Category / BU research

The impact of sustainable tribology

I authored a paper with colleagues from the General Engineering (Unit of Assessment 15), including Prof. M. Hadfield, Dr. B. Thomas, S. Martinez Noya, and our research sponsors Mr. I. Hensaw (Energetix Group PLC) and Mr. S. Austen (RNLI). The publication is titled “Future Perspectives on Sustainable Tribology” and was submitted to Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Journal. It has recently been accepted (22 Feb 2012) for publication. The article is the result of a two-month support for impact (REF) exercise which took place last summer (June-July 2011) and was sponsored by the Research Development Unit (R&KEO) of Bournemouth University.

The interesting fact about the article is that the particular journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews has an impact factor of 5.367 (last five years) and is 9th out of 2009 Engineering Journals Worldwide (according to 2011 impact factor rankings) while its overall Ranking Worldwide among any Journal Indexed on Scopus is 268 out of 18854 Journals.

I would like to post this success on the Research Blog in order to show that support for impact at least in my case was worthwhile as it triggered my interest to write this “impact” paper with colleagues from Sustainable Design Research Centre (SDRC). The paper highlights the future perspectives of Sustainable Tribology by examining the economic, environmental and social impact of three tribological case studies worldwide. Each case study highlights one aspect of a number of ongoing interlinking research strands developed by the SDRC at Bournemouth University. The importance of Environmental Engineering through Sustainable Tribology solutions in our epoch is emphasized, showing that sustainability can be achieved to a significant extent through effective sustainable and environmental friendly engineering solutions, stimulating sustainable development and providing stability to our world embracing an anthropocentric and viable growth to our societies through effective sustainable solutions (figure 1).

To conclude, I would like to thank all the co-authors for their valuable help and contribution to the specific article while I would also like to express my regards to Prof. Mark Hadfield for the position he offered to me as a research assistant for REF support during that period and for his valuable guidance. I strongly believe it was a really beneficial project for myself as well as for Bournemouth University.

 

 

Happy 1st Birthday BU Research Blog!

It is exactly one year today since the Research Blog was launched at Bournemouth University!

Our first post was on the excellent RNLI slipways research undertaken in DEC by Prof Mark Hadfield and Dr Ben Thomas (read the story here). Since then there have been 957 posts added to the Blog, many of which were posted by academic colleagues from across BU. The Blog currently has 366 subscribers to the Daily Digest email.

To celebrate we’re inviting all staff at BU to get more involved with the Blog to make it more exciting, interactive, collaborative and beneficial to academic staff. There are a number of ways you can get involved:

  • To subscribe to the Blog to receive the daily digest emails; this is the best way to keep up to date with research and knowledge exchange information at BU. Find out more here: Subscribe to the Blog!
  • To comment on Blog posts to share further information, resources, and perspectives, and to make connections with your colleagues. Find out more here: Interact with the Blog!
  • To add posts to the Blog to share information, experiences, successes, advice, news, etc with colleagues, and to promote your research both internally and externally. We’re strongly encouraging all staff involved in research at BU to sign up for access to add posts to the Blog and to start blogging! Using the Blog is really easy – you need no prior knowledge of blogs or websites, just an interest in research. Contact Susan Dowdleif you’d like to be set up with access to add posts.
  • To share Blog posts, either via Facebook, Twitter or email. Find out more here: Share posts from the Blog!

The Research Blog is unique in the sector and in its first year of existence it has been a huge success in improving research communications at BU.

Be part of something cool and get more involved in the Blog! :)

Happy 1 year birthday, Research Blog!

 

The Grants Academy – Strand One: The Training Programme

The second of our posts on the new Grants Academy is all about Strand One.  

What is Strand One?

This is the BU-wide development and training programme linked to grant writing support in the form of access to a pool of contracted external bid advisors. 

Intensive training

Strand One of the Grants Academy will be an intensive training programme run over two consecutive days, held off campus.  Academics must attend both full days in order to join the Grants Academy. The sessions will be delivered by an external facilitator with support from the Research Development Unit. 

