Doncaster palaeontologist set to inspire the next generation of scientists

Events inspired by a Doncaster palaeontologist's success are set to capture the imagination of the next generation of scientists.

Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery is one of 15 museums and galleries selected for the Royal Society’s Local Heroes scheme after a bid was put in by the museum education service which will be leading on the organisation of the events. The grant scheme provides funding of up to £3,000 for exhibitions and events which reveal local stories of scientific brilliance. Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery will be celebrating a modern day local hero - Doncaster born Dean Lomax, 27, a palaeontologist and honorary scientist at the University of Manchester. The events will include a temporary exhibition featuring information and objects from Dean’s personal and professional life including childhood photos of Dean engaged in palaeontology; the first fossil he collected; fossils he collected from the USA, whilst excavating dinosaurs; the gold medal he was awarded for excellence in science; clips from Dinosaur Britain and ‘advice for local budding scientists’ in a Question and Answer style panel, written by Dean. At a free event there will be a chance to meet Dean and ask him questions and palaeontology artist James McKay will be on site to work with children to create a mural to be displayed alongside the exhibition. There will also be fossil and dinosaur related craft activities for families to ‘make and take’ as well as the chance to visit Doncaster Museum’s exhibition ‘Fossil Wonders’ which show cases ‘Fizzy’ the new species of ichthyosaur identified by Dean. In 2012 Dean co-discovered a brand-new fossil hunting site in Doncaster. This location yields 310 million year old fossil plants, shark egg cases, horseshoe crabs, insects and much more. Dean will lead a fossil hunt to this site, which is usually restricted access. There will be two family activity days for up to 225 people per day. Both days will involve hands on craft activities, object handling and a visit in the Museum grounds from an animatronic dinosaur. Dean said: "I always wanted to be a palaeontologist, but I was told it would be impossible, especially for somebody from Doncaster. Now, having worked professionally for nine years, I've become an internationally recognised scientist. It is my hope that this event will help local children (and adults) to realise their dream, and show that it is possible to achieve great things, regardless of where you are from." Cabinet member for Culture, Cllr Bill Mordue, said: "Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery already has regular and well attended family activities and events program with particular success for fossil and dinosaur related days. "We hope to build on this through this project, inspiring children and their families to be involved and enjoy science together. "It is great to be able to recognise Dean's achievements and I hope the exhibition and events will inspire our next generation of scientists. Our museum education service works with schools all year round to support their classes’ learning. Their experience and hard work brings history to life for young people.”
  • Category: Culture, leisure & tourism
Last updated: 16 December 2016 11:10:07