Category / BU research

Latest BU REF Highlight Report now available

The latest BU REF Highlight Report (#12) is now available for BU staff to download. It covers the period from January to July 2012.

Features in this report include information about:

You can access your copy of the report from the following location on the I-drive (just copy and paste the following into Windows Explorer): I:\R&KEO\Public\RDU\REF\REF preparations\REF highlight reports

Dementia

Most of us know someone touched by dementia – a friend, relative or loved one.  As the average age of our population grows ever older, the chances are some of us will be affected.

As such dementia is emerging as a new strategic priority for BU, with investment from our HEIF funds to create the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute, or BUDI as the team like to call it.  The team is growing rapidly working on a range of funded dementia projects with more in the pipeline. Working with the Director of BUDI Anthea Innes, Lee-Ann Fenge, Sue Barker, Vanessa Healsip, Michele Board have recently completed a review of Higher Education Dementia Curriculums on behalf of the Higher Education Dementia Network.  Work that reflects Anthea’s previous experience leading masters and undergraduate programmes in Dementia Studies and the dementia focus of social work and nursing colleagues within the School of Health and Social Care.  A number of research and knowledge exchange projects are underway including:

  • An ongoing programme of work funded by Bournemouth Borough Council involves the BUDI team delivering a range of activities via two different programmes; a ‘cupcake club’ and a technology group.  The evaluation report isn’t due until February 2013 so a lot is happening over the autumn months.
  • A BU Research Development Grant enabled an early collaboration between the Schools of Tourism and Health and Social Care.  This project led by Anthea Innes (HSC) and Stephen Page (Tourism) is currently being written up for publication and dissemination.  It is the first study to conceptualise ‘Dementia Friendly Tourism’ as an area worth investigation to try and improve the leisure opportunities for those with dementia and their families; but the project will also produce recommendations to  help advise tourism and leisure providers to enhance their provision to promote inclusion of those with dementia.
  • An international study GRIID (Gateway Rural International Initiatives in Dementia), involving partners from Australia, Canada, India, Sweden and the UK is also in the writing up stages following a policy synthesis and survey of Alzheimer Disease International (www.adi.co.uk) members.
  • European work is on-going too, focused on Malta where Anthea has long established links working on improving the quality of care offered in Maltese hospital wards
  • A multi-site NIHR project has just commenced exploring site loss and dementia for people who continue to live at home.  This is a collaboration between the Universities of York, BU, Cambridge, Worcester and consumer organisations; the Housing and Dementia Research Consortium (HDRC); Pocklington Trust supported by the Alzheimer Society and the Macular Disease Society

But this is just the start with money being committed by many of large funding agencies this is a societal theme of the moment.  BU is part of a large FP7 grant application currently first reserve for funding, and BU is coordinating a multimillion ESRC grant application with 12 other institution due for submission this autumn.  Working locally is also very much on the agenda.  Staff in BUDI are working for example in partnership with commissioners and clinicians across Dorset to secure funding via the NHS South of England Dementia Challenge fund with BU as the evaluator for a number of innovative local projects proposed by those delivering dementia care every day.

BUDI launched 16 May 2012 just three months ago and the progress is impressive, but there is also a long way to go to achieve its objectives of making a real contribution to improving the lives of those with dementia and those who provide support whether they be family or paid clinicians and carers.  This is not just an initiative launched from HSC but a cross BU one and I am delighted to announce the secondment of Samuel Nyman (Psychology, DEC) to BUDI to strengthen its work force and continue his existing collaboration with Anthea which includes a match funded BU PhD Studentship with Anthea Innes and Marilyn Cash which is looking at the role of gaming technology to support older men with dementia in rural areas.  BUDI is looking for staff who wish to engage from across BU and is truly multidisciplinary in its approach and reach.  There may be other who are interested in similar secondments and I would encourage them to get in touch with Anthea.  DEC and Tourism are already involved with BUDI contributing staff and time but there is huge scope for others to get involved for example in the Media School.  Why not drop Anthea a line and get in touch?

