Category / Festival of Learning
To celebrate the National Science Week we organised a Family Science Festival in Dorchester’s Corn Exchange (17th March 2019). The Festival was an incredible success, with more than 2,200 visitors exploring the science presentations and workshops organised by Bournemouth University in partnership with Dorset County Museum, Dorchester Town Council and the Thomas Hardye School. Our ambition is to make this festival an annual event, and rename it Dorchester Science Festival, which would run over a whole week-end. Many BU undergraduate and postgraduate students and staff were involved in the activities offered to the general public. Genoveva Esteban (co-organiser and master minder of the event), Dan Franklin, Matthew Bennet, Sally Reynolds, Adrian Newton, Marcin and Dominika Budka, and Stephen Watson’s hands-on activities were all enthusiastically received by children and adults. The atmosphere was captured on film by BU’s award-winning media production agency Red Balloon.
The event was sponsored by EU-Interreg project SAMARCH, the Royal Society of Biology, Dorchester Town Council and BU. We are also grateful to the ScienceIRL Project developed by the Indian River Lagoon Science Festival SAMA (Florida, USA) for sharing the “This is what a scientist looks like” T-shirt idea with us.
Last year the Women’s Academic Network hosted ‘Project Vagina’, an interactive art exhibition by the feminist art collective, Red Luna, who have since reformed into The Leggy Blondes, a creative, visual and performative group, led by Rebekah Brown and Megan Juniper, whose work features at art exhibitions, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, schools and universities.
Student feedback from last year’s event was so positive that they had to be brought back for an even bigger bash at BU. This year the Leggy Blondes strutted their stuff as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences public engagement event, the Carnival of Sex, Sexuality & Gender. The Carnival was designed to be a fun, tongue-in-cheek pedagogic event using a mixture of subversive, merry mayhem and serious scholarship. The topic carries huge social relevance in contemporary society where gender has become deeply politicised – interpreted both as a source of liberation but at the same time problematised and angst ridden.
Badging this WAN event with The Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) and Athena Swan, the morning was devoted to the amazing, revamped ‘Vagina’ artefact itself, party games and objects d’art to explore, and a ‘Banging and Screwing’ cabaret featuring cheeky workmen – all thanks to the ‘Blondes’.
The afternoon consisted of a Q&A panel discussion, chaired by Professor Sara Ashencaen Crabtree. Dr Katie Lonie from the University of Sidney discussed her research work on young women’s political engagement. Dr Conor Doaks from the University of Bristol elucidated his area of expertise: masculinities and culture. WAN colleagues, Dr Shelley Thompson and Dr Paola Vizcaino-Suárez made up the panel quarter by presenting their work on firstly: women, STEMM, news and popular culture, followed by gender-based violence and tourism.
Over lunch participants crowded around Mr Aaron Lownie, Japanese Shibari artiste, demonstrating this esoteric, erotic art form of graceful, sedate, head-scratching complexity. Following this staff from CEL led an arts-based workshop. Curie Scott and Anne Quinney run workshops on using creative methods in research and education practice. They invited participants to produce an individual or group creative artefact based on a theme from the day. On hand were dressing up clothes, modelling clay, magazines, recycled material, paper, fabric, sequins, and pipe cleaners (to name a few!). The open space and time helped people to create visually provoking images. The dressing up box was especially well used!
The Carnival theme was closed in style by the amazing Norm, ‘Mr Balloon Man’, now a regular to BU, whose fantastic and transitory works-of-art were hugely popular with participants and carried off protectively into the dark, rainy, windy night following a colourful day of diverse public pedagogy.
Finally, many thanks to colleagues for their support and help, including Dr Lorraine Brown, Professor Jonathan Parker, Dr Frances Hawkhead, Genna del Rosa, Amanda Lazar and Beverley Allen.
Dr Choe, from the Faculty of Management provided a public lecture on ‘Spiritual Tourism and Sustainable Development’ at Chiang Mai University (CMU), Thailand.
Research staff at the Center of Tourism Research & Development, Social Research Institute at CMU kindly helped organise the event and added a very warm welcome and hospitality. They invited CMU research staff and students as well as staff/students from other universities in Chiang Mai. Their promotional efforts attracted a big crowd!
