Category / Featured

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) now open


Have your say

The Advance HE Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) is now open


We are keen to make sure our PGRs have the best possible experience while studying with us. To do this, we need to know what you think works well and what as a University we could do better. This is your chance to tell us about your experience as a PGR at Bournemouth University. We also kindly ask that all supervisors encourage their PGRs to participate in the survey.

Thank you to all PGRs who completed the 2023 PRES survey – we listened to you and your feedback has helped us to enhance your PGR experience in a range of areas.

The survey is now open and will close on Thursday 16 May 2024. Upon completing the survey, PGRs will automatically entered into a free prize draw. Four winners will be able to claim a £50 shopping voucher. Terms and conditions apply.

In addition, we will be making a £1 donation for every survey completed to the student mental health wellbeing charity, Student Minds.

Once you have completed the survey, you are entitled to claim a coffee voucher worth £3.20, from the Doctoral College to use at any BU Chartwells outlet. Please come to the Doctoral College (DLG08, Talbot Campus) to collect your voucher. You will need to show a screen shot of the final page of the survey in order to claim your voucher.

How do I take part?

PGRs will receive an email to your student account from the University on Monday 15 April 2024 containing a unique link which will allow you to access and complete the survey. If you can’t find this email, contact PRES@bournemouth.ac.uk and we’ll help you to get access.

What will I be asked?

The survey will take around 15 minutes to complete. Your response is confidential, and any reporting will be entirely anonymous. The survey is your chance to tell us about your experience as a PGR at BU. It will ask you to share your views on supervision, resources, research community, progress and assessment, skills and professional development and wellbeing.

Why should I take part?

Your feedback is important. The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey is the only national survey of PGRs and so is the only way for us to compare how we are doing with other institutions and to make changes that will improve your experience in the future.

More information

If you would like to know more about the survey, please visit: PRES 2024.

We hope you take the opportunity to get involved this year and help us make improvements to your experience.

Best wishes,

The Doctoral College

For any PRES related queries, please email: PRES@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

New book: Money and Inflation: A New Approach to Monetary Analysis for the 21st Century

Dr Mehdi Chowdhury of Bournemouth University Business School has published a book titled “Money and Inflation: A New Approach to Monetary Analysis for the 21st Century”. The publisher is Palgrave Macmillan.

A short summary:

The book aimed to develop a new scholarship on money and inflation on the background of the cost of living crisis faced by many countries of the world, and the inability of nation states to address monetary matters like inflation and the debt crisis.

Accordingly, the book proposes to go beyond the usual view of money expressed by monetary units like dollars, pounds, gold coins, bitcoins, bank money etc. and demonstrates that money is better identified as the ability of a person/party to obtain goods and services from another person/party. Such ability can originate via the possession of the money in usual sense, but also due to force, coercion, altruism, trust and human biological characteristics.

Money therefore encompasses all human activities and always in existence irrespective of forms or representation. Money, i.e., the ability to obtain originates due individual and social idiosyncrasies; and appears or disappear when those change. Inflation, instead of the usual measures expressed via the price indices, is identified as the increased need to utilise human body and mind to obtain goods and services from others. Hence inflation is connected with the availability of money, i.e. the ability to obtain of different segments of an economy. The causes of inflation are identified in the balance of triangle comprising non-market factors, the stored ability and the borrowed ability.

The current inflation can be explained by the increased desire to consume observed in modern societies, as well as the distortionary policies of governments favouring one section of the economy over another; both inducing individuals and sections to employ more body and mind to create money, i.e., the ability to obtain goods and services.

The book did not aim to provide a comprehensive analysis of economic policies, but the UK housing market has been studied to demonstrate how the policies taken during Covid-19 may have caused the inflation in the UK housing market through distortion.

The book suggests that the policies of the apex institutions like governments or central banks should on principle aim not to disrupt the balance of this triangle and to avoid distortion. This recommendation is equally applicable for the Third World countries; however, those countries should also aim to design economic policies to shield themselves from distortions caused by actions of international economic actors.

Individuals can also shield themselves from inflation i.e., the need to utilise more body and mind, by containing the desire to consume more that characterises modern societies.

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2024


Have your say

PRES will launch on Monday 15 April 2024 for postgraduate research (PGR) students to complete.

Look out for an email from the University containing your unique link to the survey.


We are keen to make sure our PGRs have the best possible experience while studying with us. To do this, we need to know what you think works well and what as a University we could do better. This is your chance to tell us about your experience as a PGR at Bournemouth University. We also kindly ask that all supervisors encourage their PGRs to participate in the survey.

Thank you to all PGRs who completed the 2023 PRES survey – we listened to you and your feedback has helped us to enhance your PGR experience in a range of areas.

This year the survey will open on Monday 15 April 2024 and close on Thursday 16 May 2024. Upon completing the survey, PGRs will automatically entered into a free prize draw. Four winners will be able to claim a £50 shopping voucher. Terms and conditions apply.

In addition, we will be making a £1 donation for every survey completed to the student mental health wellbeing charity, Student Minds.