Also starting in September is Patricia McParland as BUDI Project Manager or Engagement Consultant, a post-doc appointment is pending, PhD student Ben Hicks will start soon and we will be advertising for an Associate Director for BUDI soon.  BUDI has the full support of UET and is receiving strategic investment to make things happen quickly; dementia is of the moment as illustrated by the Prime Minister Dementia Challenge launched earlier this year and it’s for BU to cease this moment.  BUDI offers the opportunity to have a real impact, to make a difference in our society, to develop practice and research and to do it quickly.  Please get involved and get in touch with Anthea or myself directly.

 

Dementia Cupcake Club – research in the community

Throughout July and August 2012 BUDI (on behalf of Bournemouth Borough Council) have been delivering a series of sessions called the Cupcake Club at a local care scheme for people with dementia. For six weeks participants have been taking part in a variety of fun activities such as decorating cupcakes, arts and crafts, gardening and playing the Nintendo Wii. The purpose of the Cupcake Club was to provide a fun and informal environment for people with dementia to be creative and active over the summer period. The Cupcake Club has provided BUDI with a wonderful opportunity to go into the community and meet a group of interesting, funny and charismatic people. The sessions were thoroughly enjoyed by both the participants and the research team and apart from providing a lot of laughter, the sessions have shown that people with dementia are as capable as anyone else and that they are also quite good at Wii bowling!

A second Cupcake Club group has now started and analysis of the evaluation data from both Cupcake Clubs will begin in the Autumn. All findings will be drawn together in an evaluation report for Bournemouth Bourough Council towards the end of the year. In the meantime there is a lot of fun for the BUDI team faciliating these sessions in the community and for the participants.

Rufus Stone scoops 2 awards at the prestigious Rhode Island International Film Festival!

Rufus Stone  has just scooped two awards at the prestigious Rhode Island International Film Festival in the USA, the only short to win in two categories at the festival:  the Grand prize in the Alternative Spirit category and the Youth Jury Award for best GLBT film at the festival.

The Rhode Island International Film Festival consisted of six days and nights of screenings, meetings and greetings featured more than 200 films selected from more than 4,000 entrants.

The Youth Jury is a programme that introduces youth to the world of independent film. The youth attend multiple screenings during the Festival, Q&A’s, and festival events. Their goal is to deliberate, and choose a Best Feature, Best Documentary, and Best Short to receive the Youth Jury award.

Just few reactions to Rufus Stone from audience members at earlier screeings:

“Critically the authenticity of the film shone through – the characters were real and genuine”.

  •   “emotionally gripping”
  •   “technically innovative and striking”
  •   “a brilliant way to portray research”
  •   “beautiful and very intense”
  •   “a quite remarkable film”
  •   “a brilliant film, beautifully crafted and full of empathy”

“Rarely does one get the chance of seeing a love affair between two men portrayed on screen credibly and realistically, not to say very movingly”.

“A kind of ‘ To Kill a Mocking Bird’ type film that makes you really think about your morals”.

Bournemouth University’s Kip Jones (The Media School &; HSC) said, “Winning at prestigious film festivals such as RIIFF is important in getting the film seen by a wide audience. This is the kind of impact that we imagined from the outset of the research project itself”. 

“I am particularly pleased for our director, Josh Appignanesi, who took on board the concept of fusion of research and a professional film and visually brought it to life through Rufus Stone.”

“Gay and Pleasant Land? -a study about positioning, ageing and gay life in rural South West England and Wales” was  funded by Research Councils UK.The Rufus Stone microsite gives more information about the film, and the research that inspired it.

Luisa Cescutti-Butler’s Purrrrr-fect PhD

‘Miniature’ cat and my PhD

Luisa Cescutti-Butler, Senior Midwifery Lecturer, Part-time PhD student, School of Health and Social Care

I have two cats but only one of them is the subject of this blog. It is ‘Mini Cat’ who takes centre stage and she is a black moggy. Despite myths and folklore surrounding black cats, Mini is nothing but a delight. She is a voracious killer of birds (I don’t like that characteristic), will eat anything and everything and is very friendly and loving towards her human parents. Why am I blogging about her you may ask, and what has she got to do with my doctoral studies?

