School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland project at American Association for the Advancement of Science conference

Three members of the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland team were in attendance to demonstrate the Atlas to a wide range of interested parties at this major event. (Published 5 March, 2017)

HCA Atlas at AAAS
From left: Professor Gary Lock (Oxford), John Pouncett (Oxford), Professor Ian Ralston (Edinburgh) at the AAAS conference

Professor Ian Ralston (Edinburgh), Professor Gary Lock (Oxford) and John Pouncett (Oxford) from the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland project – thanks to AHRC funding – were able to demonstrate the only arts and humanities project on the UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) stand at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in Austin Texas.

The AAAS conference, 15-18 February, is a 'world event' and draws some 8000 delegates, ranging from leading scientists and policy-makers to others with more general interests. Approximately 1000 people visited the UKRI stand, where the Atlas was one of three projects highlighted. Demonstrations of the Atlas included to local schoolchildren and their parents and general visitors when the exhibitions were publicly accessible - including Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive Designate UKRI, who showed great interest in the project - and at a special VIP event. 

Terry O’Connor, Communications Director Science and Technology Facilities Council and lead for the UKRI AAAS campaign said: 'We selected the Hillforts Atlas exhibit as an excellent example of the best of UK multidisciplinary research – combining archaeology, remote sensing, citizen science and other techniques to provide not only a new research tool but an exciting way of engaging the public with research. The team of Gary, Ian and John were fabulous ambassadors for the project their science and their universities.'

Mike Collins, Head of Communications at the Arts and Humanities Research Council, said: 'The Hillfort Atlas project was the ideal fit for the AAAS conference in Texas as it showcases brilliantly the use of technology to tell the story of hillforts across the UK and Ireland. The Atlas was one of the public engagement hits of 2017 with hundreds of thousands of people visiting the website and an amazing reaction in the media and through social media.  It's been a great example of how years of hard research work can pay dividends and get the public excited about the history of where they live or a place that they love to go on holiday too.'  

Professor Gary Lock explains more about the project: