Saturday, 19 January 2019 Contact us

Squawk!

Birds eggs

It is a common truth that no matter how dull the subject matter, if somebody is truly passionate, excited and unable to suppress their enthusiasm for stamps or trains or birds (these are just examples, naturally), some of that ‘intensity’ will undoubtedly rub off on the not-particularly-fascinated-until-now bystander.
And so it was at Professor Tim Birkhead’s talk ‘The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird’s Egg’ at Oxford Martin School this afternoon (which incidentally boasts the most extraordinary disabled entrance I have ever seen).
Perhaps naively, I had expected the audience to be made up of ‘Twitcher’ like individuals wearing army camouflage fatigues and bowed down by binoculars.
No such luck however.
Everyone looked respectable although over the age of 50.
As I intimated at the beginning, Professor Birkhead is one of those people that could make, for instance, dialling tones seem sexy.
Consequently, this talk on birds eggs came alive, literally in front of my eyes, and while I couldn’t quite match the enthusiasm everybody else showed for Guillemot eggs, I at least came away viewing them in a more… sympathetic light.
Now I’m not saying I’m going to go out and buy Profesor Birkhead’s latest book, but should I come across any of his fine tomes in Blackwell’s, I will at least now pause momentarily before hurtling on toward the TV and celebrity aisles…

FT Weekend Title partner University of Oxford BBC World Service International radio partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Worcester College Worcester College: Festival college partner Irish Embassy, London Supporters of the Irish programme Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. Sponsors of the programme of American literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Head of Zeus The Macdonald Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Italian Cultural Institute HM Government of Gibraltar Festival green room sponsor Gibunco Group Sponsor of Gibraltar Lecture British Academy BBC Four Television Broadcast media partner Earthwatch Europe Ian and Carol Sellars Emily Rose and James Marrow Jill Dunsmore New College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College Jesus College St Hilda’s College St John’s College St John's College The Queen’s College The Queen's College Exeter College Exeter College Hertford College Keble College Keble College Oxford Brookes University The Feathers Hotel Said Business School University of Oxford Mathematical Institute Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies The Oxford Times Regional media partner BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design The Royal Society of Literature Royal Literary Fund Princeton University Press Felicity Bryan Associates University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Conference Oxford Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Oxford University Press Floris of London Critchleys City Audio Visual Bayard Presse Eynsham Hall Macdonald Bear Hotel Sloane Club Ashmolean Museum British Humanist Association The Story Museum Oxford City Council The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Liaison Financial Services Steer

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival partners & sponsors

FT Weekend Title partner University of Oxford BBC World Service International radio partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Worcester College Worcester College: Festival college partner Irish Embassy, London Supporters of the Irish programme Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. Sponsors of the programme of American literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller Head of Zeus The Macdonald Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Italian Cultural Institute HM Government of Gibraltar Festival green room sponsor Gibunco Group Sponsor of Gibraltar Lecture British Academy BBC Four Television Broadcast media partner Earthwatch Europe Ian and Carol Sellars Emily Rose and James Marrow Jill Dunsmore New College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College Jesus College St Hilda’s College St John’s College St John's College The Queen’s College The Queen's College Exeter College Exeter College Hertford College Keble College Keble College Oxford Brookes University The Feathers Hotel Said Business School University of Oxford Mathematical Institute Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies The Oxford Times Regional media partner BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design The Royal Society of Literature Royal Literary Fund Princeton University Press Felicity Bryan Associates University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Conference Oxford Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Oxford University Press Floris of London Critchleys City Audio Visual Bayard Presse Eynsham Hall Macdonald Bear Hotel Sloane Club Ashmolean Museum British Humanist Association The Story Museum Oxford City Council The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Liaison Financial Services Steer