Janet Thomson: appearing in 'The White Laboratory'

Janet Thomson remembers her appearance in film concerned with the work of the British Antarctic Survey, 'The White Laboratory' in the mid 1990s.

Listen to the full interview track and all other tracks from this interview on British Library Sounds

Could you tell me about the filming for the White Laboratory film?

I actually had expunged all memory of that [laughs] until you mentioned it. Erm, there were often camera crews around at BAS about the time that climate change was being discussed in the media, and usually it was glaciologists who were being asked for their opinions. Erm, and I think we were, in the mapping group, were sort of drawn in because we had the collection of images, the satellite images that showed this and more detailed aerial photography had been collected probably by then. I know that I was asked probably how we monitored changes in the coastline, using satellite imagery, but I really can’t remember a great deal more than that [laughs] except that I disliked the whole experience of sitting in front of a camera and being interrogated. [Laughs]

Are you able to say what about it you disliked in particular?

Erm, hmm, well I had never liked to be on a stage [laughs] I was the focus of attention and I had these arc lights at me, it was quite a warm day, and I just felt uncomfortable. I hadn’t really had any experience of doing that sort of thing before.

Were there BAS scientists of the time who liked that sense of being on public show, of performing?

Well my colleague, Paul Cooper, was much more at ease. He could talk at end about remote sensing and computers and things like that, so … and he was a lay preacher, so he was used to standing up in front of people and taking. The difficulty was shutting him up sometimes [laughs].

  • Interviewee Janet Thomson
  • Duration 00:02:12
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Paul Merchant
  • Date of interview 5/27/2010
  • Shelfmark C1379/20

Related Audio Clips

The following clips are short extracts from an in-depth interview.
To listen to the full interview visit http://sounds.bl.uk

Related disciplines