Royal Society microsite for Diamond Light Source


This year Diamond Light Source (the UK's rather fancy and very shiny synchrotron scientific facility) is exhibiting at The Royal Society's Summer Science exhibition, and they decided they'd like a microsite to help educate people about the talks they will be giving at the exhibition, as well as keeping the dialogue going with visitors, reporting on each day's highlights and showcasing photos taken at the show. Because they wanted to be able to easily update the site remotely from the exhibition, and to allow scientists (not just web people) to be able to contribute without needing training, we opted for Squarespace as the platform for the site. The ability to upload a zip file of photos straight from the camera, and have the system automatically unzip and resize them all was a real plus.

I designed the site to match their exhibition stand, and also incorporated some Flash and interactive elements that help people understand more about what the heck a synchrotron is. Have a play around in the Machine section of the site yourself: it's not quite the same as playing with a real particle accelerator, but it's definitely a lot safer for us non-scientists!

We've also incorporated some audio interviews with the scientists who use the synchrotron and who will be at The Royal Society talking to visitors about their projects. There are some really interesting stories - my favourite is Joanna Collingwood's study of metals in the brain, and their role in disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.

I certainly learned a lot on this project... and as a side effect became slightly addicted to playing with the particle accelerator interactives (my fave is the Vacuum). If you'd like to find out more, The Royal Society exhibition opens this Friday and runs until 4 July. Or visit the microsite now... and try not to get addicted like I did!