Attendees will be required to come to the session with a draft proposal that they consider to be ready to submit for external funding (including CV). Each attendee will swap his/her proposal with another attendee on day one and will be required to read their colleague’s proposal before the second day when there will be a mock peer review panel where attendees will be required to lead a discussion on the proposal they have reviewed, taking into account everything they have learned the day before.

All participants of the Grants Academy will be required to work on a proposal after the session, using the resources and support listed below, and to submit this proposal for external funding within six months of completing the training programme.  They may remain part of the Academy for a maximum of 18 months during which time they will be expected to have submitted a minimum of three external bids. 

Extra training and resources for Academy members

Completion of Strand One will result in individuals becoming members of the Grants Academy; as members they would be able to access additional training and development resources including:

  • An internal grants mentor: This person will be assigned after the training programme and will be responsible for supporting the mentee with the writing and development of their proposal.  
  • Access to an external bid advisor: The University will contract the services of a number of sector renowned and successful bid advisors who will be available to support Grants Academy members with the development of their proposals.
  • Specific funder events: The Research Development Unit will arrange specific funder events for members of the Grants Academy to find out more about funding bodies, for example, specific schemes, priorities, bid writing hints and tips, etc.
  • Funding drop-in surgeries: These drop-in surgeries will be held fortnightly over lunch and will be facilitated by the Pro Vice Chancellor plus three experienced senior academics. They will offer members of the Grants Academy the opportunity to come along and to talk to experienced colleagues about their research, for example, getting advice on their ideas, how to strengthen their bids, etc.
  • Find a funder service: This service will be provided by the Research Development Unit and will help to match academics and their research ideas and strengths with external funding bodies and open calls. The service will also advise on how proposal ideas can be tweaked so they are more closely aligned to funder priorities, and will also support academics in identifying researchers at other institutions who are researching similar areas for future collaborations. 
  • Access to a library of successful bids: The Research Development Unit will provide access to Grants Academy members to a library of successful bids, and provide support to academics in accessing this resource.
  • Access to a small travel grant to support academic networking.  Each member of the academy will have access to up to £250 to support travel in order to talk to potential collaborators, establish/join networks, etc.

The support listed above will only be available to those academics who have completed Strand One of the Grants Academy.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to find out more please contact Caroline O’Kane

On the blog tomorrow, we’ll be telling you all about Strands Two and Three.

The application process will be launched on Monday, 2nd April 2012.

Taking part in EPSRC’s Digital Economy Theme

EPSRC logoRCUK have a cross-cutting Digital Economy Theme which aims to support research into the transformational impact of digital technologies. In December last year the BU Research Blog advertised a notice from the EPSRC who were looking to build a community of researchers to invesitgate ‘New Economic Models’ as a sub-category of the Digital Economy Theme. As my own area of research into media management investigates the transformational changes of media organisations to the digital environment, I thought it would be worth applying.

After successfully navigating the EPSRC peer review process I was invited to attend the first of many Network Meetings in Reading. It was a very professional event, with researchers attending from across the UK and from diverse academic disciplines. The aim of the first event was to scope out the size and shape of a future research agenda into this area and to get researchers to develop collaborative projects ideas for researching new economic models.

The EPSRC will soon be putting out a call for funded research, and in readiness for this, the Media School’s Advances in Media Management (AiMM) research group are organising a ‘Brainstorm Session’ with academics and high level media industry partners to scope out ideas to submit to this call.

This is an excellent example of how you can get involved with shaping the future research agenda within your discipline and preparing to respond to calls before they are released.

Coming soon….The BU Grants Academy

On Monday, 2nd April we will be launching a brand new training programme – the BU Grants Academy – to sustain research and invest in early career researchers to boost BU’s collective research output. 

Every day this week there will be blog posts focussing on different aspects of the Grants Academy.  Today its The Overview.  To find out more, please read on………

What is the Grants Academy?

It is a development programme for academic staff, with three distinct strands:

  • Strand One:    BU-wide development and training programme linked in 2012/13 to external grant writing support in the form of a contracted bid advisor.
  • Strand Two:    Bespoke intervention for key research groups and clusters (e.g., Research Centres, BU Research Themes, etc.) based on a bespoke version of Strand One.
  • Strand Three:  Post-Award support in the form of direct mentorship for new investigators with limited experience of research management and project delivery.

