March 27, 2013

Short Takes on Plastics

Look around you and you'll notice that plastics are everywhere today. From children’s toys to parts on the Mars rover Curiosity. It’s difficult to imagine what life was like before them. Products made with plastic are often more convenient, cheaper, lighter, safer and more durable, but they also present unwanted side effects to our health, cultures, and environments across the globe.

As part of our Plastics Unwrapped exhibit at the Burke, we recently invited a range of experts from the University of Washington (UW) and beyond to present their perspective (or "Short Takes") on a range of topics related to plastics in front of a live audience at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle. We've captured a few of the presentations on video to share with you:

What was life like before plastics?
Lauren Palmor, a UW Art History student shows what life was like before plastics - specifically related to food. How did people preserve their food without plastic? Watch Lauren's presentation in this video to find out:

What is plastic?
Dr. A.J. Boydston, assistant professor in the UW Department of Chemistry and head of Boydston Research Group, breaks down plastics at the molecular level and how scientists are exploring ways to develop new opportunities for plastics where the consumer use is only one reccuring step in an infinite cycle. Watch Dr. A.J. Boydston's presentation in this video:

There's more "Short Takes on Plastics" presentations available to watch on our Burke Museum YouTube channel.

Also, stay tuned for a wide range of special events that further explore plastics in our lives, their impact, and future solutions. Visit our website for a full list of events.

Posted by Jeremy Lange, Digital Communications