We’ve just got back from a wonderful day in London and so will be updating this with photos and details about the trip over the next day. Each class got up to very different activities, with the opportunity to see sights around the city that were relevant to their subject, before everyone met to explore Covent Garden for dinner.
The ‘Science and the Future’ class visited the Science Museum, looking at what makes us human as well as exhibitions about the exploration of space. Then they were able to visit the London Eye and spot famous sights from above – luckily no one was afraid of heights!
Engineering classes also went to the Science Museum for a thorough inspection of early steam engines, learning about the advancements that Thomas Newcomen and James Watt made, including the separate condenser and super-atmospheric cylinders. We then had a look through the space section, noting the similarities between Werner Von Braun’s V2 weapon and the Saturn V rocket which sent the first men to the moon. The flight exhibition was a great way to show the workings of internal combustion aero-engines and some early jet engines, as designed and constructed by Peterhouse’s own Frank Whittle.
Law classes visited the Houses of Parliament and watched a debate, which included the leader of the new House of Commons, and then visited the Inns of Court and Temple Church. They also managed to visit the High Court and have a look at the judges’ costumes.
The Studio Art class headed to London for a gallery crawl in the city’s West End. The tour began with a visit to Duke Street for Thomas Dane gallery for Cecily Brown’s Madrepora, a colourful exhibition of paintings that played the line between figuration and abstraction, and then to White Cube Mason’s Yard for The world is yours, as well as ours, a collection of new abstract paintings by Chinese artists. Then it was up to the annual summer exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art, a sprawling salon-style show of over 1,200 works in all imaginable styles, mediums, and attitudes. Finally the group moved past the National Gallery for shopping instead at London’s premier art supply stores, including both London Graphic Centre and, with a stop along the way at a contemporary show at Soho’s Rodeo, L. Cornelissen & Son, a small shop famous for its display of artist’s pigments.
Veterinary Science students went to the Natural History Museum and walked amongst the (live) butterflies at the sensational butterflies exhibit. They then managed to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum before heading back to Covent Garden.The Medical Science and Social Psychology majors teamed up to explore the Wellcome Collection, full of fascinating exhibitions on medical topics, including obesity and the nature of consciousness, as well as Henry Wellcome’s remarkable collection of historic medical objects. The exhibit taught them about various philosophers’ attempts to understand consciousness, various sleep disorders (including sleepwalking, lucid dreaming, and sleep paralysis), the role of language and memory in the creation of a sense and various types of conscious experience (such as synaesthesia). We then headed to the London Science Museum, where we saw an exhibit on World War I soldiers and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Speech and Debate classes went to The Cabinet War Rooms where Churchill recorded many of his most famous radio addresses and saw the bed from which he conducted much of the war. Students were encouraged to compare Churchill’s posthumous reputation with the opinion of his senior military commanders. After a stop in the antiquarian bookshops on Charing Cross Road, we took lunch at an Indonesian restaurant where one class member tutored us in her native culture and cuisine to delicious effect. We went thence to the National Gallery, where students stood before the intensely moving portraits of Rembrandt’s later years and stared into the fiery elegy for the nineteenth-century that is J.M.W Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire.
Drama, Creative Writing and Filmmaking classes also all teamed up to visit Shakespeare’s Globe. They saw a live performance of Shakespeare’s play Taming of the Shrew. It was an incredible experience for students, many of whom had never been to the Globe before. The actors were very interactive with the audience—especially those members of the audience who were standing on the main floor (we were seated in the lower level)—which added an interesting element to the performance. The show was both funny and emotionally-intense, the actors were impressive, and the show was filled with great live music. It was really remarkable to take part in the long-standing tradition of seeing Shakespearian plays performed in the Globe.
Global Business major students had lunch at Canary Wharf and took the opportunity to review some of the topics they had covered related to trade and commercial banking, surrounded by the banks’ European headquarters. They then took the water ferry back to the centre of town, passing many of London’s famous sites, including the Tower of London and the London Eye. The afternoon was then spent at the Science Museum, looking at the Da Vinci Exhibit and the history of the video game.
Maths and Nature visited the Science Museum in London. The students enjoyed the permanent galleries “Exploring Space”, “Making the Modern World”, “Launchpad”, “Information Age”, “Media Space”, “Power: The East Hall” as well as the temporary exhibition “Our lives in Data”.
The molecular biologists started by travelling in style, taking the ferry from Embankment to London Bridge. After admiring London’s key river sites, we stopped by Borough Market to sample the finest street-food which London has to offer, including Thai coconut pancakes, led to a lengthy discussion on the molecular foundations between the different triglyceride (fat) molecules in coconut milk, and how this could be considered an evolutionary adaptation. Having established the purpose of coconut lipids, we made a short sightseeing detour via the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral, before walking to the much anticipated Hunterian Museum. The museum houses numerous scientific curiosities, including the oldest dissection boards, the skeleton of a giant, and countless unusual animal and human medical specimens. The girls looked beyond the initial grisly sights to think about the diseases underlying the pathologies which they found at the Museum. The whole class visited the small pox exhibition and revelled at how vaccination can be employed to wipe a deadly virus from the Earth.
The Global Politics course saw firsthand some of the locations of history’s most important political decisions. The students visited 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British Prime Minster. Given our impassioned exploration of Brexit, our visit to the place where former Prime Minister David Cameron resigned after the vote was apt and exciting. For the next stop the students ventured beneath the streets of Westminster, where they explored the Churchill War Rooms, the underground bunker where Winston Churchill and his staff ran the war effort during WW2. Students were thrilled to see in person the tiny rooms where some of the great military and political decisions of the 20th century were made. The rest of the trip comprised of a visit to Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Ministry of Defence, the Australian War Memorial and Hyde Park.
The Entrepreneurship class visited Tribe Builder Ben Keene (from TV series ‘Paradise or Bust: Tribewanted’ and founder of ‘Tribewanted’) who ran a workshop on the students’ business ideas. Ben discussed each student’s business idea in isolation and what may be the ‘cheapest, easiest, and fastest’ way they could test the main assumptions underlying their business concepts to validate the idea. They then walked up to London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ and observed some different forms of startups, from small coffee shops, to behemoths like Google’s London Campus.
The Architecture majors started their London trip with a guided tour of the exquisite Sir John Soane Museum. They then took the quirky Duck Tour through Westminster before diving (literally) into the Thames from right next to the James Bond’s MI6 building. Their last stop was Kensington Gardens where students visited this year’s Serpentine Pavilion and Summer Houses.
We will update the blog as more reports of the day come in, but everyone had an amazing day in the best city in the world!
The CamPrep Team