Category / REF Subjects

New interdisciplinary COVID-19 paper

An evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach on risk zoning, personal and transmission risk assessment in near real-time, and risk communication would support the optimized decisions to minimize the impact of coronavirus on our lives. This interdisciplinary paper [1], pubished today in Scientific Reports, offers a framework to assess the individual and regional risk of COVID-19 along with risk communication tools and mechanisms. Relative risk scores on a scale of 100 represent the integrated risk of influential factors. The personal risk model incorporates age, exposure history, symptoms, local risk and existing health condition, whereas regional risk is computed through the actual cases of COVID-19, public health risk factors, socioeconomic condition of the region, and immigration statistics. A web application tool (http://www.covira.info) has been developed, where anyone can assess their risk and find the guided information links primarily for Nepal. This study provides regional risk for Nepal, but the framework is scalable across the world. 

The authors comprised researchers from the University of Bristol, Science Hub (Nepal), University of the West of England, Public Health Perspective Nepal, Nepal Open University, Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Huddersfield and Bournemouth University.

 

Reference:

  1. Parajuli, R.R., Mishra, B., Banstola, A. Multidisciplinary approach to COVID-19 risk communication: a framework and tool for individual and regional risk assessment. 21650 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-78779-0

Cutting-edge research has assessed the carbon footprint of BU during the COVID-19 lockdown

As we have now all become accustomed to working and studying from home, research has started looking at various implications of remote work/study. These implications include the impact on our subjective being, but also on the environment. There are speculations that work/study from home may reduce our carbon footprint, for example. This is because commute and/or business travel are no longer required. These two activities have long been recognised as the main drivers of carbon emissions in Universities, alongside on-site energy use and procurement.

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to compare the carbon intensity of working/studying at home and on campus. That is why Dr Viachaslau Filimonau from the Business School; Dave Archer, Laura Bellamy, Neil Smith, and Richard Wintrip from the Sustainability Team have undertaken a study of the carbon footprint of Bournemouth University during the COVID-19 lockdown. This is the first investigation of its kind and only the third attempt to assess the carbon emissions of UK institutions of higher education.

The study has found that working/studying from home may be less beneficial from the carbon perspective than originally thought. The carbon emissions produced by staff, but particularly students, at home are almost equal to the carbon footprint of commute. The complete closure of University campuses does not result in low carbon emissions.

This has important implications for the future of (higher) education in the UK and beyond. For instance, the study’s findings indicate that the model of blended teaching and learning may have low carbon efficiency and should, therefore, be applied by Universities with caution. This is because institutions of higher education should promote sustainability which involves ‘leading by example’ when it comes to reducing the carbon footprint.

The study has been peer-reviewed and published in Science of the Total Environment, a leading international journal in the field of sustainability and environmental management (impact factor 6.6). The full paper can be found here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969720374957. The team aims to advance this project by assessing the carbon footprint of Bournemouth University over the winter period. This is when heating will be put on, thus creating extra carbon emissions on campus but, particularly, at home given that we will continue working/studying remotely in semester two.

Policy Influence Opportunity – Forestry, land management & environmental

Call for potential oral witnesses for EFRA Committee tree planting inquiry

  • The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee secretariat is looking for potential oral witnesses for the Committee’s inquiry into Tree Planting and Woodlands. please see the background to the inquiry and Call for Evidence for further information.
  • The Committee would be particularly interested to hear from researchers with expertise in forestry relating to some of the following issues: woodland management, land management, agroforestry, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biosecurity, biodiversity, economics and/or policy analysis of UK Government and Devolved Administrations’ policies and funding on forestry and tree planting.
  • Researchers who are interested must nominate themselves by 15 December. Please inform your BU Impact Officer and the BU policy team (policy@bournemouth.ac.uk) if you nominate yourself.
  • The Committee is committed to improving the diversity of the witnesses it hears evidence from because this provides a broader evidence base for its inquiries, so would also particularly want to hear from women researchers and researchers from minority ethnic communities.
  • The secretariat currently expects the evidence session to take place in early February.
  • Please complete your nominations on this form.