Dr Choe passionately shared her research ideas, data collected from Chiang Mai, her observations and interpretations. Lively discussions including helpful feedback and questions from local academics and students made the session very interesting, productive and meaningful.
Dr Choe suggested that other Southeast Asian destinations can learn from Chiang Mai’s successful push for spiritual and sustainable tourism and the management programmes. For example, Luang Prabang in Laos has similar tourism attractions such as numbers of historically significant Buddhist temples. However, they do not offer meditation retreat/’monk chat’ programmes that Chiang Mai offers to ‘spiritual travellers’ in unique and effective ways. Dr Choe also emphasised the ASEAN’s regional cooperation for future tourism development.
Dr Choe and research staff at Social Research Institute and Dept of Tourism, Faculty of Humanities at CMU have started collaborating on a number of projects. Updates will be posted on the BU Research Blog, so stay tuned 🙂
I attended Susanne and Curie’s ‘Facilitating with Lego’ workshop in early June and found it really insightful. There are lots of ways it can be used. It’s great for team building events but could also be used for personal development. The workshop gave some really good hints and tips of using Lego in group settings but also on an individual basis; along with ideas of probing questions to get people to open up and share their thoughts and feelings about a particular subject or even themselves in a relaxed, informal and fun environment.
In the session we used Lego to build a model that represented our personal strengths. It was really interesting to hear everybody’s explanations in the group and look at their weird and wonderful creations. Some included tall towers to illustrate, not a person in power as you might imagine but a person working in a role that requires them to see the bigger picture, having an overview. Other people’s models included propellers which were linked to ‘leading the way’, also extended ‘bendy’ arms showing the strength of flexibility. There were also several little pink ‘creative’ hats to express how some roles require some creativity… and many little green flags but I can’t recall any ’strengths’ from these pieces, I think we all just agreed they were mostly for decoration! Whilst we didn’t all have identical pieces in front of us they were very similar, although I was quite jealous of the person with the Superhero Lego person which had its own cape!
This workshop was a great pre curser to BUCRU’s upcoming Festival of Learning interactive session ‘Demystifying research: helping us make a difference’ and really helped with inspiration, which is the reason I signed up to it.
Our Festival of Learning event was comprised of several interactive sections looking at ways in which members of the public can get involved in clinical research. The Lego was used to demonstrate how complex the research design stage of a project can be.
The audience were split into 2 teams and asked to examine our ready-made ‘medical device’.
(We had built our own ‘device’ prior to them entering the room). Their task was to copy the device exactly to the best of their ability within a timeframe. However some bricks/pieces weren’t quite the same and they had to do some improvisation!
Afterwards we discussed how successful they felt they were, what problems they may have encountered, what strategies they implemented (if any) and if they would do anything differently in the future. They reported that having the correct resources was essential; that having the model closer would’ve also made life easier, instructions would also have improved the situation… but we didn’t want to make life too easy for them! All of this illustrated how important it is for someone else to come along, see what you’ve done, replicate it and get the same results that you got.
The clearer we can be and the more input we can get from the public, the better – it is an essential part of designing a study, also referred to as PPI (Patient and Public Involvement).
We also drew some comparisons with a real life research project team. How each person has something to contribute: statistician, research nurse, patient etc. And how there are often many bumps in the road to a successful research project and sometimes you need to take everything apart and ‘build’ from scratch again.
Don’t forget BU Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) are based on the 5th floor of Royal London House also incorporating your local branch of the NIHR Research Design Service. Feel free to pop in and see us, call us on 61939 or send us an email.
Hai Luu (PhD student working with Prof Genoveva Esteban and Dr Iain Green in the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, SciTech) travelled to her home country of Vietnam where she organised a seminar on microscopic life for 20 undergraduate students of the Aqua-Agriculture Faculty at Travinh University. Students collected samples from freshwater ponds, and observed the single-celled and other microscopic organisms that thrive in such habitats; they also studied their diversity in soil samples. Hai Luu gave a presentation about the diversity of organisms that constitute the unicellular protists, including micro-algae, protozoa, and slime molds. This event was a great opportunity for the students to recognise the biodiversity of micro-organisms in soils and fresh waters, and to understand the important role they play in food webs. The seminar was the first of its kind at Travinh University, and a unique opportunity to disseminate the research we do in this field at BU to a wider audience. Excellent feedback was received from the enthusiastic group of students.