I recently had time out from work to catch up on important elements of my research (such as transcribing interviews and getting to grips with NVivo) and would spend all day at my laptop in my study. The photos show Mini sitting beside me whilst I am trying to input data onto NVivo, a computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS). Ah ‘cute’ you might be thinking! Not so cute when she walks over the keys trying to gain your attention as it’s now ‘three o’ clock human mommy’ and ‘I want feeding’ – “purr purr”. If I ignore her because I’m in the middle of coding and am concentrating and don’t want to lose momentum, she will find other ways of attracting my attention. Her next tactic is to jump up onto the window-sill which is directly behind the laptop and start knocking things off it!  If that doesn’t work, she will jump down and start walking over the laptop again– “purr”, and eventually sit and look at me with her big green eyes and give a little meow! It’s no good now; I give up, go downstairs and feed her and Nutmeg, cat no 1.

On the other hand when Mini’s stomach is full she will often come up to the study, find a comfortable spot and sleep. She keeps me company and I find myself talking aloud to her, there’s nobody else I can share my thoughts with. I am not a sad and mad ‘cat woman’ but my other half is out at work as well. It is said that cats can help with studies, I would love Mini to stop murdering all the delightful birds and instead put those hunting skills to good use, such as helping me to find those elusive themes from all the data I have thus collected, but unfortunately her talents do not extend that far.

She is a nuisance sometimes, demanding my attention either for feeding or stroking but I wouldn’t have it any other way. People always say that cats are aloof but until you have one as a pet you will discover that is not true, they like to be with their owners even if their human mommy is battling with the intricacies of NVivo. However if any other PhD researcher knows of a cat with ‘transcribing skills’ give me a call!!!! I have to end this blog because Mini is hungry, ‘meow, meow’!!!

The Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and Management explain UK copyright law through animated videos

If somebody creates a parody or spoof based on a popular original work, does the spoof infringe the copyright of the original artist?

These videos explain the current status of expressions such as parody under UK copyright law.  Parodies use elements of an original work to create a new, humorous or critical expression.  Some countries, such as the USA, Australia and France, already allow the creation of parody without the need to obtain permission from the original copyright owner.

Currently, the UK government is considering making some changes to the existing Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA 1988). These videos explore those proposals and the arguments on both sides of the debate.

In 2011, the government initiated an independent review of intellectual property, carried out by Professor Ian Hargreaves: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/hargreaves.htm
The report recommended adding an exception to copyright for the purposes of parody, which would allow users to create and share parodies without infringing copyright in certain circumstances.

A Bournemouth University report on the proposed copyright exception for Parody, authored by Dr Kris Erickson, Dr Dinusha Mendis, and Professor Martin Kretschmer, will be available in September 2012:
http://www.cippm.org.uk/publications.html

It is hoped that these videos will be helpful to all users of copyright:  teachers, librarians, artists, producers, journalists and members of the public.

The videos were created by research assistant Bartolomeo Meletti, with support from the Department of Law at Bournemouth University. 

Animation and editing by Marco Bagni – http://www.lostconversation.com
Filming, voice over and animation sound design by Nathan Revill @ Creative http://www.dorsetcreative.co.uk
Illustration by Danilo Rečević – http://www.danilor.it/
Music: Progressive — IB Audio
Interviewee: Dr Kris Erickson
Contributors: Professor Martin Kretschmer; Dr Kris Erickson; Dr Dinusha Mendis; Professor Ruth Towse.

Stepping stones to the north: ‘citizen science’ reveals that protected areas allow wildlife to spread in response to climate change

Pippa Gillingham from the School of Applied Sciences has co-authored a new study, led by scientists at the University of York, which has shown how birds, butterflies, other insects and spiders have colonised nature reserves and areas protected for wildlife, as they move north in response to climate change and other environmental changes.

Adonis blues can only colonise new sites which already contain horse-shoe vetch, the plant species that their caterpillars eat.  These plants are restricted to grassland on chalk and limestone, most of which have been converted into agricultural crops; by S. J. Marshall (http://www.flickr.com/photos/16155010@N04/)

The study of over 250 species is published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS). The conclusions were based on the analysis of millions of records of wildlife species sent in predominantly by members of the public.