How will the scheme benefit acadmic staff?

Membership of the Grants Academy will enable academic staff to:

  1. improve their understanding of the research funding environment;
  2. increase the quality of their research funding proposals;
  3. unlock staff potential, confidence and motivation;
  4. enable staff to develop the skills required to design, write and structure a competitive, fundable research proposal; and
  5. to then manage awarded contracts, effectively leading to further funding.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to find out more please contact Caroline O’Kane

On the blog tomorrow, we’ll be telling you all about Strand One.

‘Popularizing Research’ published with opening Chapter by BU’s Kip Jones on Performative Social Science

Peter Lang Publishing announces the publication of Popularizing Research: Engaging New Genres, Media, and Audiences, edited by Phillip Vannini of Canada’s Royal Roads University.

The book’s opening Chapter, “Short Film as Performative Social Science: The Story Behind “’Princess Margaret’” was written by Dr Kip Jones, Reader in Qualitative Research and Performative Social Science, who shares a joint appointment in HSC and the Media School. The Chapter outlines his fascinating and innovative approach to research and its dissemination via a fusion of the arts and social sciences.

Jones utilizes his chapter to recount an unconventional journey to academic publishing that certainly did not follow the usual route of journal or book publication. The Chapter revisits “The one about Princess Margaret”, one of Jones’ earliest attempts at audio/visual script writing, by recalling his initial motivation and enthusiasm for finding innovative ways to express scholarship and how his thinking about the use of tools from the arts in social science has evolved since those early days. These personal experiences are then offered up as advice in a summation for both social scientists and arts practitioners who may be interested in this new paradigm of Performative Social Science through a discussion about collaboration and pathways to impact.

Popularizing Research offers academics, professional researchers, and students a new methodological book/website hybrid by way of a broad survey of ways to popularize research. As an edited interdisciplinary book accompanied by a website featuring samples of popularized research, it will have the potential of not only telling its readers about new genres, new media, new strategies, and new imperatives for popularizing research, but most importantly it will also be useful in showing how these new processes work in the end, what they sound like, and what they look like.

For more information and to view the video representing Jones’ contribution to the book, see his page on the book’s website under ‘Film’.

Congratulations to BU’s newly appointed AHRC reviewers!

Congratulations to Neal White and Dr Bronwen Thomas in the Media School who have both been appointed as reviewers to the AHRC. This is fantastic news!

Their membership of the AHRC peer review college will run from April 2012 until December 2015.

College members are invited to submit peer reviews which are used by moderating panels as the basis to make decisions on whether applications are of a fundable standard. Assessments are made using a pre-defined grading scale. Typically three reviews are required for each funding proposal.

Dr Richard Berger is already a member of the AHRC peer review college – you can read his previous blog post on the life of a reviewer here – http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2011/11/23/life-as-an-ahrc-panel-reviewer/

This is great news for Neal and Bronwen, and also for the Media School and the University. Congratulations!

Strategies for use of news websites in journalism education

Funding Source: Association for Journalism Education
Chief Investigators: Dr Einar Thorsen and Sue Wallace, The Media SchoolBournemouth University
Research Assistant: Dr Caitlin PatrickThe Media SchoolBournemouth University

 

Project brief

Journalism is among the most rapidly changing industries, affected by both technological advances and shifting consumer habits. This makes it paramount for journalism education to keep pace with trends such as changing journalism practices and the migration of audiences to online journalism. One possible outcome of this imperative is for online news or magazine websites to be developed to a) showcase student reporting, b) serve as an educational tool in professional journalism practices, and c) facilitate research into news and journalism innovation. Journalism courses are increasingly making use of their own websites in one or more of these ways, but development, as in the news industry itself, has tended to be haphazard and quite often on a trial and error basis.

