school and what seemed like most of the students from the Uni were all gathered along with other parents with preschoolers like us, shop staff and probably a couple of hundred other people. There were pinhole cameras and photography and viewing equipment of every type and level. I was so pleased!!

Again there was partial cloud but that was actually a blessing as although it may have made the light change less dramatic, it did mean you could see (and photograph) the “smiley sun”. 

Life is busy, and many people cannot take a half hour break in their working day, but if you can’t stop and look for a solar eclipse then when can you?

   

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies

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