New study of management & recruitment in UK TV industry

This week sees the launch of The State of Play survey, an important new study into management and recruitment practices across the UK’s television industry. The initiative is a collaboration between colleagues in the Faculty of Media & Communication, the television union Bectu, and the freelance Producer-Directors’ association, Viva La PD.

It’s an exciting development’ says Christa van Raalte, Deputy Dean for Education & Professional Practice in the Faculty. ‘BU has long been known for the graduates who go on to work in the media, but we also have an important contribution to make to improving the way these industries actually operate’.

Prior to the pandemic, the UK’s film and television sector had been generating an annual trade surplus of almost £1 billion. Yet Covid-19 has exposed systemic and routinely overlooked problems. Chronic under-investment in professional development and over-dependence on an army of freelance workers has made it especially vulnerable. These workers – reliant on precarious, short-term contractual employment – have faced months without work, with over half ineligible for any Government support. Many may be permanently lost to the industry, exacerbating both pre-existing skills shortages and the industry’s well-documented lack of diversity. However the crisis has also been instrumental in raising awareness of structural weaknesses, previously unacknowledged by many industry leaders. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for much needed reform.

The study draws on previous work that BU has done in this area, and feeds into a larger piece of work for which external funding is currently being sought.

For more information about The State of Play survey, contact:
Richard Wallis (rwallis@bournemouth.ac.uk)
Department of Media Production, FMC.

BU Book up for National Award

Professor Tim Darvill, Kerry Barrass, Yvette Staelens from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology (BU) together with Dr Vanessa Heaslip from the Department of Nursing  Science (BU) worked with Laura Drysdale of the Restoration Trust to edit a book exploring how historic landscapes could support mental health well-being.

 

Our book titled ‘Historic Landscapes and Mental Health Well-being’ has been nominated as a contender in the 2021 Current Archaeology Book of the Year competition. This is fantastic news and really shows the benefits of cross disciplinary research and working.

Voting is open now at www.archaeology.co.uk/vote so do please cast your votes for the book, and encourage anyone else you can think of to do the same. Please also feel free to share this excellent news in your social media sites as it would be really excellent to win this award. The results will be announced at the Archaeology in Britain conference in February.

Please keep your fingers crossed for us and thank you for your votes

Cross-disciplinary approaches to prehistoric demography | Themed issue edited by BU staff

We are pleased to announce the release of Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Prehistoric Demography, a themed issue of The Royal Society Philosophical Transactions B series, compiled and edited by Philip Riris and Fabio Silva from the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology at BU, in collaboration with colleagues Jennifer C. French (University of Liverpool), Javier Fernandéz-López de Pablo (University of Alicante, Spain) and Sergi Lozano (University of Barcelona, Spain).

Demography impacts a wide range of aspects of human culture past and present: from our capacity to transmit genes and knowledge across generations, to the reach of our social networks and long-term impacts on the environment. Recent cross-disciplinary advances in the reconstruction and interpretation of prehistoric population histories (palaeodemography) have been transforming our understanding of past societies. This theme issue integrates the efforts of researchers working across archaeology, anthropology, genomics, palaeoecology, and evolutionary demography, combining original research alongside critical reviews, to provide a benchmark for the state-of-the-art in prehistoric demography and a statement of the future of this rapidly growing cross-disciplinary endeavour.

The themed issue, which includes an open-access manifesto for palaeodemography in the 21st century and several other open-access articles, can be found here.

A view across Caral, one of the earliest urban centres in the world and a key study site for research on prehistoric population history, such as reported in this theme issue. This site, 200km north of Lima in Peru, was inhabited roughly between the 29th and 19th centuries BC by the Norte Chico civilization. The mound seen in the centre is the “Edificio Piramidal la Cantera” (the Quarry Pyramidal Building) and the building in the left background is the “Edificio del Altar Circular” or Building of the Circular Altar. Image credit: Daniel Sandweiss.