This project seeks to address this problematic by conducting a survey of news and magazine websites used in journalism courses, their history, evolution and integration into education practice. The aim is not to produce a standard model to be applied in every case. Rather, the intention is to collect and share experiences to inform education and curriculum development. The sharing of best practice can also help to maintain high standards in journalism education.

 

International survey

Phase One of the project launched in March 2012 and involves an international survey into the use of news and magazine websites in journalism education.

We would be most grateful if anyone involved in journalism education could assist by completing our survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/websites-in-journalism-education

We are interested in the views of both staff and students, so please circulate as widely as possible.

The survey is completed anonymously. For staff it takes no more than 10-15 minutes to complete, with the student section possible to complete in 5 minutes. All staff and students on undergraduate and postgraduate journalism courses are encouraged to partake and we welcome your participation.

 

Case studies

Phase Two of the project will take place in the second half of 2012 and involve up to five site visits to observe how websites are used in live news days simulating real-life news operations. During these visits we propose to conduct follow-up interviews in conjunction with examination of websites, to scrutinise in finer detail the patterns of application and usage.

 

Project outcomes

This project will investigate both technological and editorial issues associated with use of websites in journalism education.

Findings from this research project will be made available online and as contributions to relevant scholarly journals, including the AJE journal Journalism Education, outlining experiences, advice, and different models of application. The findings may also be of use to accreditation bodies and industry panels.

If you would like further information on the project, you can view the original project brief.

The RDU wants YOU!

Calling all Supervisors and Staff – this is your opportunity to comment on BU’s ethics review process!

Do you supervise students on their research projects (or do you conduct your own research)?  Are you happy with the current BU research ethics review process?  Do you have suggestions/comments/frustrations about the policies and procedures in place?

If you find yourself gnawing at the bit with comments but not knowing how to express them, you’re in luck – I’m conducting a University-wide research ethics review, which will seek to validate implementation of a more streamlined ethics review process while also creating policies and procedures that are both robust and flexible…..and I want to hear from YOU!

Over the past couple of weeks I have met with each School Representative to the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) and over the coming weeks I will meet with the Deans and/or Deputy Deans to discuss the current ethics review policies and to propose changes to the process.  My aim for this review is to be as inclusive as possible, so I would like to open the opportunity to comment to all supervisors and staff involved in research here at BU.  If you’d like to meet with me as a group (School, framework, etc.), I’m happy to work out a day/time that works for everyone.  However, if you’d like to meet one-on-one, that suits me just fine as well.  Please send me an email at jhastingstaylor@bournemouth.ac.uk if you’d like to get involved!

‘Consensus statement’ on research integrity released

The UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) has welcomed calls for it to be placed at the centre of a toughened research integrity oversight regime in the UK.  Agreed at a high-level meeting organised by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the Committee on Publication Ethics and attended by a variety of senior figures from journals, funders and institutions, the Consensus Statement calls upon institutions and research funders to do more to prevent and detect misconduct.

According to a recent BMJ survey, research misconduct is “alive and well” in the UK; 13 percent of UK-based scientists and doctors claimed they had witnessed colleagues fabricating or altering research data ahead of publication in peer-reviewed journals and of the 2,700 scientists and doctors who responded, 6 percent admitted misconduct themselves when preparing or presenting research papers.  Research misconduct is important as it wastes resources, damages the credibility of science, and can cause harm (for example, to patients and the public). 

As part of my role as the Conduct Officer in the RDU, I’m currently undertaking a University-wide ethics review, which will (among other things) actively promote a high level of research integrity in all BU endeavours.  Within this review, I will ensure that the University is compliant with the guidelines agreed in the Consensus Statement and that we are doing our part to educate and inform staff and students on the importance of good research conduct.

