by Lindsay Goodall - Documentary Filmmaker in Residence
I was filming an interview with Victoria Wood yesterday so wasn’t at EGN, but Cameron was in and attended the team meeting and found out about some of the events which are coming up, and about some of the people who are going to be visiting over the next few months. Not wanting to miss out on anything I decided to spend the morning diarising the meetings, events and workshops which I want to attend.
I started off on the EGN forum ‘events page’. There is so much going on, from a workshop about Convergent (Bio) Technologies to an evening reception celebrating the work of Gengage; and of course the Innogen 10th Anniversary Celebration in Edinburgh would clash with a discussion on Whole Genome Sequencing in Medical Practice in Cardiff!
From the EGN website I followed links to the Human Genome Organisation, ESRC Festival of Social Science, Café Scientifique, What Scientists Read and many more sites with events in Edinburgh and beyond.
My diary is now looking very full and healthy and I can’t wait to get stuck in. A whole new scientific world is opening up to me and it is very exciting. I feel the door to the academic part of my brain, which has been mostly shut since graduating from my Masters in Visual Anthropology in 2005, is slowly creaking open and I am re-learning to read sentences containing words such as ‘hegemony’ and ‘heuristic’ and ‘interdisciplinarity’.
This week I have had to adapt to a different way of working and a difference pace – I am not ‘in production’ and I am not ‘on a shoot’. Instead, I am spending a quieter time reading, reflecting and writing and trying to reassure myself that by day 2 it’s ok that I still don’t really know what a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism is or does, or how to articulate what synthetic biology is.
Working with social scientists who are looking at the implications and effects of science on the wider world, in an academic context, is quite far removed from what I have done before. Having been a freelancer for the past few years I am constantly changing jobs, meeting new people, getting to learn how new working environments function. Yet I always surprise myself with how I feel at the start of each new job – am I picking this up quickly enough? Who is everyone? Why can’t I work quicker, harder, faster, at once, right now? And this is no different to the start of my role as filmmaker in residence at the Genomics Forum. There is so much to learn, so much to read, so many people to speak to, so many questions to ask and so many answers to filter, digest and react to.
So for now I return to my notes, copies of The Gen and of course the great WWW to continue with my research.
Next Tuesday I will be filming a rehearsed reading of A Number at The Traverse Theatre. Directed by Forum Resident Playwright Peter Arnott, the play deals with human cloning in the wake of Dolly the Sheep, and will be followed by a panel discussion. I hope to get the chance to ask Peter how he approached his residency at the Genomics Forum and Network, and if he has any tips to getting the best out of this wonderful and unique opportunity.