Posted on 09/01/2013
Re-enchanting economic botany
Caroline Cornish of the Social and Cultural Geography research group is one of four Royal Holloway students from a range of departments to have recently been awarded post-doctoral funding from the AHRC Cultural Engagement Fund. This new award is designed to enable a transfer of the knowledge accrued in the PhD process to a wider cultural community, and to strengthen university links with other cultural institutions.
Caroline, who has just submitted her thesis – Curating Science in an Age of Empire: Kew’s Museum of Economic Botany – will be working in a three-way partnership between Royal Holloway, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Centre for Arts & Humanities Research at the Natural History Museum. The three-month project, entitled Re-enchanting Economic Botany, aims to embed the findings of her doctoral research within Kew’s programme of public engagement via the production of a training programme and resources for Kew guides, and via the Kew website. A second aim is to provide the basis for further research collaboration in the arts and humanities by scoping possible research topics linking the economic botany collections of Kew and the NHM.
‘I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to circulate my research findings beyond academic circles, and looking forward to exploring the NHM collections’, said Caroline. ‘The icing on the cake, though, is that I won’t be severing my connections with the Department. I’ll still be working with Professor Felix Driver here at Royal Holloway.’