Academics wow Glastonbury

Jaqi Lee (a co-investigator on the CLEVER project) and her colleague Richard Murphy from the Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey, took sustainability to the Glastonbury Festival 2015.

Their task was to explain the environmental impact of smartphones to the festival-goers on the Mandala Stage in the Green Futures Field, while being accompanied by a jamming band. They were in great company as the frontman of the band was none other than Nik Turner of Hawkwind fame.

On the Friday afternoon, they gave an interactive talk during a break in the jamming. They introduced the life-cycle of smartphones and at what points in the phone’s life the impacts occurred.  Only, rather than using Powerpoint, they brought bar charts to life by using stack and store boxes to make piles representing the columns. Members of the audience also tried to take apart a phone to show the valuable materials inside.

On the Saturday, the band kept playing whilst they presented the same life-cycle, but in freestyle over the top of the music, by finding appropriate moments to fit into the groove.

The music and science grew together to give an appreciative audience a real flavour of how an everyday object can have an unexpected impact.