A view across Caral, one of the earliest urban centres in the world and a key study site for research on prehistoric population history, such as reported in this theme issue. This site, 200km north of Lima in Peru, was inhabited roughly between the 29th and 19th centuries BC by the Norte Chico civilization. The mound seen in the centre is the “Edificio Piramidal la Cantera” (the Quarry Pyramidal Building) and the building in the left background is the “Edificio del Altar Circular” or Building of the Circular Altar. Image credit: Daniel Sandweiss.

BU Professor publishes sixth edition of bestselling book ‘Social Work Practice’!

I am pleased to say that the sixth edition of my book Social Work Practice has now been published. It is with grateful thanks to all former students and people who have received social work services that this has been possible.

I’ve updated this edition looking to the future and developing a more green and relation-based approach to social work that challenges the neoliberal narrative that has infected social work in the UK (England in particular) for so long. Developing the thinking and skills of an ethnographer are also important to becoming a questioning, critical and reflexive social worker who takes nothing for granted. Becoming an iconoclast, in this way, is also part of this book’s message.

 

‘Defying categorisation’

Donald Nordberg

During the other half of his time in semi-retirement, Donald Nordberg, Associate Professor in the Business School, is revisiting themes from his early university education in English and comparative literature. A first product has emerged: New Writing, a Routledge/Taylor & Francis journal, has accepted his paper “Category choice in creative writing“. Fiction is a uniquely flexible form of writing, he writes, but the publishing world wants to drop works of fiction into buckets, which often come in pairs. The paper examines three such dichotomies. Writing coaches want to know: Is the work plot-driven or character-driven? Publishers, booksellers and popular critics ask: Is it genre or literary? Academic analysis wonders: Is it philosophical or psychological?

     Using perspectives on heuristics and biases drawn from psychology and decision analysis, Nordberg examines similarities between these category pairs and shows how the distinctions blur, both in literary criticism and through empirical studies of reader responses. He suggests that by paying attention to the anchor-points in heuristics, writers can bend publishing imperatives and help works of fiction retain the ability to defy categorisation.

The impact of COVID-19 on workforce stress and resilience – Parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee Publication

The COVID-19 pandemic has created major upheaval across the world, and for frontline practitioners in social work, this led to sudden changes in working practices alongside homeworking. In the summer of 2020, Parliament started to conduct an inquiry exploring workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this they put out a call for evidence from interested parties, and were particularly interested into early research findings. Areas of interest to the inquiry included the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on resilience, levels of workforce stress, and burnout across the NHS and social care sectors and the impacts of workforce burnout on service delivery, staff, patients and service users across the NHS and social care sectors.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 Professor Lee-Ann Fenge and Emily Rosenorn-Lanng from Bournemouth University developed a collaborative research project with Tilia Lenz from the Pan-Dorset and Wiltshire Teaching partnership (PDWTP) to explore the impact of COVID-19 on practitioners and managers, and to date this has been completed by 146 participants. We submitted evidence to this inquiry based on our preliminary findings, and this has now been published by the Health and Social Care Committee.

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/494/workforce-burnout-and-resilience-in-the-nhs-and-social-care/publications/written-evidence/?page=3

This publication recognises the importance of the research undertaken by BU and the PDWTP during COVID-19, and the contribution this makes to understanding how practitioners have responded to the unprecedented challenges created by the pandemic.

Midwifery education publication published today

Congratulations to Prof. Sue Way, Dr. Luisa Cescutti-Butler and Dr. Michelle Irving on the publication today of their latest article ‘A study to evaluate the introduction of the Newborn Infant Physical Examination knowledge and skills into an undergraduate pre-registration midwifery education programme’ [1].  This paper published in  Nurse Education Today  uses the principles of FUSION, bring together Education (undergraduate midwifery education), Practice (examination of the newborn) and Research (evaluation study).  This paper adds to the growing list of publication on aspects of midwifery education by academics in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perintal Health (CMMPH).

 

Congratulations!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

Reference:

  1. Way, S., Cescutti-Butler, L., Irving, M. (2020) A study to evaluate the introduction of the Newborn Infant Physical Examination knowledge and skills into an undergraduate pre-registration midwifery education programme, Nurse Education Today, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2020.104656.