Below is an abbreviated list of points agreed at the meeting:

  • The UK’s mechanisms for ensuring good research conduct and investigating research misconduct need to be strengthened.
  • Research misconduct is defined as behaviour by a researcher, intentional or not, that falls short of good ethical and scientific standards (Edinburgh 1999).  Research misconduct includes fabrication, falsification, suppression, or inappropriate manipulation of data; inappropriate image manipulation; plagiarism; misleading reporting; redundant publication; authorship malpractice such as guest or ghost authorship; failure to disclose funding sources or competing interests; misreporting of funder involvement; and unethical research (for example, failure to obtain adequate patient consent). 
  • Primary responsibility for good research conduct rests with individual researchers.  However, institutions have direct responsibility as employers to ensure good research conduct, and funders have a duty to hold institutions to account.
  • Research funders should require research institutions to appoint a senior named person as a research integrity officer and to adhere to an agreed code of conduct for research.
  • The code of conduct should mandate the setting up of effective systems to prevent and detect misconduct and proper investigation of allegations of research misconduct.

UKRIO is an independent body which provides expert advice and guidance about the conduct of research.  They cover all subject areas and help all involved in research, from research organisations, including universities and the NHS, to individual researchers and members of the public.

Fusion Conference – Wednesday 18 April: Call for contributions and book your place

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fusion Conference – Wednesday 18 April:
 
The ‘Fusion’ series of internal conferences and seminars for 2011/12 continues on Wednesday 18 April with a ‘Fusion in Action’ conference hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney in the Executive Business Centre, Lansdowne Campus, from noon to 5pm.

The conference entitled ‘Fusion in Action: Knowledge exchange with students, society and the professions’ is firmly grounded in the context of Vision & Values and seeks to illustrate Fusion at its best. 

The conference will include contributions from staff and students through a combination of presentations, demonstrations and discussions.

The conference aims to showcase examples of staff engaged in academic and/or research-led activities associated with the professions and wider society and to identify:

  • ·         how this helps create a unique academic experience for staff and students at BU
  • ·         how students and staff can share in the learning experience
  • ·         how such knowledge exchange can foster innovative learning experiences, pedagogic developments and research activities.

This half-day conference replaces the previous Education Enhancement Conference and Research Conferences held in previous years.  

Proposals for papers, poster presentations, discussion groups and/or demonstrations related to the theme are now invited.  These should be submitted to: fusionconference@bournemouth.ac.uk by Wednesday 7 March using the abstract form here: http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/staff_new/edq/conferences/staff_conferences.html

If you wish to discuss possible contributions, please contact Julie Northam on extension:  61208 or Jennifer Taylor on extension: 61271 in the first instance.

The conference is open to all staff contributing to the delivery of programmes and research activities at BU and partner locations and will also involve presentations from the University Executive Team and members of the Students’ Union. 

Link to bookings page:

Martin Kretschmer in the Financial Times

Professor Kretschmer, Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management at Bournemouth University (BU) has commented in the Financial Times in a full page analysis article on rent-seeking.

The article titled ‘Barriers to break through’ discusses economic rents arising from legal monopolies, such as a limited number of taxi licences, or extended periods of copyright protection. Rents allow some to grow rich at the expense of others, and create an incentive to devote resource to lobbying in pursuit of such rents. On copyright, the article says:

“Martin Kretschmer, a law professor at Bournemouth University in England, helped to fight a losing battle against a colossal creation of rents in Europe last year: the extension of copyright on recorded music from 50 to 70 years. The new law transfers €1bn out of the pockets of European consumers and into those of music companies and ageing rock stars.”

“The social argument for copyright is that it gives an incentive for artists to create work. But, as Mr Kretschmer says, ‘the fact that the extension was retrospective gives the game away really’. The Beatles have already recorded Rubber Soul; another 20 years of royalties will not make them record it again. The consensus among academics who study the term of copyright that would best balance the interests of consumers and creators, he adds, is that ’14 years is not an unreasonable starting point’.”

‘Barriers to break through’, by Robin Harding, US economics editor, 23 February, p. 11:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7e316f80-5c80-11e1-911f-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1nyOZZ3Fk

Revised Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Award Criteria

KTP diagramThe Technology Strategy Board has made some revisions to the criteria a project has to meet in order to receive a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) grant. This has caused some confusion. In order to obtain clarification, Neil Grice, the local Adviser visited the University last week for a meeting with School representatives.

