One of the things that I love most about the British Science Association is its rich heritage. I’ve loved working for an organisation that has 85 years of rich history, changing and adapting to meet a changing climate and to tackle the problems facing science and the public.

We were founded in 1831 as the British Association for the Advancement of Science by two scientists Babbage and Brewster. The founding principle was our annual meeting which moved to a new city every year (other than a number of the years during WW1 and WW2). The annual meetings were a way to connect with local communities, the general British public and were a space for scientists to share and discuss.

Last year the Development team decided to take a look at all of our historical artefacts and did a mass recall of everything we had in storage.

When it all arrived we found silk banners that were handmade and designed and would be used each year at our annual meeting. These banners are of particular importance as they chart 100 years of banner-making history in the UK.

The banners are really beautiful, detailing the date, location of the meeting and the name of our President at the time. Also within our archive, we found our old ‘Lady’s Tickets’, Festival Programmes and caricature drawings originally featured in Vanity Fair.

It’s been a pleasure rummaging through our heritage and seeing these beautiful banners. I’m really looking forward to the work that the Development team are going to continue to raise money to restore them to their original glory and we’ve already started researching and scoping out possible outreach work and heritage access projects. Returning our august heritage to the general public, a principle that our founding members would’ve been proud of.

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