Once you have completed the survey, you are entitled to claim a coffee voucher worth £3.20, from the Doctoral College to use at any BU Chartwells outlet. Please come to the Doctoral College (DLG08, Talbot Campus) to collect your voucher. You will need to show a screen shot of the final page of the survey in order to claim your voucher.

How do I take part?

PGRs will receive an email from the University on Monday 15 April 2024 containing a unique link which will allow you to access and complete the survey. If you can’t find this email, contact PRES@bournemouth.ac.uk and we’ll help you to get access.

What will I be asked?

The survey will take around 15 minutes to complete. Your response is confidential, and any reporting will be entirely anonymous. The survey is your chance to tell us about your experience as a PGR at BU. It will ask you to share your views on supervision, resources, research community, progress and assessment, skills and professional development and wellbeing.

Why should I take part?

Your feedback is important. The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey is the only national survey of PGRs and so is the only way for us to compare how we are doing with other institutions and to make changes that will improve your experience in the future.

More information

If you would like to know more about the survey, please visit: PRES 2024.

We hope you take the opportunity to get involved this year and help us make improvements to your experience.

Best wishes,

The Doctoral College

For any PRES related queries, please email: PRES@bournemouth.ac.uk

The Month in Research: March 2024

A cartoon image of black and white hands clapping on a yellow background

The Month in Research

The Month in Research is our monthly round-up sharing research and knowledge exchange successes from across the previous month, showcasing the amazing work taking place across BU.

Your achievements

Thank you to everyone who has put forward their achievements, or those of colleagues, this month.

Funding

 Congratulations to all those who have had funding for research and knowledge exchange projects and activities awarded in January. Highlights include:

  • Dr Catherine Talbot (Faculty of Science and Technology) has been awarded c.£25,000 from the ESRC for their project EquaDem Network Plus: A national network on addressing inequalities in dementia diagnosis and care and building capacity, in partnership with Liverpool University (lead institution).
  • Dr Suelen Carls (Faculty of Media and Communication) has been awarded c.£25,000 by the Leverhulme Trust for their project International Business and Intellectual Property Rights in the Latin American Institutional Perspective
  • Professor Carol Clark (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences) has been awarded c.£2.6 million by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for their project INSIGHT-BU, in partnership with University of the West of England (lead institution).
  • Several BU researchers have received c.£10,000 from the BA/Leverhulme Trust Small Grants scheme:

Dr Anna Metzger (Faculty of Science and Technology) for their project Haptic Virtual Materials

–  Dr Hyun-Joo Lim (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences) for their project How effective are menopause policies at universities in England

–  Dr Andrew M’Manga (Faculty of Science and Technology) for their project Investigating Security and Privacy Awareness Requirements for UK International Students New to Contactless Payments

–  Dr Matteo Toscani (Faculty of Science and Technology) for their project Modelling peripheral vision in natural scenes

–  Dr Alejandro Estudillo for their project Maximising the impact of “Achieving Best Evidence” interviews on face composite construction.

Publications

Congratulations to all those who have had work published across the last month. Below is a selection of publications from throughout March:

Content for The Month in Research has been collected using the research and knowledge exchange database (RED), the Bournemouth University Research Online (BURO) repository and submissions via The Month in Research online form. It is by no means intended to be an exhaustive list. All information is correct as of 28.3.24.

Please use The Month in Research online form to share your highlights and achievements, or those of colleagues, for the next monthly round-up.

Conversation article: Four ways to eat less meat that are better for the planet, your health and your bank balance

Professor Katherine Appleton and Danielle Guy write for The Conversation about the simple food swaps that have the greatest benefits environmentally and for your health…

Four ways to eat less meat that are better for the planet, your health and your bank balance

Making a few simple eco-friendly food choices can be healthy and cost-effective too.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Katherine Appleton, Bournemouth University and Danielle Guy, Bournemouth University

Do I choose the meat in my local store or drive out of town for tofu instead? Shall I add honey to my winter porridge or would strawberries or mango be better? Should I choose to drink oat milk or organic goat’s milk?

Most people are familiar with the idea that food consumption will affect their health. But food consumption also contributes between 20% and 30% of the environmental footprint from daily life, with impacts from production, processing, transport and retail. For many of us, our diet could be healthier and more sustainable, but it can be hard to know which options will have the biggest positive effect.

As part of our research into healthy and sustainable eating, interviews with predominantly young adults found that UK consumers are willing to make small changes that would improve the health and environmental footprint of their diet, if these changes will have some benefit and are of little cost to them. Small dietary changes tend to be easier to maintain in the longer term than larger changes, but the small changes to make for greatest benefit, for health and the planet, are not well known.

To provide this advice, we compared the health-related, environmental and financial effects of a number of sustainable dietary actions that have previously been proposed. We applied 12 sustainable actions to the dietary data of 1,235 UK adults in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

We investigated differences between the new diet and the original diet for six dietary markers (protein, saturated fat, sugars, salt, iron, calcium), three environmental markers (greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater withdrawals, land use), and dietary cost. There were some limitations – we couldn’t quantify the impacts of reducing food waste, for example.

But our research showed that four simple switches resulted in the greatest benefits for your diet, the planet and for your pocket. These changes won’t be small or simple for everyone, but you don’t need to try them all. Every switch will benefit both your health and our home, and lots of small changes will soon add up.