Listed below are the current key award criteria:

  • Project is for the development of a company capability, not a product.
  • On completion, the company is left with a legacy, e.g. a new capability or process.
  • Innovative – leading edge knowledge is transferred to the company. Can’t be done by employing consultants, needs research.
  • Impact – the project makes a significant difference to the company which would not have happened without the KTP. University also receives significant results.
  • Challenge – Stretching for University and company.
  • Fits in with company strategy.
  • Company is financially sound.
  • Science and technology focussed. Difficult to obtain awards for social care, marketing and business development projects.
  • Awards are most likely to be granted for projects with small/medium sized organisations.

 

If you require any further information on KTPs in general please contact Peter Delgado, Commercialisation and KTP Officer, e-mail – pdelgado@bournemouth.ac.uk

Launch of Elsevier’s Journal of Destination Marketing & Management

In response to the significant growth in the number of publications emerging in the field and an increase in interest from policymakers and practitioners in academic research on the theme of tourist destinations, Professor Alan Fyall (School of Tourism, Bournemouth University), Dr Brian Garrod (Aberystwyth University, UK) and Dr Youcheng Wang (University of Central Florida, USA) have recently launched Elsevier’s new Journal of Destination Marketing & Management (JDMM). The ambitions of the journal are such that it aims to be the leading international journal for the study of tourist destinations by providing a critical understanding of all aspects of their marketing and management, as situated in their particular policy, planning, economic, geographical and historical contexts.

The objective of JDMM is to publish up-to-date, high-quality and original research papers alongside relevant and insightful reviews. As such, the journal aspires to be vibrant, engaging and accessible, and at the same time integrative and challenging. The journal will be of particular interest to those involved in the interdisciplinary approach of marketing and management, economic development and planning, geography, sociology, psychology, anthropology, retailing, policy making and public administration of tourist destinations.

Professor Fyall said: “This new journal provides a really exciting opportunity to consider the truly interdisciplinary nature of tourism destination research. JDMM is the first new journal from Elsevier in the area of tourism studies for more than 30 years which is testament to the increasing interest in the study of tourist destinations and the excellent quality and experience of the journal’s international editorial board”.

As if to confirm this prediction submissions for the first edition look like they will be both an interesting read and of the very highest quality while the journals first special issue on destination experiences (to be published in Spring 2013) has attracted widespread interest from around the world.

Find out more here: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-destination-marketing-and-management/

Tourism: a catalyst for existential authenticity

Over the last 2 terms the School of Tourism has been hosting a series of seminars on various aspects of research and philosophy.  The first was on reality, the second on post modernism and the latest will be on existential authenticity.

Dr Lorraine Brown has recently done some work which is helping recontextualize our ideas of existential authenticity in the area of Tourism.  All welcome.  Be prepared for some lively discussion and Lemon Drizzle cake!

Wednesday 7 March 1.30-3.00

TAG02

Lorraine Brown

Subject: Tourism: a catalyst for existential authenticity.  .

British Science Association Media Fellowship

British Science Association logo

The British Science Association run a Media Fellowship scheme for scientists, social scientists, engineers and clinicians to spend the summer working with national news journalists to improve their communication skills and media awareness.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for researchers at any stage of their career to spend 3-8 weeks working with print, TV and radio hosts including the BBC, Guardian and Times to produce accurate, well-informed stories about developments in science.

We welcome applicants from universities, institutes and industry across the UK and application is online at www.britishscienceassociation.org/mediafellows before 11 March 2012.

Come along to the BU-research based short-film ‘Rufus Stone’ screening & lunch on Tuesday

Pictured: Tom Kane, who plays 'Flip', Rufus' young friend, and Harry Kershaw as 'Rufus'.

Rufus Stone: a film about love, sexual awakening and treachery (30 minutes).
The Making of Rufus Stone: (7 minutes).
Tuesday 28 February
12:00 noon: Complimentary lunch
12:45- 13:45: Screening of films
Weymouth House 240 & 241
Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University
 

A screening of the short film Rufus Stone is open to BU students, staff, the public and takes place on Tuesday 28 February at 12:45 in our Hollywood-style Screening Room on BU’s Talbot Campus. Complimentary lunch will be available beforehand from 12 noon. You must register to attend at: diversity@bournemouth.ac.uk

Rufus Stone stars William Gaunt, familiar to many from his appearances in the TV sitcom, No Place Like Home and Elle Magazine’s ‘Star in the Making’ Harry Kershaw, both playing Rufus at different periods in his life story.

