8 April 2015

The Flying Scientist who Chased Spores

On a July day in 1930, British Airship R100 took to the air from a Bedfordshire airfield on its first transatlantic flight. As it made its way across the Atlantic Ocean, 2,000ft in the air, a window opened and Squadron Leader Booth, wearing a pair of rubber gloves, leaned out. In his hand was a Petri dish.

This film tells the story of a remarkable experiment, the brain child of Cambridge mycologist Dr W. A. R. Dillon Weston, and his passion for crafting models of fungi spun out of glass.

Dr Ruth A. Horry from the University of Cambridge’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science tells the story she has been researching, and shows us some of the 90 glass models now housed in the Whipple Museum of the History of Science in Cambridge.