Press Releases

Debate on sustainability at the Museum of English Rural Life – University of Reading

Release Date : 03 July 2007

A panel debate on sustainability will be held at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading next week.

The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), which is owned and managed by the University of Reading, will be holding the debate on July 11 to promote discussion of the issues relating to climate change, renewable energy and biodiversity raised by its major new exhibition 'Going Green: Sustainability Past and Present'.

The exhibition uses images and objects from the Museum's collections to put current topics into their historical context.

Will Philips, Museum Officer at MERL, who is organising the event said: "The collections at MERL offer some possible answers from the past to modern day questions about renewable energy, recycling and sustainable communities. This debate will enable the public to discuss these contemporary issues with leading experts.

"MERL is well placed to provide a forum for the discussion of issues relating to the environment because not only is it a museum, but it is also a research facility with nationally and internationally important collections relating to food, farming and the countryside, all areas which are greatly affected by climate change."

Panellists for the debate include David Sutton, leader of Reading Borough Council, Brenda Boardman, of the University of Oxford Environmental Change Institute, Maddy Harland, Editor of Permaculture Magazine, Philip Koomen, designer of sustainable furniture and Paul Starkey, expert in sustainable transport in the developing world.

The debate will be held on Wednesday July 11 at 3.30pm at the Museum of English Rural Life. It will be held in the Museum gallery and as places are limited, booking is essential. For a free ticket, please contact the Museum of English Rural Life on 0118 378 8660 or send an email.

The debate is part of a full programme of events relating to the 'Going Green' exhibition, details of which can be found at the MERL website.


Note for media: Media are welcome to attend, and also the reception afterwards between 5.30pm-7.30pm. If you wish to come along, please contact Alison Hilton, marketing officer, on 0118 378 8660.

Notes for editors:

1. More information about the Museum of English Rural Life

The Museum of English Rural Life, in London Road, Reading, was founded by the University of Reading in 1951 to reflect and record the changing face of farming and the countryside. It houses designated collections of national importance that span the full range of objects, archives, photographs, film and books. Today, it forms part of the University's Museums and Collections Service. The Museum operates as a major resource and research centre for the history of food, farming and the countryside with links into the School of History and other academic departments at the University.

2. More information About the University of Reading

The University of Reading is one of the foremost research-led universities in the UK. Founded in the nineteenth century and gaining a Royal Charter in 1926, we offer a wide range of programmes from the pure and applied sciences to languages, social sciences and fine art. New research and the latest thinking continually feed into undergraduate teaching, with our academic staff working at the forefront of their fields of expertise.


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