1. Replace meat items with pulses

Beans, chickpeas and lentils are high in protein, fibre and are low in fat. They have low environmental impacts and can even benefit the growth of other crops, plus they are very inexpensive. Barriers that prevent people consuming pulses tend to focus around their taste or texture. And pulses can be perceived as inconvenient, effortful or difficult to cook.

Start with houmous – a tasty pre-prepared chickpea spread or dip. Including more pulses in your diet is made easier and quicker by using pre-prepared and canned pulses or by batch cooking dishes and freezing portions for another day. Try incorporating canned beans into your favourite soups and stews. Add lentils to your bolognese sauce. If you’re feeling more adventurous, experiment with some tasty new recipes from cultures that traditionally use pulses, such as Mexico, the Middle East or India.

Flatlay shot looking down over a dozen or so colourful bowls of different beans, pulses, legumes
Replacing the meat in your diet with a diverse array of pulses is good for your health as well as for the planet.
Nopparat Promtha/Shutterstock

2. Replace meat items with eggs

Eggs, like pulses, are highly nutritious. They provide protein and many micronutrients, have low environmental impacts, and are good value for money. Choose free-range eggs for added animal welfare benefits.

Eggs can be easy to prepare. They are soft and can be easier to eat for those who may have difficulties chewing, swallowing or cutting up foods. Eggs can add taste and flavour to your diet. Eggs can be consumed at any meal. Poached or scrambled, they make a great high-protein breakfast, hard-boiled eggs are a filling on-the-go snack, and sous-vide (slow-cooked) eggs can impress guests at dinner parties.

3. Replace meat items with hard or soft cheeses

Cheese is another nutritious food, full of calcium and other micronutrients, good for strong bones and teeth. Often considered a food with high environmental impacts, cheese typically has a lower environmental footprint than meat, even more so for soft cheeses.

The environmental impact of dairy foods increases with the processing needed, predominantly as a result of the waste created at each stage of manufacture. Milk has the lowest environmental impact, yoghurt slightly higher, soft cheeses, such as cream cheese, slightly higher again, and hard cheeses such as Cheddar are higher still.

Try switching your pepperoni pizza for four cheeses pizza, replace the meat in pasta dishes for soft blue cheese to retain flavour, and use soft cheeses in sandwiches.

4. Reduce meat consumption by 20%

Meat production, particularly for beef and lamb, has high environmental impacts. Consuming a lot can be unhealthy, but meat consumption in small amounts can offer a valuable source of protein and micronutrients, including iron, zinc and B vitamins. Try consuming smaller portions, increase the quality of meat you buy to gain the health benefits while eating less, or aim to have regular vegetarian days, such as meat-free Mondays. Choose the meat option when you’re eating out, make it a treat for special occasions, and eat more plant-based dishes at home.


Imagine weekly climate newsletter

Don’t have time to read about climate change as much as you’d like?

Get a weekly roundup in your inbox instead. Every Wednesday, The Conversation’s environment editor writes Imagine, a short email that goes a little deeper into just one climate issue. Join the 30,000+ readers who’ve subscribed so far.The Conversation


Katherine Appleton, Professor of Psychology, Bournemouth University and Danielle Guy, PhD Candidate in Psychology, Bournemouth University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Dr Theo Akudjedu awarded the European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS) Research Award

Dr Theo Akudjedu

Dr Theo Akudjedu

Dr Theo Akudjedu has been awarded the European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS) Research Award in recognition of his work.

Dr Akudjedu, Associate Professor in Clinical Imaging at Bournemouth University, was named the first winner of the EFRS Research Awards, which aim to recognise research achievements in the field of radiography.

His work explores radiography and healthcare research, neuroimaging and clinical neuroscience, and general clinical imaging research.

The EFRS aims to represent, promote and develop the profession of radiography in Europe, representing more than 100,000 radiographers and 8,000 radiography students across the continent.

Dr Akudjedu said: “It is really exciting and yet humbling that my research programme and activities in radiography practice and education from Bournemouth University’s Institute of Medical Imaging and Visualisation has been recognised by our European-wide professional organisation.

“This is a culmination of years of research together with numerous collaborators and students.”

Conversation article: The problem with seeing young sportspeople as athletes first, children second

Dr Ellie Jennings and Dr Alice Hunter write for The Conversation about the problems that can occur when young people are treated as athletes rather than children…

The problem with seeing young sportspeople as athletes first, children second

RomanSo/Shutterstock

Ellie Gennings, Bournemouth University and Alice Hunter, Bournemouth University

A recent report commissioned by Swim England, the national governing body for swimming in England, has found evidence of a “culture of fear” in swimming clubs. The report finds that children involved in competitive swimming can be treated like professional athletes, and the importance of sporting performance held above all else.

Sport can be a positive influence on young people’s wellbeing. Children are encouraged to participate in sport, and the aspiration to become an elite athlete is widely seen as an admirable goal.

Many children will find competitive sport enjoyable and rewarding. But problems can occur when the athletic identity of a young person overshadows their identity as a child. There is a risk that clubs, coaches and parents may treat young people as athletes rather than as children. And this can take place at all levels of sport, from children taking part in sports like swimming at local clubs to those who compete at the highest level.

