Category / Research news

New taskforce launched to combat fraud across the UK

Dr Lee-Ann Fenge – Deputy Director NCPQSW

The Home Office is setting up a new taskforce to combat financial fraud which will include banks, the police and government officials

This is a response to the growing recognition that financial fraud is undermining business and the wider economy. There has been a growth in particular types of financial fraud in the last year including online banking fraud which rose by 48% in 2014. Another growth area for fraud has been the CEO or ‘bogus boss’ fraud, where staff are instructed to transfer money for a specific reason out of a company account, believing the instruction to come from a senior member of staff. Although the development of a national taskforce is positive and to be welcomed, the emphasis of this taskforce appears to be on financial fraud affecting business, and the risk is that the impact of financial scams which affect the general public might get overlooked.

Financial scams and in particular mass marketing fraud is a growing problem and can affect anyone. These types of financial scams are often targeted at older people and vulnerable groups, and the risk of becoming a victim of fraud can increase if the individual is lonely or socially isolated. The National Scams Team have identified that victims of scam mail have an average age of 74 and have typically lost more than £1,000

Victims of mass marketing type fraud are often placed on so-called “suckers lists” and their details are then sold on to other fraudsters, increasing their risk of becoming a victim of fraud again. Those who become victims of mass marketing fraud often do not report it and therefore the true scale of the problem is unknown. However scam involvement can cause long lasting damage to an individual’s health and well-being.

Lee-ann blogsmaller

The NCPQSW is undertaking research with the National Scams Team into the problems posed by mass marketing fraud, and in particular ways of protecting those most at risk. The Care Act (2014) has recognised the risks posed by financial abuse/crime on individuals and places a statutory responsibility on local authorities to take a lead in safeguarding those at risk. This requires collaboration from key agencies involved in identifying and protecting victims of financial scams, including the police, trading standards, the financial sector, local authorities and health care.

We believe it is important that certain groups are recognised as being at increased risk of scam involvement, and those with dementia find it difficult to understand risk and apply caution to decision making due to their cognitive deficits and reduced financial capability. This makes people with dementia at increased risk of responding to scams. Therefore banks and other financial institutions should have a ‘duty to care’ for those with cognitive impairments who may make an ‘unwise decision’ a result of their cognitive state rather than simply an unwise decision.

If you want to find out more about the work of the NCPQSW please visit our website


Olivier, S., Burls, T., Fenge, L., Brown, K. (2015) “Winning and losing”: vulnerability to mass marketing fraud, The Journal of Adult Protection, 17:6, 360 – 370.

Olivier, S., Burls, T., Fenge, L., Brown, K. (in press) Safeguarding Adults and Mass Marketing Fraud – perspectives from the Police, Trading Standards and the Voluntary Sector, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.

British Science Association’s Media Fellowship scheme

Applications are now open for the British Science Association’s Media Fellowship scheme.

To apply for 2016’s placements, please fill out the online application form by the 18th March at

The Media Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for practising scientists, clinicians and engineers to spend two to six weeks working at the heart of a media outlet such as the Guardian, BBC Breakfast or the Londonist.

Every year up to ten Media Fellows are mentored by professional journalists and learn how the media operates and reports on science, how to communicate with the media and to engage the wider public with science through the media.

After their media placement Fellows attend the British Science Festival in September, which provides an opportunity to gain valuable experience working alongside a range of media organisations from all over the UK in our dedicated Press Centre. The Festival also offers opportunities to learn from a wide range of public engagement activities and network with academics, journalists and science communicators

Any queries, please e-mail

FMC Cross-Departmental Seminar Series Wednesday 10 February 2016

FMC Cross-Departmental Seminar Series 2015-16

The Faculty of Media and Communication at BU  

Venue: CG17, Christchurch House, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB  

Wednesday 10 February 2016, 3pm-4pm, CG17 

Pollyanna Ruiz, University of Sussex 

Twitter, Transparency and Surveillance

Transparency is central to an understanding of the public sphere as a universally accessible arena characterised by reason, inclusivity and sincerity (Habermas, 1974). Consequently, the refusal to be seen is invariably interpreted as a threat to the principles that underpin the democratic process (Engles, 2007). However, if one experiences the public sphere not as a utopia of transparency (Johnson, 2001), but as a nightmare of surveillance and coercion then the desire to evade surveillance can be read very differently (Foucault, 1995). These dynamics are especially fraught in socio political environments in which the power relations that usually construct the relationship between the individual and the nation state are being blurred and eroded by criminal forces.