The first one relates to Nepali migrant workers, since some 3.5 million Nepalese (14% of total population) are working abroad; primarily in Malaysia, the Middle East and India. One recent project is focusing on Nepali migrant workers in India. Working abroad is considered a livelihood strategy for many poor people and most Nepalese migrants are involved in semi/unskilled labour, mainly on building sites, in factories, and in domestic work.
The second project focuses on the health and social issue of transgender and the use of hormones. To date there is little literature on hormone use experiences in transgender populations in Nepal, focusing on a study of male-to-female transgender (MTF) populations and the experiences of people using hormone therapy (oral or injection or other replacement therapies).
Date: Monday 18th June 2018
Time: 6-8 pm
Venue: Fusion Building (F109)
Can an Artificial Intelligence (AI) bot ‘create’ a new work or invention, with the human creator, simply being a facilitator? If so, who owns the creative work or invention? As we move to the next stage of computing and AI, it raises a number of challenges in relation to intellectual property, data, privacy and ethics. Enter the world of robots, conversational human-computer interaction and AI with us.
We will be using devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home and AI based gaming and computer vision, powered by Twitter chatbots, to explore these important questions for the future, through interactive activities.
The event will be hosted by Professor Dinusha Mendis, Professor of Intellectual Property & Innovation Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property, Policy and Management (CIPPM) together with Mr. Nikolaos Maniatis, Managing Director of Catobot Ltd.
Do come and join us; the event promises to be exciting for technology, intellectual property and big data enthusiasts!
Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit are running an interactive session to help de-mystify the idea of clinical research and illustrate how the public can get involved. It’s not all lab coats and scary machinery!
Come and join us on Monday 18th June 16.00-17.30 as part of BU’s Festival of Learning event and find out a bit more about the research process in a fun & friendly way. Book here
Festival of Learning event 2018 with an international flavour: exploring recent research projects undertaken in Nepal by staff from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences. The event focuses on Nepali migrant workers in India, women and migration and explores the health and social issues of transgender and the use of hormone therapy in male-to-female transitioning populations in Nepal.
Free tickets can be found here!
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen, Dr Pramod Regmi & Prof Padam Simkhada (BU Visiting Faculty)
Ever puzzled over tax? Wondered about the politics or personal impact of international tax news? This session with BU researchers, students and the Chartered Institute of Taxation will give you a greater understanding and appreciation for tax and help you become more tax-savvy.
During this session, we have five star students presenting 5-minute ‘tax’ talks:
- Martinas Prazauskas on the tax avoidance of Apple, Google and Amazon
- Timothy Buck on tax arbitrage
- Sesil Bou on thin capitalisation
- Clémentine Saulnier on non-discrimination in the EU
- Lucy Butler on the Robin Hood tax
Taking second billing in this session are BU’s tax academics: Dr Phyllis Alexander, Dr Alan Kirkpatrick and Richard Teather. We will be joined by Mr Andy Brodrick of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), the organisation funding Dr Alexander’s research on tax morale.
There will be at least 15 minutes reserved for Q&A and an open discussion with this diverse panel on anything and everything to do with tax. This will be a fast paced, interesting hour in which BU’s Fusion philosophy comes to light!
Please do join us and book your free tickets here.
Just before the start of Bournemouth University’s Global Festival of Learning India (12-16 February) the Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences published Michelle Vickery’s paper ‘Female infanticide in India and its relevance to Nepal’ . This article developed out of Michelle’s undergraduate Sociology thesis which she completed as part of her undergraduate degree in 2016. The Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences is an Open Access journal which means its content is freely available to any reader with internet access across the globe.
Over the last few years Bournemouth University academic have published papers on a range of topics related to India, for example on Media Studies [2-3], English literature  , Sociology , Public Health  , and environmental science and conservation [7-9].
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Vickery, M., van Teijlingen, E., (2017) Female infanticide in India and its relevance to Nepal.Journal of Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (JMMIHS) 3(1): 79-85.