One participant in the Swim England report said that a focus on swimming performance led to their social and academic life suffering, and that they would frequently push themselves in training to the point of vomiting or collapse to please their coach. “The way in which the sport is delivered to children and hiding under the label of ‘high performance athletes’ is driving people away from the sport they once loved,” they said.

“We’re not here to have fun, we’re here to win!” one parent told a researcher for the Swim England report.

A focus on sporting success above all can compromise children’s wellbeing and safety. Young people may be exposed to environments that are highly pressurised, psychologically demanding and often tolerant of abuse.

Certain practices that take place in youth sports, such as coaches and parents screaming on the sidelines, that would be considered unacceptable in other settings. A teacher would be unable to behave like this towards their charges in a school setting, for instance.

In football academies, child athletes are potential future stars – and money spinners. A business mindset shifts the focus from nurturing children to moulding them into “assets” for potential profit.

Treating children like products rather than unique individuals with their own childhood experiences overshadows children’s vital developmental needs.

Accelerated adulthoods

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp recently spoke about the need to protect young football players, including from media attention, as academy youth players made their debut in senior-level games. “But from tomorrow, leave the boys in the corner, please. And don’t ask: ‘Where are they now? Where are they now? Where are they now?’” he told reporters after Liverpool’s FA cup win over Southampton.

Darts player Luke Littler competed in the World Darts Championships and other major darts tournaments at the age of 16. Littler has received intense levels of public scrutiny that extended beyond the reaches of sport: his private life, including his relationship status, has made headlines.

Attention on the personal life of a minor rushes them towards adulthood but also shows a lack of respect for the privacy of young athletes: a significant safeguarding concern.

Children’s names have even been included in reports about doping. Kamila Valieva, a Russian figure skater, experienced the unwelcome publicity of having her positive test revealed at the age of just 15, causing controversy at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

This stands in stark contrast to practices elsewhere, such as in courts of law. Article 16 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child outlines children’s right to privacy.

A balanced approach

Children have the right to be protected from all forms of harm in sport. This extends to their right to participate in sports within a safe and enjoyable environment. There are evidently distinct challenges that arise when young people compete in elite and often adult-dominated sporting spaces.

The abuse of children in sports is a concern at both community and elite levels. It is essential to address these concerns to ensure that the pursuit of athletic excellence does not come at the cost of the fundamental rights and safety of young people.

When children are treated solely as athletes, the excitement around their potential means that the fact that they are still minors may be forgotten. They must be recognised as children first, especially when their performance in elite sports takes place prior to reaching adulthood.

It is the moral obligation of all adults involved in sport to develop an approach that keeps children in sport safe, even when they are classed as elite athletes.The Conversation

Ellie Gennings, Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching, Bournemouth University and Alice Hunter, Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching, Bournemouth University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Conversation article: Hayek’s Road to Serfdom at 80 – what critics get wrong about the Austrian economist

Dr Conor O’Kane writes for The Conversation about the impact of Friedrich von Hayek’s book 80 years after its publication…

Hayek’s Road to Serfdom at 80: what critics get wrong about the Austrian economist

Conor O’Kane, Bournemouth University

“The most powerful critique of socialist planning and the socialist state”, is how Margaret Thatcher described Friedrich von Hayek’s book, The Road to Serfdom. Published in March 1944 during the Austrian economist’s tenure at the London School of Economics (LSE), the book has been enduringly popular among free-market liberals.

Among its admirers was Winston Churchill, who as prime minister released 1.6 tons of precious war-rationed British government paper to allow additional copies to be printed. More recently Elon Musk tweeted a photo of The Road to Serfdom with the caption “Great Book by Hayek” to his 174 million followers, no doubt bringing Hayek’s work to a new generation.

On the other hand, the Austrian is often seen by the left as an intellectual bogeyman, an enabler of unfettered greed, minimal social responsibility and soaring inequality.

So who was Hayek and why does The Road to Serfdom matter?

How laissez-faire fell out of favour

Born into an upper middle-class Vienna family in 1899, Hayek earned doctorates in law (1921) and political science (1923) at the city’s university. He first made a name for himself in economics in 1928, publishing a report for his research institute employer that predicted the Wall Street crash of 1929 (some critics argue that his achievement gets exaggerated).

Hayek spent 18 years at the LSE (1932-1950), before moving to the University of Chicago (1950-1962). There he worked alongside Milton Friedman, another seminal advocate for free-market principles.

These views were profoundly unfashionable at the time. The social democrat consensus had been shaped by the “robber barron” period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Key industries such as rail and oil had been dominated by cartels and monopolies, leading to massive wealth inequalities.

Then came the Wall Street crash and great depression, prompting a loss of confidence in economists and economic reasoning. Free-market capitalism took much of the blame. Socialism was offered as a realistic and even desirable alternative.

Prominent colleagues of Hayek’s at the LSE, including political scientist Harold Laski and sociologist Karl Mannheim, believed socialist planning was inevitable in the UK. The Labour party explicitly warned in a 1942 pamphlet against a “return to the unplanned competitive world of the inter-war years, in which a privileged few were maintained at the expense of the common good”.