These complexities will be illustrated by a case study from Mexico in which a citizen journalist used a pseudonymous Twitter account to crowd source information about the movements of the drugs cartels in the state of Tamaulipas. Within this context Twitter can be read as a technological mask concealing the identity of multiple dissenting voices whilst also seeking recognition for the injustices being suffered by a people left unprotected by their state. As such ‘Felina’, who used a masked cat woman as her avatar, drew upon of long history of semi-folkloric figures who have used the protective qualities of the mask to speak to power (Ruiz, 2013).

However in January of this year ‘Felina’ was publically unmasked. Her Twitter account was commandeered by the cartel, her cat woman avatar was replaced by an image of her dead body and her followers were warned of retributions to follow. The brutal murder of Felina and the dissemination of threats through her social network is part of a cartel led counter offensive, which uses the fear of transparency to repress an emerging culture of sousveillance in cartel held territories. Consequently this paper will conclude by arguing that the optimism that characterised the rise of citizen journalism in oppressive regimes is being modified by the realisation that while online dynamics can be socially and politically productive, they can never disembody acts of dissent.


Engle, K. (2007) The face of a terrorist. Cultural Studies Critical Methodologies. Vol. 7 p.397-424.

Foucault, M. (1995) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York Vintage Books.

Habermas, J. (1974) ‘The public sphere: an encyclopaedia article’, New German Critique, Vol. 3, pp.49-55.

Johnson, J.H. (2001) Versailles, meet les Halles: masks, carnival and the French revolution. Representations, Vol. 73 pp. 89-116.

Ruiz, P. (2013) ‘Revealing Power: Masked Protest and the Blank Figure.’ The Journal of Cultural Politics. Dukes Journals.

Pollyanna Ruiz is interested in the media’s role in the construction of social and political change. Her research focuses on the ways in which protest movements bridge the gap between their own familiar but marginal spaces, and a mainstream which is suspicious at best and downright hostile at worst. In doing so, she looks at the communicative strategies of contemporary political movements, such as the anti-globalisation movement, the anti-war movement and coalitions against the cuts. Her new project Protest, Technology and the Dynamics of Intergenerational Memory extends these dynamics over time.

Pollyanna is a Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Sussex. Her recently published book Articulating Dissent; Protest and the Public Sphere examines the ways in which coalition movements access the mainstream media. 

Wednesday 10 February 2016, 4pm-5pm, CG17 

Dr Lincoln Geraghty, University of Portsmouth 

Constructing Childhood Memories: Nostalgia, Fandom and the World of LEGO Collecting

LEGO’s shift to producing product tie-ins has been supported by a very popular range of video games (eg. LEGO Star Wars) and the creation of online fan clubs aimed at both children and adults. One of them, the VIP Program, boasts a members’ only website, special offers and a point rewards system, specifically targeting grown-ups and encouraging them to collect LEGO rather than play with it, display it rather than pack it away. This convergence of popular fandom, new media, nostalgia and contemporary toy culture suggests that the lines between past and present, technology and culture, childhood and adulthood are increasingly porous. Memory is an important component of being a fan and the remediation of childhood toys like LEGO through video games, animated television shows and online communities helps to reconstruct memories of youth that are subsequently used to negotiate digital collaborative spaces shared by other fans. These spaces also serve as the means to add to and promote the often vast collections of adult collectors. In these web spaces personal memories and official histories of children’s culture are constantly negotiated and reshaped, taking on new meanings, as collections grow and collectors determine the subcultural and economic value of old and new LEGO sets. LEGO, a children’s toy originally based on the physicality of construction, has taken on new significance in contemporary media culture as it allows adult collectors/fans to reconnect with their past and define a fan identity through more ephemeral and digital interaction. Now that the LEGO “system” incorporates global franchises like Star Wars it means collectors/fans of one brand crossover to become collectors/fans of the other. The LEGO Star Wars universe develops a fandom of its own with the minifigure versions of Han Solo and Darth Vader (animated with comic effect in the video games and TV episodes) becoming just as iconic and desirable amongst collectors as the “real” toy originals. Therefore, I argue in this presentation that LEGO’s shift from educational children’s toy to transmedia adult collectible is characteristic of contemporary convergence culture. It highlights the importance of nostalgia in the influencing of what childhood media and commodities get collected but also how nostalgia acts to limit the original potentials of those remediated texts and commodities. There is an inherent conflict between how childhood texts are rebranded by producers and how fans choose to remember and negotiate those texts online. As a consequence, this presentation will also consider the reconstruction of personal and public memories of childhood in the digital sphere and assess the difficulties associated with the archiving and collecting of children’s media. 

