The Most Forgotten Material
Dr Peter Wilkie is a taxonomist based in the herbarium of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Over the past 30 years his research has focused on the tropical trees of Southeast Asia, in particular those found in Indonesia and Malaysia. His current research is on the family Sapotaceae (which contains Palaquium gutta, the species that produces Gutta Percha) and includes the publication of scientific information about species from the region, the description of species new to science and the production of IUCN Red List assessments of species to facilitate conservation actions. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Edinburgh Journal of Botany- an international journal of plant systematics and biodiversity.
Dr Helen Godfrey is an independent researcher based in Australia. She earned her BA (Hons) in
Roman history and worked for several years as a civil servant. She obtained an M.B.A. and then
completed her Ph.D, cum laude, in Economic History.
Her doctoral thesis on submarine telegraphy and the gutta percha trade formed the basis for her
book, Submarine Telegraphy and the Hunt for Gutta Percha. Challenge and Opportunity in a Global
Trade, published by Brill (Leiden) in 2018. She has published several related articles in the Borneo
Research Bulletin. Experience living in Australasia, Africa, Britain and the Caribbean has influenced
Writer and beachcomber Tracey Williams has always been intrigued by chance finds and the stories and folklore behind them, from shells and sea glass discovered on childhood holidays in Cornwall to flints and fossils unearthed in fields. In 1997, after finding thousands of pieces of sea-themed Lego washed up on beaches, she became interested in the changing nature of beachcombing and began to research the age and origin of many of the man-made items she discovered. She is the author of the best-selling book: Adrift: The Curious Tale Of The Lego Lost At Sea. She lives in Cornwall, England.
Margrit Reuss holds a master’s degree in objects conservation from the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart/Germany. Her master thesis was on the history and identification of early plastics in ethnographic collections. She is one of two exhibition conservators of the National Museum of World Cultures, The Netherlands (NMVW).
In the last year, the main involvement was in the Plastic Crush exhibition, investigating the plastics collection of the NMVW and organizing the objects' preparation and installation. From her background in early plastics, she also contributed to the content of the exhibition.
Another key aspect of her work is the involvement in sustainable practices in the work processes of the museum.