The work represents a major new discovery involving collaborators in universities, research institutes, conservation charities, and regional and national government but – crucially – fuelled by ‘citizen science’.

Many species need to spread towards the poles where conditions remain cool enough for them to survive climate warming. But doing this is complicated because many landscapes across the world are dominated by human agriculture and development, which form barriers to the movement of species.  The mainstay of traditional conservation has been to establish protected areas and nature reserves to provide refuges against the loss of habitats and other threats in the surrounding countryside. 

But this method of nature conservation has been questioned in recent years, partly because of continuing degradation of habitats in reserves in some parts of the world.  Increasingly, however, the value of protected areas is being question because climate change is taking place – wildlife sites stay where they are while animal species move in response to changing conditions.

However, the new research shows that protected areas are the places that most animal species colonise as they spread into new regions. “Protected areas are like stepping stones across the landscape, allowing species to set up a succession of new breeding populations as they move northwards,” said lead author Professor Chris Thomas, of the University of York.

Co-author Dr Phillipa Gillingham, now a Lecturer in the School of Applied Sciences at Bournemouth University, calculated that species are on average around four times more likely to colonise nature reserves than might be expected.  “For the seven focal species of birds and butterflies that we studied in greatest detail, 40% of new colonisations occurred in the mere 8.4 per cent of the land that was protected,” she said.  “Similar patterns were observed among more than 250 invertebrate species.”

But the study showed that species vary greatly in how much they need reserves.

“Some species, such as the Dartford Warbler and Silver-Spotted Skipper butterfly, are largely confined to nature reserves,” said Dr David Roy, of the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. “Whereas others like the Nightjar and Stone Curlew are less dependent on these sites.” 

Dr Richard Bradbury, of the RSPB, said: “Sites of importance for wildlife stand out like beacons in otherwise impoverished landscapes. This study shows that the hugely important role they play now will continue undiminished in the future. Protecting these arks, as well as restoring and re-creating new ones where we can, will provide the vital network enabling more species to survive the spectre of climate change.”

 “This study is a great example of how volunteer recorders and national monitoring schemes together provide the information to answer key conservation questions of global importance, such as how we can help wildlife cope with climate change,” said James Pearce-Higgins of the British Trust for Ornithology. “Only through the dedicated effort of so many people can we undertake the scale of long-term monitoring required.”

Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP)

Promoting physical activity in older age

Invitation for proposals: The cross-Research Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) programme wishes to support research into the physiological effects and behaviours associated with physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the older population.

This nine funding partner call is issued under the auspices of the cross-Research Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) programme and is led by the Medical Research Council on behalf of the BBSRC, the ESRC, the EPSRC and the UK health departments: Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates, NIHR, Health and Social Care Research and Development Office, Northern Ireland and the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research, Wales.

Despite wide spread recognition of the physical and mental health benefits of physical activity at all ages, activity levels commonly decline in older age, whilst the prevalence of sedentary behaviour increases. The cross-Research Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) programme wishes to support research into the  physiological effects and behaviours associated with physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the older population, which will inform the future development of effective interventions to motivate and sustain activity in this target population.  Approximately £5M is available to support research arising from this call. Applicants may apply for up to £1 million (80% fEC) for a maximum period of three years.

Key dates

   
Call open for applications in Je-S Monday 17th September 2012
Deadline for full proposals 4pm, Thursday18th October 2012
Potential triage of proposals November 2012
Commissioning Panel meeting March 2013
Decisions to applicants By end March 2013

Contact

In addition to this document, applicants should read the MRC Applicant Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions for this call.

Dr Katie Finch

MRC programme Manager for Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, E-mail: llhw@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk, Tel: 01793 416350

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

Launch of the National Coastal Tourism Academy

On Tuesday 13 August Eric Pickles, MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced the allocation of a Coastal Communities Fund grant to the National Coastal Tourism Academy. The grant of £2 million will create the world’s only specialist coastal tourism academy, with the aim to turn local expertise into knowledge to share with towns across the country and internationally.

Bournemouth was chosen due to its unique position in the tourism industry. Eric Pickles said: “We want Bournemouth to be a catalyst in development. The town already has the infrastructure and resources like Bournemouth University specialising in tourism for this to be a success and to be able to communicate to struggling towns.”