Lincoln Geraghty is Reader in Popular Media Cultures in the School of Media and Performing Arts at the University of Portsmouth. He serves as editorial advisor for The Journal of Popular Culture, Reconstruction, Journal of Fandom Studies and Journal of Popular Television with interests in science fiction film and television, fandom, and collecting in popular culture. He was recently appointed as a Senior Editor for the new online open access journal from Taylor Francis, Cogent Arts and Humanities. He is author of Living with Star Trek: American Culture and the Star Trek Universe (IB Tauris, 2007), American Science Fiction Film and Television (Berg, 2009) and Cult Collectors: Nostalgia, Fandom and Collecting Popular Culture (Routledge, 2014). He has edited The Influence of Star Trek on Television, Film and Culture (McFarland, 2008), Channeling the Future: Essays on Science Fiction and Fantasy Television (Scarecrow, 2009), The Smallville Chronicles: Critical Essays on the Television Series (Scarecrow, 2011), and, with Mark Jancovich, The Shifting Definitions of Genre: Essays on Labeling Film, Television Shows and Media (McFarland, 2008). He is currently serving as Editor for multi-volume Directory of World Cinema: American Hollywood from Intellect Books (2011 & 2015), and his most recent collection, entitled Popular Media Cultures: Fans, Audiences and Paratexts, was published by Palgrave in 2015. 

About the series

This new seminar series showcases current research across different disciplines and approaches within the Faculty of Media and Communication at BU. The research seminars include invited speakers in the fields of journalism, politics, narrative studies, media, communication and marketing studies.  The aim is to celebrate the diversity of research across departments in the faculty and also generate dialogue and discussion between those areas of research. 

Contributions include speakers on behalf of 

The Centre for Politics and Media Research

The Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community

Promotional Cultures & Communication Centre

Public Relations Research Centre

Narrative Research Group 

Journalism Research Group

Advances in Media Management Research Group

14:live – ‘Clone Wars’: The Rise of 3D Printing and 3D Scanning and its Implications for Intellectual Property Law


14:live will be returning on the 9th of February 14:00-14:45 at Poole House Refectory, next to Papa Johns. This is open to all staff and students and I am pleased to welcome Dinusha Mendis.

3D Printing and 3D scanning allows for replication of physical objects – which in turn raises questions relating to intellectual property (IP) laws. For example, what are the implications of modifying someone else’s Computer Aided Design (CAD) file or scanning an existing object to create a new product, thereby replicating it? What IP rights of the creator would it infringe? How much ‘modification’ is needed to create a new and non-infringing product? For businesses, IP issues could arise when replacement parts are 3D printed, perhaps through a third-party supplier. These questions demonstrate that whilst the technology has significant potential for the future it raises some very important questions relating to IP law.

This talk will explore such issues whilst also considering new business models for the protection and exploitation of IP. The talk will be based on the research carried out for a Commissioned Project for the UK Government (UK Intellectual Property Office) which was led by the Speaker and published in April 2015.

It would be great to see you all there to listen to what’s going to be a very interesting talk with Dinusha, and just to give you that little bit more incentive to come along, there will be 30 x tokens for the first 30 audience members to be exchanged for a FREE individual Papa John’s Pizza at the end of the talk, plus lots of free tea & coffee, don’t miss out! If you have any questions about this event or would like to hear about any other upcoming student engagement with research events, contact me on

Supporting you to support students: a survey

As part of the Fair Access Research project we would like academic staff to complete this survey to help us understand how students are supported at BU. The area we are focusing on is support for students’ health and wellbeing, as this is becoming increasingly important for students and staff in universities. Your responses to the survey will help us find ways to support you in supporting students to succeed at BU.


Questions of access to higher education do not end (or start) at the university gates. Widening participation involves an engagement with long and complex cycles of learning.

The Fair Access Research project seeks to understand the experiences of students from different backgrounds in order to develop practical solutions to enhance outcomes and maximise opportunities. This includes understanding how students are supported at BU.

In the words of Vincent Tinto“Access without support is not opportunity”. If we are committed to opening up higher education, we must be committed to supporting all students to succeed across the university learning journey.

A recent survey by the NUS found that 78 per cent of students said they experienced mental health issues over the last year. More than half of the students said that they sought no support.

