Dr. Peter Morse is a science-communicator, videographer, researcher and hi-tech visualization man who has made a career bringing unseen corners of the Earth to life on planetarium and video screens across the world. Peter has successfully made the jump from academia to a career in the private sector. He’s explored primitive life under the Antarctic seas, gotten friendly with ancient mummies and enjoys a good loaf of homemade bread. Peter is a man for all seasons, and he uses Harvest to keep his time and projects in balance.
After ten years of working in the academic world, why did you decide to venture out on your own?
I’d been working extensively with high-end computer visualization systems on a whole range of research projects: looking at how to visualise Antarctic data, working with century old stereoscopic glass-plate images, experimenting with game engines and virtual reality applications. It was a constant struggle to find research funds and time to work on these projects amidst the seemingly endless demands of teaching, applying for grants and often pointless administrative meetings. I had the horrible fear that I would wake up one day having become one of those academics who has worked in the same place for 20 years, become thoroughly institutionalized and done nothing else with their life. One of the paradoxes of academia is that you get older and older, but all your students stay the same age! The last straw for me was finding out that my supposedly ‘tenured’ position was coming up for redundancy. The entire department I worked in is to be closed down next year.
I decided to take the plunge and see if the skills and talents I had after 10 years of highly focused work could be turned into self-employment in innovative digital media projects. Happily this has turned out to be the case and far exceeded my expectations.