- Sudbury, S. (2016) Locating a “third voice”: participatory filmmaking and the everyday in rural India. Journal of Media Practice, 17 (2-3): 213-231.
- Sudbury, S., 2017. Glocalizing the ‘other’: British factual television and documentary practices in global media cultures. In: Srinivas, M., ed. Glocalization: Media Beyond Borders. Mumbai, India: Department of Mass Media, Kishinchand Chellaram College.
- Goodman, S. (2018) ‘Ain’t it a Ripping Night’: Alcoholism and the Legacies of Empire in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. English Studies, (forthcoming).
- Sahay, G., Devkota, B., van Teijlingen, E.R. (2016) Rebel Health Services in South Asia: Comparing Maoist-led Conflicts in India & Nepal, Sociological Bulletin 65(1):19-39.
- Sathian, B. , De, A. ,van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P. , Banerjee, I. , Roy, B. , Supram, H. , Devkota, S. , E, R. (2015). Time Trend of the Suicide Incidence in India: a Statistical Modelling. American Journal of Public Health Research, 3(5A), 80-87. http://pubs.sciepub.com/ajphr/3/5A/17/index.html
- Bower, S. D., Danylchuk, A. J., Raghavan, R., Danylchuk, S. C., Pinder, A. C., Alter, A. M., Cooke, S. J. (2017) Involving recreational fisheries stakeholders in development of research and conservation priorities for mahseer (Tor spp.) of India through collaborative workshops. Fisheries Research, 186, 665-671.
- Bower S.D., Danylchuk A.J., Raghavan R., Clark-Danylchuck S.E., Pinder A.C., Cooke S.J. (2016) Rapid assessment of the physiological impacts caused by catch-and-release angling on blue-finned mahseer (Tor sp.) of the Cauvery River, India. Fisheries Management and Ecology DOI: 10.1111/fme.12135
- Pinder, A.C., Raghavan, R., Britton, J.R. (2015) Efficacy of angler catch data as a population and conservation monitoring tool for the flagship Mahseer fishes (Tor spp.) of Southern India. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2543
The Nuffield Research Placement (NRP) provides students each year with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
It aims to enable students to experience authentic research in a real scientific environment and is available across the UK, in universities, commercial companies, voluntary organisations and research institutions.
NRP is now celebrating its 20 years and last Wednesday at the Fusion Building, the students who took part in the placement, presented their posters.
As in the past year, also this year under the supervision Alison McConnell, James Gavin, Tom Wainwright and mine we hosted a student Holly Combes, who in a month not only collaborate in setting up research protocols but also wrote a dissertation about the Time-Up-and-Go, which was submitted to the Young Scientific Journal for publication.
Personally, I was inspired by all the fascinating research that the students have done, and I was glad to have the opportunity to give a small speech:
To my colleagues that are thinking to apply for next year placement, I will say do it. There is nothing more pleasing than help young minds, full of motivation and curiosity. You and your research will gain a lot from this experience.
Thank you for reading,
Well, anyone who thought the Minister would have less to do in this session of Parliament, other than oversee the implementation of the Higher Education and Research Act, was underestimating him. Rather unexpectedly he demonstrated yesterday that he had fully embraced the Fusion model (he calls it a three legged stool) by announcing a new excellence framework for knowledge exchange to sit alongside REF and TEF. We have a bit on each, along with an update on that funding review (what funding review) and some other news.
New Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF)
REF, TEF (even when it’s TESOF, see below) and now the KEF….a new excellence framework has been announced by the Minister at the annual HEFCE conference.
Described by the Minster (apparently) as the “third leg of the HE stool” this new framework will be run by Research England (under its head (designate), David Sweeney, and also responsible for the REF). Like the REF, the KEF will have a clear cash “carrot” for participation and to motivate high performance – it will provide a new method for allocating Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF).
The story was all about the UK’s competitiveness. The Minister celebrated the quality of UK research but challenged the sector to have more connection to the wider world and impact on the economy, to justify the “outsize role” that universities play in Research and Development in the UK – compared to industry. He said:
- “…the system needs to find a new gear. University income from business engagement is growing more slowly than the economy as a whole, with British universities producing fewer spin-outs and less licensing income per pound of research resource than US counterparts. As a greater proportion of R&D takes place in universities in the UK than in other countries, it’s especially important that we get this right.”