There will be time for discussion following the screening of the films with

Dr Kip Jones Executive Producer, Reader in Qualitative Research, HSC and a behind the scenes look at The Making of Rufus Stone with Trevor Hearing, The Media School.

As featured in The New York Times during its world premiere in 2011, Rufus Stone is a film which draws its story from three years of in-depth research to give an account of being gay and growing older in the British countryside. The film is now available for wider audiences to enjoy in Dorset and Hampshire as part of BU’s annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) History month, celebrating the lives and achievements of the LGBT community.

Rufus Stone is an innovative approach to a research three-year research project, ‘Gay and Pleasant Land?’ led by BU academic, Dr Kip Jones.  The project, about positioning, ageing and gay life in rural South West England and Wales, is a work package in the UK-wide New Dynamics of Ageing Project ‘Grey and Pleasant Land?: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Connectivity of Older People in Rural Civic Society’, funded by Research Councils UK.

Directed by award-winning Josh Appignanesi and produced by Parkville Pictures, the stories which form the foundation of the script for Rufus Stone are entirely based upon research undertaken by Dr Jones and his team from BU’s School of Health and Social Care (HSC) with the assistance of a citizens’ advisory committee. The film’s ‘fictional’ story was created over time using composite characters and situations, all uncovered in the ‘Gay and Pleasant Land?’ research project, through in-depth biographic life story interviews, focus groups, and actual site visits to the rural locations where older gay or lesbian citizens were living.

“Our hope is that the film will dispel many of the myths surrounding ageing, being gay and life in British rural settings,” said Jones, in his role as Executive Producer of Rufus Stone. “The film renders poetically the way in which our memories morph and play with our histories, much as dappled sunlight reveals, then conceals, an idyllic landscape”.

Rufus Stone the movie weblog
Rufus Stone the movie on facebook

The British host: just how welcoming are we? New research by the School of Tourism

Despite the rise in international education, there is a lack of literature on the domestic student perspective of the international class room. A study by School of Tourism lecturers Lorraine Brown and Steven Richards redresses the balance somewhat. Their paper, The British host: just how welcoming are we?, has just been published in the Journal of Further and Higher Education.

This paper reports findings from a qualitative study of British student attitudes to the presence in large numbers of international students on their tourism management programme. Analysis revealed home students to be empathetic, flexible and eager to learn about new cultures. This mindset was attributed by participants to their desire to work in the international tourism industry and their understanding that tourist satisfaction increases in line with host receptivity. This is shown in the quotes below:

“Studying alongside international students meant that we would get a completely diverse cultural input. The more the merrier!” Bianca 

“It was going to be really interesting learning about people’s backgrounds and cultures.” Natalie

“It does change you just in little ways, just in how you are with people, you don’t even realise it at first I don’t think. I guess it taught me that you sort of judge people a bit quick, and that you shouldn’t really.” Laura

“Any prejudices are challenged, and its no bad thing for me and my fellow students to all have to develop some cultural awareness if not sensitivity.” Bianca

The nature of the subject, tourism, has a massive international element to it; if you are doing tourism, you are quite likely to be interested in other cultures.

That employability was increased by exposure to different cultures was commonly stated, as shown in the following typical comments:

“I feel confident that I can go to some of these countries now because I am aware of what to expect, behaviour patterns, culture patterns, I can try some of the skills I have learnt from being here.” Diana

“The main benefit for me is that never before could I imagine working abroad. I would definitely feel more confident now.” John

“I definitely think I could get used to working with different cultures, even if it’s in London! London is going to be multinational and international. You get used to dealing with different cultures, just trying to understand people talking different languages. Now I know that even if at first it might be a bit difficult, you can always communicate and work it out.” Laura

Lorraine and Steve’s study has just received coverage in the Times Higher Education Supplement – http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=419037&c=1