Under the Bournemouth and Poole Joint Tourism Management Board, the Academy will be a combined project involving Bournemouth University, Bournemouth Borough Council and members of the Poole and Bournemouth Tourism industry. In addition to the economic benefits, Dr Keith Wilkes, Dean of the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University has been celebrating the opportunities the project will bring: “Bournemouth will be host to the first specialist Coastal Tourism Academy anywhere in the world – reflecting Bournemouth’s status as a major coastal tourism destination and the School of Tourism’s national and international reputation as a centre of research excellence and major provider of tourism, hospitality and event management undergraduate and postgraduate education”.

The National Coastal Tourism Academy is a ground breaking knowledge transfer institution, designed to accelerate tourism growth. The project shall be split into three growth initiatives: a Coastal Activity Park, a resort wide visitor experience programme and coastal tourism product research and development programme. Within the next few years, the National Coastal Tourism Academy will provide world-class educational and professional training to coastal tourism businesses, as well as producing a central sharing database and communications link for teams and individuals looking to expand their knowledge or businesses.

Dr Bruce Grant-Braham, member of the Dorset Local Economic Partnership (LEP) and Senior Lecturer in the School of Tourism, said that tourism is the backbone of Bournemouth’s economy, and that there is plenty of potential for development across Britain that coincides with the surge of ‘staycations’ and interest in the UK tourism industry, so now is the right time to be investing in expanding and creating sustainable coastal tourism opportunities with real local significance.

Bournemouth is a lively and modern coastal resort, but the introduction of this unique and innovative academy could raise its status to one of global significance. “Like all good ideas” concluded Eric Pickles, “I’m astonished it hadn’t been thought of before.”

Read the article on the Guardian website here: Bournemouth wins £2m to set up first coastal tourism academy in Europe

Latest journal impact factors

Following the release of the latest Journal Citation Reports® on the Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Knowledge database, we have compiled a list of the top ranking journals in various fields related to BU research. BU staff can access these lists by going to the designated folder on the I-drive (copy and paste the following path into Windows Explorer and press return): I:\R&KEO\Public\RDU\Journal Impact Factors 2012.

If there are any additional subject areas that you would like to see included, please leave a comment to this post, below.

Related blog posts that may be of interest:

Fusion Investment Funding/Fund

Within the new Fusion Funding prospect here at Bournemouth University, I have just had success for a project examining  teaching practice and the use of media in the classroom.  The specific focus relates bullying, and name calling in school, and how media may be used to educate young learners.  I am very excited about this project, as it extends my foundational research in media representation and sexual diversity, allowing me to consider how teachers might relate issues of minority social identity.  Its very early days, as the project does not officially start until the 1st of October, and to be honest I have never done a blog before, and I (deliberately) have no presence on Facebook, Twitter etc, so the purpose of the blog is to reflect back on my progress for myself, as much as anything else, and if anyone reading this finds some interest, that’s great!

With this in mind, I thought I might share the background for the project.  A few years back in the late 198os, a secondary school teacher friend of mine often told me of instances when he used to play educational dramas about gay and lesbian youth identity issues.  I remember one time, he told me that he had played the television drama ‘The Two of  Us’ (Roger Tongue, 1988), which features a ‘kind of’ teen romance. This was quite daring, as at the time there was the backdrop of Clause 28, and the prohibition of educating school audiences about gay and lesbian identity.  Wind forward, many years later, and referencing an entirely different country, the work of Debra Chasnoff and her production company Groundspark, offered great insight.  Educational documentaries such as ‘Thats a Family’ (2000), and ‘Straighlaced’ (2009) produced by Groundspark offered insight into the diversity of families (adopted, single parent, same sex parents, diverse ethnicity etc) and the problem of stereotyping gender norms for teens.  Also Groundspark produced ‘Lets Get Real’ talking about issues of name calling in school.  At Bournemouth I had discussed the merits of these documentaries to students in the year 2 Media and Diversity option that I held.  I was inspired how students engaged with the subject area, and how they related these issues to their own productions.