Copy of the Road to Serfdom

Hayek disagreed. He thought this wave of popular “collectivism” would lead to a repressive regime akin to Nazi Germany.

In The Road to Serfdom, he accepted the need to move beyond the laissez-faire approach of classical economics. But he argued in favour of “planning for competition” rather than the socialists’ “planning against competition” approach. He opposed the state being the sole provider of goods and services, but did think it had a role in facilitating a competitive environment.

In a central theme of the book, Hayek described the difficulties that democratic decision-making would face under central planning. He believed it would lead to policy gridlock and present opportunities for unscrupulous characters to become the key decision-makers.

Hayek’s goal was to show that the British intelligentsia was getting it wrong. Socialist planning, he believed, would see citizens returned to the types of limited freedoms endured by serfs under feudalism.

Hayek and conservatism

The Road was especially popular in the US. This was helped by Reader’s Digest publishing a shortened edition in 1945, introducing Hayek to a non-academic audience of some 9 million households. He was seized upon by conservatives opposing Franklin D Roosevelt’s interventionist New Deal, who feared for the loss of personal freedoms and a drift to totalitarianism.

However, Hayek was concerned his ideas had been oversimplified and misinterpreted. He warned of “the very dangerous tendency of using the term ‘socialism’ for almost any kind of state which you think is silly or you do not like”. By the mid-1950s he had distanced himself from American and European conservatives.

Ultimately, though, after the second world war most western countries adopted a more Keynesian approach. Named after Hayek’s greatest intellectual rival, John Maynard Keynes, this involved using government spending to influence things like employment and economic growth.

Hayek’s work, meanwhile, was mostly ignored until the 1970s, a period during which the UK became mired in stagflation and industrial action. He then became the inspiration for Margaret Thatcher’s policy mix of deregulation, privatisation, lower taxes and a bonfire on state controls of the economy. With the US also facing domestic economic challenges, the then US president, Ronald Reagan, followed suit.

What the critics say

If that was perhaps peak Hayek, he has been heavily criticised from some quarters in recent years. The American economist John Komlos, in his 2016 paper, Another Road to Serfdom, convincingly argues:

Hayek failed to see that any concentration of power is a threat to freedom. The free market that he advocated enabled the concentration of power in the hands of a powerful elite.

Such over-concentration had created the “too big to fail” environment in the financial sector in the run-up the global financial crisis of 2008, and many thought Hayekian deregulation was the culprit.

More recently, the tax-cutting economic policies during Liz Truss’s short stint as UK prime minister were incubated by think tanks who regard themselves as the keepers of the Hayekian flame. Similarly, Argentinian president Javier Milei’s libertarian vision of a minimalist state is said to be influenced by Hayek.

Equally, however, it is easy to fall into that trap of oversimplifying Hayek. It is worth noting, for instance, that in the Road, he also envisaged a substantial role for the state. He saw the state providing a basic minimum income for all. He also argued that “an extensive system of social services is fully compatible with the preservation of competition”.

Even Keynes congratulated him on his publication, saying, “morally and philosophically I find myself in agreement with virtually the whole of it”.

In short, while it’s probably fair to say that the world has had to suffer the flaws in Hayek’s ideas, it is important to separate him from his supporters. He was certainly no statist, but his vision for how best to run an economy was not as uncompromising as many would have us believe.The Conversation

Conor O’Kane, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Bournemouth University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation one-to-one training for academics – 19th March

BU is a partner of The Conversation, a news analysis and opinion website with content written by academics working with professional journalists.

As a partner organisation, BU academics can write for The Conversation on your areas of expertise. Conversation journalists are offering 1-2-1 training sessions for you to understand more about The Conversation, or to discuss and pitch an article to them.

A training session for staff is available on Tuesday 19 March from 10.30am – 12.30pm. Slots are available for BU academics to book for a 15-minute session with a journalist through the Eventbrite link below.

Book your slot 

Why write for The Conversation?

The Conversation is a great way to share research and informed comment on topical issues. Academics work with editors to write pieces, which can then be republished via a Creative Commons licence. Since we first partnered with The Conversation, articles by BU authors have had over 9.5 million reads and been republished by the likes of The iMetro, National Geographic Indonesia and the Washington Post.

You can learn more about working with The Conversation on the Research and Knowledge Exchange Sharepoint site

The Month in Research: February 2024

A cartoon image of black and white hands clapping on a yellow background

The Month in Research

The Month in Research is our monthly round-up sharing research and knowledge exchange successes from across the previous month, showcasing the amazing work taking place across BU.

Your achievements

Thank you to everyone who has used the online form to put forward their achievements, or those of colleagues, this month.

