13 December 2010

Communicating Research: 'Tis the Season

In the Anglo world, this is the time of the year for end of term rituals at school. My daughter's school were studying India this term and they invited me along to talk about my work on India and undernutrition for their end of term India Day on December 10.

I was quite anxious about trying to explain my work to forty 9 and 10 year olds. But I prepared for it and it went well. I contrasted the India I first visited in 1991 with the India I visited this year. I showed them some short video clips I had taken in September. The questions were good: why did the preschools mix up 2, 3 and 4 year olds? how did the teachers get 50 kids in each preschool to listen? what were the parents doing while the kids were in preschool? why were the kids eating with their hands? what did the kids do when the ground got really hot and they had no sandals? I thoroughly enjoyed it (and I didn't embarrass my daughter.)

On a lighter note, another feature of the Anglo world at this time of year is the pantomime (a non-serious play with singing and general silliness). Putting together two incongruous themes from the current zeitgeist, vampires and research impact, the annual IDS panto came up with "Bloody Impact" featuring songs from "Thriller". Our staff and students put on the show with tickets sold for charity and good fun was had by all. I got to sing Michael Jackson's "Beat It" to the lyrics of (of course) "Blog It".


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