Tools of the Trade

Exhibition in the University Library Heritage Display Case (Main Building 1C, next to the University Library entrance), 1 April – 1 July

04/12/2021 | 2:04 PM

Because of all the limitations due to the coronavirus pandemic, scientific activities currently appear restricted to the laptop. Even so, there are plenty of other objects that scientists have used in the past and continue to use to obtain research results. The exhibition Tools of trade showcases a sampling of these objects from the UB collections.

Tools of the trade - afficheScience on a laptop?
Right now, it seems as if all scientific activities are carried out on the computer: sources can be consulted in digital form, software and calculation models generate output, questionnaires and intake interviews are administered online and conferences, meetings and lectures have taken the shape of videos and video calls. Although the computational power of computers and the unifying power of the Internet cannot be underestimated, there are many other tools that researchers need to do their job, such as face-to-face team meetings, consultations with colleagues and students, laboratories, fieldwork and original sources.

Exhibition of research objects
In this exhibition, we look through the University Library collections to find objects that scientists have used in the past and some that they still use today. The library is home to a wealth of research material that provides an insight into how science and the humanities have changed. But the collections can also be a source for new research. Tools of the Trade highlights a random selection of a wide variety of sciences and humanities past and present.

Science and blind spots
Research is never neutral or independent of society, and is often connected to power (political, social, economic). It contributes to how we experience the world around us, but that image is changing. Blind spots become visible. Now people are protesting the focus on the male body in medical research. And alternatives have been developed for the most used map of the world, because it depicts countries along the equator smaller than they are, and Europe e.a. larger. What are the consequences of these insights for the tools of science and humanities? Does research that is more inclusive need new tools?

What do you use in your research these days?
What does your current scientific research workstation look like? Which objects do you use every day to arrive at new research results or to educate the next generation of scientists? If you are a student, what do you use in your research these days? Or do you have ideas on the tools of the future? Share your photos and objects with the University Library on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
#ToolsoftheTradeVU

Tools of the Trade | Date: 1 april - 1 juli 2021 | Location: Heritage Display Case, first floor, main building, next to entrance UL