In a report to HEFCE by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and Researching Equity, Access and Partnership (REAP) it was found that students with mental health and social/communicative impairments (such as autism) have doubled since 2008-09. These significant increases are impacting the structures of support that institutions have in place, including academic support

Living with challenging health and wellbeing needs, and not always seeking support, shapes whether or not you stay and impacts upon attainment. It re-orients (or, perhaps, disorients) your whole student experience. And that includes your interactions with academic staff.

With all this in mind, we are surveying academic staff to find out more about how they understand their role in supporting students’ health and wellbeing.

We have developed a short survey for you all to complete. It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and we hope that it will lead us to develop ways to support you with your students:

To complete the survey click here

Please complete the survey and share with your colleagues from across the university. Your responses will help us to find ways to support you to better support your students, particularly those most in need.

If you want any more information about the survey please email Alex on

For more information about the Fair Access Research project please email the Principal Investigators, Dr Vanessa Heaslip ( and Dr Clive Hunt (

The Research Lifecycle

If you haven’t checked out the BU Research Lifecycle yet then you most definitely should! Our Research Lifecycle diagram is a jazzy interactive part of the BU Research Blog that shows the support and initiatives that are available to staff and students at each stage of the research lifecycle. The information is general enough so as to apply to all disciplines and you can use it to organize and identify the many activities involved in your research. You can explore the Research Lifecycle to find information on how to get started with:

1. Developing your research strategy

2. Developing your proposal

3. The research process

4. Publication and dissemination

5. Impact

RKEO will be adding to the Research Lifecycle to ensure it always contains the most up to date information to support you with planning, organising and undertaking your research.

You can access the diagram from the links in this post or from the menu bar that appears on all screens in the Research Blog.

New paper by Dr Julie Robson in the Journal of Business Research


Dr Julie Robson (based in FoM) has had her article ‘ Senior management perceptions of aspirational groups: A study of the UK general insurance market’ published in the Journal of Business Research. The paper, co-authored by Professor Hans van der Heijden at the University of Sussex, draws insight from consumer marketing on aspirational groups to explore the composition and structure of aspirational groups compared to strategic groups in a market setting. The findings contribute to knowledge on strategy formation by highlighting the important role aspirational groups play in understanding competitive market movements.

An Update on EPSRC Delivery Plan

EPSRC_logoThe Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council put out its 2016-20 delivery plan to consultation at the end of 2015. On 2nd February EPSRC published an update to the draft plan, which sets out four areas that it intends to focus on over the next five years:

• Productivity
• Connectedness
• Resilience
• Health


Ambitions have been developed within each area, which will form the framework for its Delivery Plan. These ambitions will help determine the challenge-led aspect of its portfolio. EPSRC funding will still be accessed through the usual entry points of its capability disciplines, which include Mathematics, Physical Sciences, ICT and Engineering and decisions will still be taken on excellence.

A brief definition of each area and associated ambitions can be found here. These ambitions are provisional and will remain so until EPSRC receives its budget allocation for 2016-2020, when it can definitively prioritise its plans.

An Artistic Stippling Technique for Animated 3D Models

We would like to invite you to a visiting scholar research seminar by Dr. Dongwann Kang next Tuesday afternoon.


Title:         An Artistic Stippling Technique for Animated 3D Models

Date:         Tuesday 9th February 2016

Time:         3-4PM

Location: P302


Dongwann Kang received his Ph.D. degree in Chung-Ang University, South Korea in 2013. He also received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from Chung-Ang University in 2006 and 2008. He was the research fellow in Chung-Ang University from Mar. 2013 to Jun. 2015. Now, he is a visiting researcher in the SciTech, Bournemouth University, UK. His research interests include artistic stylization, emotional computing, image manipulation and GPU processing.


Stippling is the creation of a pattern simulating varying degrees of solidity or shading by using small dots. Such a pattern may occur in nature and these effects are frequently emulated by artists. ‘Hedcut’ is a stippling style for newspaper illustrations. Specifically, this technique, which combines stippling and line drawing, employs a directional stipple pattern similar to cross- hatching. Unlike traditional stippling methods that represent the tone of a subject by the density of the stipples, hedcut evenly distributes stipples with such a directional pattern and adjusts the size and tone of the stipples. In this presentation, I present a hedcut rendering method for animated 3D models that satisfies these characteristics. To maintain frame-to-frame coherency in animations, I introduce a texture mapping-based stippling method. I execute a quadrangulation that captures the geometric structure of the surface, and obtain directional stipples by mapping a two-directional patterned texture onto each quad mesh. For even distribution of texture-mapped stipples on screen space, I propose a texture generation and mapping method that adjusts the number of stipples on the texture depending on the viewpoint.