  • Dr Luciana Esteves (Faculty of Science and Technology) is part of a team of coastal scientists, artists and educators who worked on the writing/production of Coasts for Kids, a series of videos narrated by 6-8 year old children about coastal processes. Coasts for Kids won 1st place at the Climate Creatives Challenge #04 (Coastal Change), which received submissions from 56 countries. A video about the challenge and the winning entries can be found here: https://youtu.be/7fWiRj8pq48

Funding

 Congratulations to all those who have had funding for research and knowledge exchange projects and activities awarded in January. Highlights include:

  • Professor Janice Denegri-Knott (Faculty of Media and Communication) has been awarded c.£200,000 by Horizon Europe: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions for their project Mapping the full scope of consumer engagement on social media
  • Dr Richard Wallis (Faculty of Media and Communication) has been awarded c.£111,000 by the British Academy for their project Supportive offboarding: Developing new practices to support sustainable freelance careers in TV
  • Dr Anna Metzger (Faculty of Science and Technology) has been awarded c.£70,000 by the Royal Society for their project Perception of objects’ 3D shape – from active sensing to multisensory representations
  • Dr Simant Prakoonwit (Faculty of Science and Technology) has been awarded c.£35,000 by Innovate UK for their project Artificial Intelligence Content Moderation project

Publications

Congratulations to all those who have had work published across the last month. Below is a selection of publications from throughout February:

Content for The Month in Research has been collected using the research and knowledge exchange database (RED), the Bournemouth University Research Online (BURO) repository and submissions via The Month in Research online form. It is by no means intended to be an exhaustive list. All information is correct as of 28.2.24.

Please use The Month in Research online form to share your highlights and achievements, or those of colleagues, for the next monthly round-up.

 

Doctoral Supervision | New Supervisors Development Workshop 5 March 2024

Whether you are a new supervisor, you plan to be one, or you have experience but are new to Bournemouth University, this development workshop is for you. (If you have already booked, your place is confirmed).

The workshop, which is mandatory for new supervisors, offers the necessary knowledge to supervise Postgraduate Research students by placing this knowledge within both the internal and external regulatory framework.

This workshop will cover the following key areas:

  • The nature and scope of doctoral study and the role of a supervisor
  • Purpose and operation of the BU Code of Practice for Research Degrees
  • Monitoring, progression, completion and the process of research degrees at BU
  • The importance of diversity, equality and cultural awareness
  • Student recruitment and selection
  • Keeping students on track – motivation and guidance

Date: Tuesday 5 March 2024

Time: 10:00 – 15:15

Location: Talbot Campus (in person) Poole House, Room 226

Click here to book via the staff intranet.

 

Open Call for HEIF Knowledge Exchange Project Applications 2024

Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) February 2024 Open Call

HEIF funding is now available for innovative Knowledge Exchange projects.

Research England provide universities with funding for knowledge exchange (Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF)) to enable them to support and develop a broad range of knowledge-based interactions and work with business, public and third sector organisations, community bodies and the wider public, to exchange knowledge and increase the economic and societal benefit from their work.

The primary purpose of the funding is to support a small number of projects which can include:

  • significant projects that are underway and require a further injection of funds;
  • existing knowledge exchange projects to develop these ideas to the next stage of development;
  • projects with ambition that require a seed funding, capacity building, proof-of-concept or launchpad (please note that follow-up funding to support further development of your successfully funded HEIF-projects will be available to apply for in the 2024-25 academic cycle; we encourage applications for this call as an opportunity to kick-start your work).

The HEIF FEBRUARY 2024 OPEN CALL fund supports the ambition of the UK Government’s Plan for Growth to support and incentivise creative ideas and technologies that will shape the UK’s future. Further developing BU’s work in this area will also enable us to support UKRI’s aims to support cooperation and collaboration, as well as developing our academic talent. The aim is to provide a platform for academics to take their knowledge exchange ideas to the next stage of development or to completion.

If you would like to discuss your application or your project’s eligibility, there will be a drop in session on Thursday 29th between 1pm – 2.30pm in the Reception Area of Dorset House (BUBS). Or you can contact Dr Wendelin Morrison, the Knowledge Exchange Manager by email wsmorrison@bournemouth.ac.uk

Key details

Amount: This year, £50000 of BU’s HEIF grant will be allocated through this open call, to support up to 6 knowledge exchange and innovation projects.

Timeframe: Projects should span a maximum of 4 months. The funds awarded must be spent by 31 July 2024.

Closing date: Friday, 8 March 2024

The link to the Guidance and Application form is below – please ensure you DOWNLOAD a copy to your own computer and do not edit directly on the SharePoint: HEIF February 2024 Open Call.docx

British Academy Early Career Researcher Network event brings together researchers from across medical and health humanities

BU hosted the British Academy’s Early Career Researcher Network for an event exploring medical and health humanities, addressing some of the challenges and opportunities of working within this varied and interdisciplinary field.

Early career researchers from across the South West came together to network and discuss topics including publishing, funding opportunities, and finding their research identity.

The event took place on BU’s Talbot Campus and was opened by Interim Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Knowledge Exchange Professor Sarah Bate, who spoke about the importance of supporting the next generation of researchers to grow and develop.

A panel of Professors in front of an audience sat at tables

BU Professors shared their experiences and advice

Professor Sam Goodman (Professor of English & Communication), Professor Ann Hemingway (Professor of Public Health), Professor Chris Chapleo (Professor of Societal Marketing), Professor Ann Luce (Professor of Journalism and Health Communication) and Professor Edwin van Teijlingen (Professor of Reproductive Health Research) took part in a panel discussion, sharing their experiences of working across medical and health humanities and taking questions from the audience.

