RMetS 3rd Amateur Meteorologists' Conference

When: 10th and 11th September 2016

Where: University of Reading, Reading

What: The Royal Meteorological Society 3rd Amateur Meteorologists' Conference

The 3rd Amateur Meteorologists' Conference brought together a fascinatingly varied audience, where retired meteorologists who have never lost their passion for the subject meet people from across a huge variety of professional activity who share that passion. A unique forum full of fascinating people and an event that had a really good buzz about it!

WAM was able to contribute talks to the third session on Saturday, entitled Life in the Clouds. WAM SIG member Dr Ingrid Jensen, artist and biologist, gave a thought-provoking talk about boundary transfers in her fields, while Prof John Thornes, Emeritus Professor of Meteorology at the University of Birmingham (and WAM SIG Treasurer), led us through an inspiring overview of the wide variety of representations of skies in art. Philip Stanier, Head of Department Performing Arts at the University of Winchester, talked about the genesis of a piece of performance theatre performed in summer 2016 at Somerset House in London - the Naming of Clouds, a meditation on our relationship with clouds. The session ended on an intriguing note with the inclusion of a talk by David Flack, a meteorology PhD student from the University of Reading, who opened his audience's eyes with a fascinating talk full of surprises, on the way the weather influences bird watching - and birds. 

On Sunday, WAM Director Pierrette Thomet had the pleasure of giving the closing talk of the Conference; talking about the Tambora explosion in 1815 and the subsequent meteorological catastrophe that was 1816 (the Year Without Summer), she explained its influence on some important figures in both literature and music in her talk Tambora, John Polidori and the Music of Vampires. It's not often that a scientific conference closes on a talk tracing the influence of meteorology on a strand of European culture that culminated in the creation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

But that's WAM for you.