Discussing Science at Wisley in 1967
Many months before a KTP project begins and long before an Associate has been recruited, a core project team get together and, in a room I picture as being windowless and smoke-filled but that I expect in reality is bright, airy and houses multiple smoke detectors, they devise a plan outlining how the project could develop during the allotted timescale. The result of their efforts is one of the first things I received on my first day as a KTP Associate – the grant proposal document. Read and revisited for much of that day – and for many weeks afterwards, this document was rarely far from my desk.
Almost two years on, and with the project well on track, I still flick through my grant proposal document but do so much less frequently- perhaps only twice in a three-month period. This week, I revisited it when preparing for LMC6.
It’s another acronym I know. An internet search suggests it stands for the Large Magellanic Cloud, the London Medical Centre or the Livestock and Meat Commission; however, seeing as my first degree specialised in zoology (I’m not a physicist), I wail like a tantrumming two-year old at the briefest glimpse of a needle (I’m no doctor) and I’m a devout vegetarian (practically vegan, but for my love of cheese and cake), Google has on this occasion been uncharacteristically unhelpful.
Within the KTP-world, LMCs stand for Local Management Committees. Every four months, a group comprising the project team and an external, impartial KTP Advisor, meet to discuss the project. The meetings provide a useful project health-check, providing opportunities to reflect on the project’s progress and request approval on proposed training, development and spending planned within the coming months.
For me, LMCs are a lot like the picture taken of the Science Committee at Wisley more than 40 years ago. Lots of brilliant minds (I’m excluding myself here, obviously), discussing Science. There’s just fewer suits, more women, less grey hair and we’ve replaced the smoking pipes with chocolate hobnobs.