RCUK response to the HE Green Paper and the Nurse Review

RCUKlogoResearch Councils UK (RCUK) has published a full response to the Higher Education Green Paper and the Nurse Review, which sets out key principles that the Research Councils collectively consider should be the basis on which reform of the research funding landscape should take place.

The response relates to Part D of the Green Paper relating to the research landscape and to the broad direction of travel recommended by Sir Paul Nurse. It does not address individual questions specifically.  Their overriding priority is to ensure that the UK’s world-class research is supported through the most effective and efficient means possible.

Research Councils demonstrate the impact of their investments in latest impact reports

RCUKlogoYesterday, the Research Councils published their impact reports for the 2014/2015 financial year, demonstrating the impact their investments have made on the economy, on policy and for society.

Each Research Council has produced its own report, showcasing specific examples of the impact of investment through their various awards, programmes and collaborations. The wide-ranging nature of the impact extends from furthering technological advances to combatting disease.

Collectively, the seven Research Councils invest £3 billion in research each year covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow’s challenges today and provide the world-class research and skills that are the foundation of a strong and productive UK economy. This helps to achieve balanced growth as well as contributing to a healthy society and a sustainable world. It ensures the UK builds capacity, safeguards the long-term sustainability of research and remains a global leader in research and innovation. Additionally, by working in partnership, the Research Councils combine investments in a multitude of global societal and economic challenge areas to achieve even greater impact.

Highlights from the reports – particularly in boosting the economy, shaping policy and contributing to society – include:

  • Improving family lives and saving the taxpayer £1.2 billion: Secondary analysis of ESRC-funded survey data has helped local authorities in England to target interventions that support families with long-standing problems, turning around their lives and improving the life chances of children. The Troubled Families programme, praised by the Prime Minister after helping an estimated 116,000 families and saving the taxpayer £1.2 billion, was extended for five years from 2015.
  • Shaping international policy making and supporting vulnerable deaf communities: AHRC-funded research has supported the status of endangered sign languages in communities in India, new legislation in Finland, and increased transnational awareness of sign languages risk of endangerment.
  • Improving the UK’s resilience to environmental hazards by informing effective risk management: NERC’s annual investment of £12.8 million generates up to £127 million pa benefit from protecting properties, farmland and infrastructure through earlier warning of floods. Plus further health and cost-saving benefits from forecasting seasonal extremes, extreme weather, effects of volcanic ash on aircraft, protecting fisheries and preparing for climate change.
  • Informing Defra’s National Pollinator Strategy: Results from the Urban Pollinators Project informed Defra’s recommendations linked to the UK’s National Pollinator Strategy; a ten-year plan to tackle the decline in pollinator numbers. The city of Bristol is now developing a local Pollinator Strategy as an exemplar for UK and European cities. The project received £1.2 million in investment from the Insect Pollinators Initiative (funded by BBSRC, NERC, Defra, the Wellcome Trust and the Scottish Government).

The Impact Reports for each Research Council can be accessed from the following links:impact


National Archives – online survey

Help The National Archives develop services for academics and researchers

Dr Matt Greenhall, Head of Academic Engagement at the National Archives has advised us that they are running an online survey to find out more about the needs of academics and researchers, the ways in which they might work more closely with the academic and scholarly communities, and to help inform the development of our services.

If you are an academic, early career researcher, postgraduate student or independent researcher, they would like to hear from you. The survey takes around 10-15 minutes to complete and will cover, amongst other things:

  • Key changes and challenges in the research and academic landscapes in the next five years
  • Ways in which The National Archives might support and work more closely with academics, research students, research bodies, and the scholarly community
  • Identification of perceptions of The National Archives and its role

This project is part of their wider commitment to advancing knowledge through academic liaison and interdisciplinary research, as set out in their four-year business plan, Archives Inspire 2015-19.

DJS Research, a market research company, has created the survey and will be analysing the results. As an independent market research company, abiding by the Market Research Society Code of Conduct, DJS Research ensures all data and personal details collected remain protected, confidential and unattributed.

Please complete the survey by 12 February.

EPSRC seeking new SAN members

EPSRC_logoThe Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced that it is inviting nominations for new members of its Strategic Advisory Network (SAN).

The Council is seeking applications from respected industrialists, academics and from individuals working in the third sector and government organisations to join the Network. It hopes to appoint at least ten people and through the recruitment exercise EPSRC holds a particular aspiration to improve the Network’s diversity.