More recently, specifically September 2010, I was invited to speak at the Westminster Media Forum.  The conference subject area was LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) representation in mainstream media.  I was thrilled to present a very brief paper to quite a diverse audience, including media professionals, broadcasters, and government representatives. My paper had been related to a need for more diverse representations.   The day after the conference, I read in the Guardian about the suicide of Tyler Clementi, a first year student at Rutgers university in the US.  He had killed himself, as his roommate had secretly filmed Tytler with a same sex partner.  The alleged shame appeared too much to bear for Tyler.  This high profile case made me investigate this further online.  I then discovered the ‘It Gets better Project’, a web site that was produced to offer support for youth contemplating suicide, due to oppression for sexual diversity.  What I did not know was that in the month of September 2010, a number of other gay male youth committed suicide also, stimulating video contribution to the ‘It Gets better Project’. I have done some papers on this area, considering the use of the site, but increasingly I am interested in how name calling is a real issue for young learners, and how words such as ‘gay’, ‘dyke’, ‘queer’ and ‘faggot’, are often unchallenged within diverse social environments.

So this is the very basic background to my research project.  Some great research has already taken place looking at LGBT identity issues in school, such as the No Outsiders Project (funded by the ESRC) a few years back relative to primary schools, but I am looking to extend these ideas, looking at how media is used in the secondary school classroom.

As a precursor to this project, I recently presented a paper at the Screen Conference in Glasgow, considering how children may read representations.  I was particularly interested in how young learners may read irony, which enables youth to make complex judgments about ‘earnest’ or ‘hyper-real’ representations.

So this is my starting point. I’ll add to this blog, as it all progresses.  Thanks again, supporters of this bid.

BU’s ECOSAL Team visiting Northern Ireland to investigate the coastal salt working site at Ballycastle, Co Antrim

BU’s ECOSAL Team recently visited Northern Ireland to investigate the coastal salt working site at Ballycastle, Co Antrim. ECOSAL is a multi-national EU-funded project that is recording the archaeological evidence for salt working around the Atlantic Coast of the UK, France, Spain and Portugal. It is also recording the ecology and biodiversity of these sites, many of them located in fragile environments such as lagoons. Key sites will be included on a European Salt Route, linking sites from all four countries while telling the story of salt production, the uses of salt, its economic history, etc.

The photo shows that it’s not all sunshine and celebrity media events, but on this occasion we found some excellent evidence for the 17th to 19th century salt-workings at Ballycastle, a once thriving industry now completely gone.

From left to right in the photo: David Cranstone, Wes Forsythe, Mark Brisbane, Michael Fradley and Danny McGill.

You can find out more about ECOSAL at our BU website: http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/applied-sciences/research/ecosal-atlantis/index.html

Research Professional – Training

Research Professional are running a series of online training broadcasts aimed at introducing users to the basics of creating and configuring their accounts on ResearchProfessional.  They are holding monthly sessions, covering everything you need to get started with ResearchProfessional.  The broadcast sessions will run for no more than 60 minutes, with the opportunity to ask questions via text chat.  Each session will cover:

  • Self registration and logging in
  • Building searches
  • Setting personalised alerts
  • Saving and bookmarking items
  • Subscribing to news alerts
  • Configuring your personal profile

Each session will run between 10.00am and 11.00am (UK) on the fourth Tuesday of each month.  You can register here for your preferred date:

25th September 2012: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/156092065

23rd October 2012: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/864991824

27th November 2012: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/326491841

These are free and comprehensive training sessions and so this is a good opportunity to get to grips with how Research Professional can work for you.

In addition to the above, there are a set of 2-3 minute videos online, designed to take a user through all the key features of ResearchProfessionalTo access the videos, please use the following link: http://www.youtube.com/researchprofessional 

Research Professional have created several guides to help introduce users to ResearchProfessional. These can be downloaded here.

Quick Start Guide: Explains to users their first steps with the website, from creating an account to searching for content and setting up email alerts, all in the space of a single page.

User Guide: More detailed information covering all the key aspects of using ResearchProfessional.

Administrator Guide: A detailed description of the administrator functionality.

