As part of Southampton University’s Multidisciplinary Research Week Litmus Project, the Tony Davies High Voltage laboratory was pleased to invite Professor Robyn Bolam from the Department of English to visit the lab and after discussion with students and staff, write a series of poems relating to the research carried out. Robyn wrote a fantastic selection of poems, each in which a specific structure (such as haiku) to represent the geometric layout of the equipment and faraday cages in the laboratory.
The Litmus project included collaborations between students from the University of Southampton Creative Writing MA course with students from a wide range of scientific areas including high voltage electricity, photonics, audiology, biological systems and complexity modelling to name but a few. The poems were read at a gathering of all Litmus project collaborators with great success. During the opening remarks, Prof. Robyn Bollam commented that her experience in the laboratory had encouraged her to view transmission towers and substations with a much greater appreciation of the exciting and complex technologies behind such equipment.
Professor Paul Lewin speaking on behalf of the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory described the benefits of engineers taking the time to view their work in a more artistic mindset rather than only communicating in a specific scientific way which we are so used to. It is hoped that exciting collaborations and communication between such traditionally different disciplines as creative writing and science/engineering will encourage a greater exchange of ideas, making scientific research more accessible to people outside of the field as well encouraging scientists and engineers to appreciate their work in a whole new way.