Advice included how to manage multiple stakeholders who may have different interests, publishing widely across different disciplines, how to deal with rejection, and the importance of building networks and contacts.

While the panel were honest about some of the difficulties and challenges of being an interdisciplinary researcher, they also spoke about the opportunities for applied interdisciplinary research and exploring different passions and interests. As Prof. Goodman put it: ‘Where’s the fun in colouring between the lines?’

Groups of early career researchers sat at tables

Roundtable discussions took place as part of the event

Following a networking lunch, attendees moved into breakout groups to discuss opportunities and challenges around publishing, grant capture and bidding, and developing a research identity as an interdisciplinary researcher.

The event was organised by the British Academy Early Career Researcher Network (BA ECRN) and Joelle Fallows and Katerina Kakaounaki of RDS, supported by Professor Sam Goodman and Professor Ann Hemingway who lead the ECR Network at BU.

The BA ECRN brings together ECRs across the humanities and social sciences disciplines, supporting their development through events and workshops. BU is a member of the BA ECRN’s South West Hub.

Find out more about the BA Early Career Researcher Network  

Conversation article: Why bans on smartphones for teenagers could do more harm than good

Professor Andy Phippen writes for The Conversation about growing calls to stop young people having access to smartphones or social media…

Why bans on smartphones or social media for teenagers could do more harm than good

Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Andy Phippen, Bournemouth University

There are growing calls for young people under the age of 16 to be banned from having smartphones or access to social media. The Smartphone Free Childhood WhatsApp group aims to normalise young people not having smartphones until “at least” 14 years old. Esther Ghey, mother of the murdered teenager Brianna Ghey, is campaigning for a ban on social media apps for under-16s.

The concerns centre on the sort of content that young people can access (which can be harmful and illegal) and how interactions on these devices could lead to upsetting experiences.

However, as an expert in young people’s use of digital media, I am not convinced that bans at an arbitrary age will make young people safer or happier – or that they are supported by evidence around young people’s use of digital technology.

In general, most young people have a positive relationship with digital technology. I worked with South West Grid for Learning, a charity specialising in education around online harm, to produce a report in 2018 based upon a survey of over 8,000 young people. The results showed that just over two thirds of the respondents had never experienced anything upsetting online.

Large-scale research on the relationship between social media and emotional wellbeing concluded there is little evidence that social media leads to psychological harm.

Sadly, there are times when young people do experience upsetting digital content or harm as a result of interactions online. However, they may also experience upsetting or harmful experiences on the football pitch, at a birthday party or playing Pokémon card games with their peers.

It would be more unusual (although not entirely unheard of) for adults to be making calls to ban children from activities like these. Instead, our default position is “if you are upset by something that has happened, talk to an adult”. Yet when it comes to digital technology, there seems to be a constant return to calls for bans.

We know from attempts at prevention of other areas of social harms, such as underage sex or access to drugs or alcohol, that bans do not eliminate these behaviours. However, we do know that bans will mean young people will not trust adults’ reactions if they are upset by something and want to seek help.

Mother and daughter looking at phone
Teenagers need to know they can talk to adults about their lives online.
Studio Romantic/Shutterstock

I recall delivering an assembly to a group of year six children (aged ten and 11) one Safer Internet Day a few years ago. A boy in the audience told me he had a YouTube channel where he shared video game walkthroughs with his friends.

I asked if he’d ever received nasty comments on his platform and if he’d talked to any staff about it at his school. He said he had, but he would never tell a teacher because “they’ll tell me off for having a YouTube channel”.

This was confirmed after the assembly by the headteacher, who said they told young people not to do things on YouTube because it was dangerous. I suggested that empowering what was generally a positive experience might result in the young man being more confident to talk about negative comments – but was met with confusion and repetition of “they shouldn’t be on there”.

Need for trust

Young people tell us that two particularly important things they need in tackling upsetting experiences online are effective education and adults they can trust to talk to and be confident of receiving support from. A 15 year old experiencing abuse as a result of social media interactions would likely not be confident to disclose if they knew the first response would be, “You shouldn’t be on there, it’s your own fault.”

There is sufficient research to suggest that banning under-16s having mobile phones and using social media would not be successful. Research into widespread youth access to pornography from the Children’s Commissioner for England, for instance, illustrates the failures of years of attempts to stop children accessing this content, despite the legal age to view pornography being 18.

The prevalence of hand-me-down phones and the second hand market makes it extremely difficult to be confident that every mobile phone contract accurately reflects the age of the user. It is a significant enough challenge for retailers selling alcohol to verify age face to face.

The Online Safety Act is bringing in online age verification systems for access to adult content. But it would seem, from the guidance by communications regulator Ofcom, that the goal is to show that platforms have demonstrated a duty of care, rather than being a perfect solution. And we know that age assurance (using algorithms to estimate someone’s age) is less accurate for under-13s than older ages.