The Strategic Advisory Network provides EPSRC’s Executive with strategic advice to help develop and implement plans, and to make appropriate recommendations to EPSRC Council. The Network is a flexible resource, enabling the Executive to obtain the timely advice it needs, drawing on a range of perspectives from across EPSRC‘s key stakeholder groups including academia, business, third sector and Government.

Professor Philip Nelson EPSRC’s Chief Executive said: “In a world where EPSRC is being pressed to achieve more with less, and where the Research Councils are working closer together, the input from our advisory network will be crucial. We need and value advice that gives us a 360 degree view of the areas we are currently working in or where we plan to make investments. That is why we want to encourage applications from as diverse a group as possible.”

The call for nominations to join the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Network is now open and closes on 07 March 2016 at 16:00.

For full details of the nominations application process, please consult the ‘SAN nominations 2016‘ document.


Careers guidance resources for researchers

career-developmentIn October we launched a suite of careers guidance resources for researchers and their managers. The resources include detailed guidance on how to progress from a research career to an academic career as well as information for PhD students on postdoctoral research positions. There is also information on other career pathways including administration/management within HE and research careers outside of HE. The resources have been enhanced over the past few months and now include a number of case studies for different career pathways.

New paper by Dr. Sarah Collard in Psychology of Sport & Exercise

Collard + Marlow 2016Dr. Sarah Collard (based in FHSS) had her article “It’s such a vicious cycle”: Narrative accounts of the sportsperson with epilepsy accepted in the scientific journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise. [1]  The paper, co-authored with Caroline Marlow, addresses the issues of the psychosocial barriers and benefits of exercising for the sportsperson/people with epilepsy (SWE). Her qualitative research presents the narratives of SWE over time and as a result, offers a deeper understanding of the psychosocial impact of exercising with epilepsy.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen




Collard, S.S., Marlow, C. (2016) “It’s such a vicious cycle”: Narrative accounts of the sportsperson with epilepsy, Psychology of Sport and Exercise 24: 56-64.

An Introduction to Exhibition Design training course

The Royal Society of Biology are holding An Introduction to Exhibition Design training course on 10th March 2016, 10:00- 17:30 at The Royal Society of Biology, Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London, WC1N 2JU.

This is a practical day course for biologists involved in public engagement and outreach.

Who is it for?:

This practical course is suitable for those who may need to create a small display, for example:

– science communicators

– scientists working in public engagement & outreach

Creating an exhibition or small display can be a daunting task: they are a complex, multimedia format. How do you make sure your ideas are conveyed clearly? What is the best visual representation for this idea? What exhibits should I select? Using case studies and exercises, this course will introduce participants to exhibition making from the development of an exhibition concept to the final product.

Further information:

Dr Rachel Souhami has over 18 years’ experience of exhibition development, working with national and regional museums, independent organisations and exhibition design companies. Rachel has trained budding exhibition developers for ten years, and has lectured in science studies, museum studies and exhibition development at Imperial College, The University of Manchester and Westminster University. Rachel’s knowledge as a practitioner is enhanced by her research, which examines the working practices and design processes that lead to the successful implementation of an exhibition concept.

This event has been approved by the Royal Society of Biology for the purposes of CPD and can count as 18 CPD points.

For further information and to register your place at:


SPARCing up the heart in flies…

The heart of a fly. Two cells wide and capable of beatign 5 times per second. Genes controlling the hearts contractile function are conserved in humans.

The heart of a fly. Two cells wide and capable of beating five times per second, the fly heart is helping us unlock the secrets governing our own heart’s function.

Research funded by the British Heart Foundation and conducted both here and at the Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discover Institute near San Diego in California, is to be published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

The work identified a genetic pathway linking cardiac function with expression of a protein called SPARC (Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine). In humans, increases in SPARC accompany cardiac ageing, inflammatory disease, obesity and cancer. As a consequence SPARC is a potentially very important therapeutic target in a wide range of important clinical settings. Our work, which utilised the fly Drosophila, demonstrated that heart dysfunction (cardiomyopathy) could be cured by reducing SPARC gene expression. Establishing this link allows us to ascertain the mechanism by which SPARC contributes to cardiac function in humans. Whilst the human heart is significantly more complex than that of a fly, their early development and function are controlled by similar genetic pathways; evolution may have added to the human heart but it has not changed its fundamentals. Hence, we’re able to learn a lot about ourselves by studying this simple, yet very sophisticated, little insect.