School of Tourism’s Dr. Debbie Sadd undertaking an ethnographic study of volunteering at the Olympics

Dr. Debbie Sadd, from School of Tourism, had the fantastic opportunity to work as a volunteer with the world’s photographers and journalists covering the basketball at the London Olympic Games. Her duties varied from day to day but involved sitting court side with the photographers making sure they don’t stray from their allotted areas to working ‘backstage’ ensuring all the required technical material is available for them to transmit their stories/photos back to their respective editors. Some days the sports specialists rang through whilst the transmissions were live on US television asking for facts and figures, which have to be available immediately for broadcast in the US. Debbie’s group had their own system called info+ which contained all the necessary information and they were required to be proficient in its use pretty quickly.

In Debbie’s own words, the experience was “quite stressful and tiring but gosh have I seen some exciting games and met some wonderful people and I even got to see my hero Kobe Bryant!”

The International Early Labour Research Group

Early labour Group

Photo (L to R): Dr Helen Cheyne (University of Stirling), Dr Mechthild Gross (Hannover Medical School), Dr Mary-Ann Davey (La Trobe University), Professor Patti Janssen (University of British Columbia), Professor Helen Spiby (University of Nottingham), and Professor Vanora Hundley (Bournemouth University). Not shown Gillian Hanley (University of British Columbia).

Researchers from across the globe met in Stirling last week to discuss early labour research and to plan an international collaborative study. The meeting was the result of a successful Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) planning grant to bring together researchers from Canada, Australia, Germany, England and Scotland. We have met on a number of occasions in the last couple of years, but usually at a conference when time is limited, so it was a real luxury to have two full days to discuss early labour care and to plan a possible intervention for women in the latent phase of labour. Although we have all conducted studies in this area, developing a complex intervention for use in five countries raises many novel challenges. Discussion focused on the varying models of care and current guidelines – the NICE and KCND guidelines used in the UK were much appreciated by our international colleagues. We left the meeting invigorated, but also aware that there is much to do. The first step will be a special issue of Midwifery later this year dedicated to early labour and guest edited by two of the team.

School of Tourism’s Ivana Rihova gets ‘stuck in’ with her research fieldwork at this year’s summer festivals!

School of Tourism’s Ivana Rihova – a PhD Student at the John Kent Institute in Tourism – certainly experienced what ‘getting stuck in’ with fieldwork can feel like at this year’s summer festivals. As part of her research project entitled “Consumers as producers: customer-to-customer co-creation in the context of festival experiences” Ivana is visiting five multi-day outdoor festivals in England and Wales this summer. Through participant observation and interviews with festival goers she aims to explore how value is co-created in the context of festival participants’ social practices and experiences. Ivana’s research, supervised by Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis, Dr. Miguel Moital and Dr. Mary Beth Gouthro (all based at the School of Tourism), highlights various issues related to customer co-creation in socially dense festival contexts. The findings will not only contribute theoretically to our understanding of how people co-create value with each other, but could also help turn event and festival experiences from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Animating Stillness: The convergence of painting, animation and photography

BU’s very own Artist in Residence and Lecturer in the Media School, Susan Sloan, recently had her exhibition of motion capture portraits displayed on The Wall at The Photographers Gallery in London.  Susan’s work raises issues in terms of data object relations and computer animation – or ‘animatography’.  

Using motion capture data as the core material, Susan’s work explores the portrait through the medium of animation, focusing on the simple gestures and movements of her subjects.  Framed as a single shot and composed around the head and torse of the sitter, the work refers to the traditions and conventions of portraiture, but raises questions concerning the convergence of painting, animation and photography.

Susan’s Me and Mrs Sloan (2007) – pictured above – explores data object relations in the form of a motion captured portrait of her mother synthesized with motion captured movement by herself. It is a work about the potential space itself.  In this instance, Susan has modelled the head and upper torso of her mother, in 3-D animation software, and then animated the head and shoulders, based on subtle motion captured material of herself.  In this way, the data object is her mother combined with herself in terms of the motion captured material. It is Sloan’s work, and therefore the dialogue with what is ‘not-me’ is a fascinating one.  The motion captured material is also ‘not-my-mother’, and instead it is a record of Sloan’s slight movements.  A full review of Susan’s show is available here.