By putting up barriers and bans, we erode trust between those who could be harmed and those who can help them. While these suggestions come with the best of intentions, sadly they are doomed to fail. What we should be calling for is better understanding from adults, and better education for young people instead.The Conversation

Andy Phippen, Professor of IT Ethics and Digital Rights, Bournemouth University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Conversation article: Children’s high-impact sports can be abuse – experts explain why

Dr Keith Parry co-authors this article about new research which questions whether it is right for children to be involved in high impact sports that risk injury to the brain…

Children’s high-impact sports can be abuse – experts explain why

ANDRE DIAS NOBRE/AFP via Getty Images

Eric Anderson, University of Winchester; Gary Turner, University of Winchester, and Keith Parry, Bournemouth University

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a brain disorder likely caused by repeated head injuries. It was first described as dementia pugilistica and punch drunk syndrome almost 100 years ago. CTE continues to be a serious risk associated with high impact sports, such as boxing, American football and rugby.

Although the risks of traumatic brain injuries, such as concussion, and longer-term brain degeneration from repetitive hits in impact sports have been known for decades, some sport governing bodies continue to try and cast doubt onto the relationship between impact sports and CTE. However, media attention has begun to change people’s minds.

This growing awareness is accelerated by the many lawsuits against organising bodies in relation to brain trauma. Former professional and amateur players in sports such as American football, Australian rules football and rugby say their governing bodies failed to prevent harm during their playing careers.

The NFL has paid out almost a million pounds to former players suffering the effects of sport-induced brain trauma. High-profile rugby players are now also taking legal action over brain injuries.

These are not only issues for elite players. Studies into the brains of former players have found CTE in those who only played as amateurs. CTE has also been found in the brains of players under the age of 30 and even those as young as 17.

Each additional year of playing impact sports raises the risk of CTE, by as much as 30% in American football.

The dangers of high-impact sport aren’t contentious. Academic evidence and medical professionals now agree that sport-induced brain trauma leads to degenerative brain disease.

Not suitable for under-18s

Given this context, our recent paper written with Jack Hardwicke, a senior lecturer in the sociology of sport at Nottingham Trent University, has questioned whether it is right for children to participate in sports that intentionally feature impact, particularly involving the head. We argue that allowing under-18s to take part in high impact sports should be viewed as a form of child abuse – we use the term “child brain abuse” – and that these impact sports should be legally prohibited.

We are not calling for adult versions of impact sports to be banned and our argument does not apply to sports or activities where brain trauma might occur by accident. But in sports where impact is a structured part of the game, like boxing – or sports that create rapid brain movements, as in rugby tackling – collisions are not accidents, they are an inherent part of the sport.

Despite claims that sport is safer, there has been rightful concern over childhood concussions in these impact sports – and brain injury can occur at very low levels of impact. For example, heading a football can result in immediate and measurable alterations to brain functioning and longer-term brain diseases, such as CTE.

The risk of CTE is far higher in sports such as American football and rugby. The odds of developing degenerative brain diseases are increased in former players of impact sports than are found in sports without deliberate impacts or the general population.

What is CTE?

Staying healthy

Some sports bodies defend high-impact sports by arguing that sport and physical activity are important for overall health. Teams sports can reduce isolation and help players to develop a range of social skills.

But these benefits can still be gained from non-impact versions of sports, such as touch rugby, which can help teach discipline and teamwork without the harm from brain trauma.

There are no health benefits of tackling – and there are no health benefits of being struck in the head. The health benefits of impact rugby or boxing are instead gained from the body’s overall movement.

Tag rugby tends to be faster moving than the sport’s full contact version so is better for improving cardiovascular health. Research has shown that incidents of contact during children’s rugby are the cause of cause of 87% of known injuries. Tackling, in particular, is responsible for 52% of all injuries – with concussion being the most common injury type. Tagging, rather than tackling, saves children’s brains from harm.

Inability to consent

Our research shows that impact sports should be treated equally with other prohibited activities for children, such as smoking. Children are unable to make informed decisions about the long-term risks of these activities. Parental provision for these activities is also socially stigmatised or criminalised.

Our research draws on a number of legal positions that support our argument that neither children nor parents on their behalf can consent to sports that require brain trauma as a necessary component of the sport.

For example, Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), to which 195 countries are signatories, covers protection from violence, abuse and neglect. It states that:

Governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and bad treatment by their parents or anyone else who looks after them.

Some commentators have agreed that while high-impact sports are dangerous, using the term child abuse is a step too far.

However, the NSPCC, the UK’s leading children’s charity, say that physical neglect is a form of abuse that occurs if a child is not kept safe. Allowing children to participate in impact sports while being aware of the harm they can cause is, our research shows, a failure keep children safe.

Opponents of prohibiting children from playing high-impact sports argue that boys are naturally aggressive and heavy contact sport helps them to learn how to control their feelings.

Boys, some argue, need physical activities – they need space and learn through activity. But there is no research showing that boys need to endure brain trauma in order to grow up to be responsible men.

There is no justifiable health reason for a child to play impact sport over non-impact versions. We are asking that ministers privilege children’s brains over corporate sporting bodies. The Conversation

Eric Anderson, Professor of Masculinities, Sexualities and Sport, University of Winchester; Gary Turner, Doctoral researcher in Policy Analysis of Traumatic Brain Injury in UK Combat Sports, University of Winchester, and Keith Parry, Head Of Department in Department of Sport & Event Management, Bournemouth University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.