SOAP BOX SCIENCE~ Thames Festival 2015

We don’t remember what happened. What we remember becomes what happened.

 ‘Good afternoon we are here to do soap box science and we’re going to talk about ‘Memory as a Shared Experience’.

 It’s always an interesting conundrum~ although we witnessed the same event, namely Prof. Nicky Clayton psychologist and ornithologist and Clive Wilkins artist and writer performing a tango on the banks of the Thames, we, who were watching, processed the information in our minds selectively and differently. Our idiosyncratic and personal preferences displaced what we actually saw. That’s because Memory is a subjective experience~ this was the essential message being conveyed in their ‘streetwise’ talk. Each of us sees the world through our own eyes. Our intrepid Soap Box Scientists explained that reality is not about what we see, it’s about what we recall when we replay a moment. We change memory to suit the complexion of our thinking, often at unconscious or sub conscious levels. They went on to explain that, in order for all of our personal and individual realities to converge, as a species, we have developed ways to think socially and empathically with others. This is where Memory becomes a Shared Experience. There are relatively few other species that can do this~ Nicky provided examples from her work with Jays. Nicky and Clive, using great performance devices, i.e. word lists, magic, readings from Clive’s Books ‘The Moustachio Quartet’, examples of Nicky’s work on corvids at Cambridge University, and dance to explore these ideas for the entertainment and amusement of passers by. The effects were well received. Proof paramount that the Soap Box Science format is alive and thriving, taking science, and female scientists in particular, to the masses in an original and innovative way.

For further information about Nicky and Clive’s arts/science collaboration ‘The Captured Thought’



Clive Wilkins Nicky Clayton

Clive Wilkins Nicky Clayton


About clivewilkins

Artist & Writer
This entry was posted in Cambridge, Clare College, Clive Wilkins, Department of Psychology, Prof. Nicky Clayton, Soap Box Science, Thames Festival, The Moustachio Quartet, University of Cambridge, Uppingham and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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