Not My Skill Set

There was a time when, to be a biologist, you either had to be able to draw well (or be able to may someone to do your drawing for you). Toilets also did not flush. It was a rough time. You can revisit some of that magic at The British Library’s Flickr page where there are literally oodles of images from old books provided free from copyright restrictions, because the books are old.

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I don’t know what this critter is*, but I am glad that I am a lot bigger than it is. I think I’m bigger than it…

*It literally comes from a tome entitled The British Miscellany: or, coloured figures of new, rare, or little known animal subjects, etc. vol. I., vol. II

Santa’s scientific sleigh ride

Last week a few colleagues and I took part in TalkScience‘s annual scientific Christmas quiz at the British Library, where twenty-five teams battled it out in six nerdy rounds, testing their knowledge of science in the news,  animal sounds, the chemistry of sex, ancient cures and more. There were questions about Lego scientists,  Matt Taylor’s shirt, cholera, Florence Nightingale, and much more.

There was also a bonus round, which tested how well you knew several scientific locations, and asked you to match them up with the correct latitude and longitude. We did quite well on this one, and it was my favourite question of them all. With permission of the organisers, and with some new images, here is a reproduction of the “Santa’s scientific sleigh ride” question. (And for a hint, remember that the original quiz was held in London, at the British Library.)

Can you help Santa deliver all his presents? Match up the famous scientific locations to their GPS coordinates and fill in the name of the location.

A. Darwin visited in HMS Beagle B. Powerful particle accelerator
A B
C. Life sciences research institute D. Launch site for Apollo missions
C D
E. Archimedes’ “Eureka” moment happened here F. Where Dolly the sheep was cloned
E F
G. Site of the pitch drop experiment H. And back home!
G H
GPS coordinates Image letter Location
1. 52°N: 0°W
2. 46°N: 6°E
3. 37°N: 15°E
4. 27°S: 153°E
5. 28°N: 80°W
6 1°S: 89°W
7. 56°N: 3°W
8. 90°N

You have to be quite specific in your answers – try to get to institute level!

Our team had almost everything correct in this question, which unfortunately didn’t count toward our total score.

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