The Key to Success

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Multidisciplinary week was on from sixth to the tenth of February as part of a programme run by the university to get students and lecturers talking and interacting with their peers from other science disciplines, not only to broaden their horizons, but also to aid with their own research by seeing the many advantages that come from by working with other departments.

The week covered a vast array of topics ranging from lectures on the digital economy to tours of new facilities in the Southampton General Hospital and even included workshops which enabled attendees to create their own edition of Zine – a small circulation, self publishing magazine.

On Wednesday with an audience well fed and watered by the canopies and wine, an almost full Turner Sims lecture theatre awaited, ready and eager to listen to the keynote speech by Dr Lucy Blue entitled “Expanding Horizons in Maritime Archaeology through a Multi-Faceted Approach”, who is the Director at the Centre of Maritime Archaeology, Senior Lecturer at Southampton University and a presenter in the BBC series of Oceans,

In reference to her work on BBC Oceans she explained:

BBC Oceans not only showcased how multidisciplinary the ocean is but also enabled a much wider audience to see and learn the messages of the ocean”

Dr Lucy Blue

The lecture comprised of two halves in the first she outlined some of the current projects being carried out by herself and colleagues at the University of Southampton which most notably is not all about ship wrecks, although there are a few, but it is primarily the study of humans interactions with the sea in the past and therefore includes research on historic maritime trade patterns, ancient civilisations and the symbolism behind what the sea meant to different people throughout the ages.

The second half was about the outreach and some of the personal crusades Lucy has worked on throughout her career, most notably MAST which is aims to protect, promote, educate, advocate and increase the capacity for marine cultural heritage particularly in Africa and the Gulf region where maritime archaeology is virtually unheard of.

The main point Lucy kept referring to throughout both halves of the lecture was that interdisciplinary work is key to success. By working with industry, academics and politicians there are huge benefits to all involved; be it being able to get a larger dataset because industry is partially funding it, or testing out new equipment to profile the seabed or even finding new artefacts which provide some clues on a previous settlement, by working together we can collect more reliable and accurate information to help us answer some of life’s little questions, regardless of our individual disciplines.

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