- “Over half of the money the UK taxpayer provides for R&D goes to the Higher Education sector – £4.8bn out of £8.8bn in 2015.
- The result is that a far greater proportion of R&D – 26% – takes place in our universities – than in comparable countries, with 20% in France, 17% in Germany, 13% in the US and 12% in Japan.
- This funding arrangement has helped ensure the excellence of British universities and their strong performance in international league tables, which give a heavy weighting to research.
- But the fact that by international standards an unusually large proportion of our R&D activity takes place within our universities brings with it increased responsibilities.”
Café scientific was one of the best public engagement activities that I have done in the past years, and I do recommend going there and deliver your talk to the public.
In all my past experiences (including pint of science, the festival of learning, U3A, the Air Show and others) I have always met great people who were interested to know and learn more about what we are doing here at BU, and at Café Scientific, it was no different.
I arrived there 1h before the talk, the café (vintage/steampunk style), was already set up for the event, thanks to the great work of the Public Engagement Team. So I had all the time to calm down and get ready.
At about 19:30 the place was packed, and few people had to listen to the talk standing up.
A sample of the presentation is available on Youtube:
Even if the room was fully booked, the audience was very quiet and focused on listening to the 40 minutes presentation.
However, the best part was at the end, and I am not referring to the delicious brownie cake that Boscanova Café made for celebrating the 5th birthday of Café Scientific, but for the questions.
I was happily surprised to have so many interesting questions, which made me think again about my projects.
There were questions about: the effect of singing and yoga exercises on balance; why not make a POWERbreathe that instead of a mouthpiece has a nosepiece; how much the improvement in balance was due to the strength of the muscles trained and not just the ability to breathe deeper; why not test the effects of meditation, and others very intelligent questions.
Finally, it was challenging and I hope that all the audience received the right message: research can be fascinating and fun, especially if you can share it with others.
If you are interested in know more about how to breathe your way into balance, contact me at email@example.com
Thank you for reading.
I just wanted to draw attention to the following new toolkit developed by the Health Foundation.
Communicating your research – a toolkit
The Health Foundation’s new communications toolkit for research helps researchers to increase the influence and impact of their findings in health and health care. It includes guidance, templates, support materials and links to help develop a communication strategy, package findings for different audiences and engage stakeholders to extend influence and widen impact.
FHSS Impact Champion
Kun Qian is a PhD candidate in the National Centre for Computer Animation, Faculty of Media and Communication. He has been working on computer graphics, game, vfx and virtual reality technologies for more than 10 years. He will deliver a talk on his research of surgery simulation at 7pm, 25th July at K103, as part of the BCS Animation and Game Development SG event. The detail can be found at http://www.bcs.org/content/ConWebDoc/58181 . It is free for all the attendees, everybody is welcome. Please register at the link above, because we will bring some refreshment based on the number of registrations.
Abstract: With the development of computer graphic and haptic devices, training surgeons with virtual reality technology has proven to be very effective in surgery simulation. Due to the various unsolved technical issues, the laparoscopic surgery simulation has not been widely used. Such issues include modelling of complex anatomy structure, large soft tissue deformation, frequent surgical tools interactions, and the rendering of complex material under the illumination. A successful laparoscopic surgery simulator should integrate all these required components in a balanced and efficient manner to achieve both visual/haptic quality and a satisfactory refreshing rate. In this talk, we propose an efficient framework integrating a set of specially tailored and designed techniques, ranging from deformation simulation, collision detection, soft tissue dissection and rendering. This framework can be used as a low level engine for surgery simulation by integrating and optimizing modern creative technologies.
Dr. Xiaosong Yang, MBCS
Associate Professor of Computer Animation
National Centre for Computer Animation
Faculty of Media and Communication
Her research titled ‘From Compassion to Defence: Exploring Service Brands’ Trust Repair Mechanisms across Traditional and Digital Media’ is the sub-project of the Faculty of Management’s QR-funded project on Trust Repair in the service sectors, led by Dr Julie Robson.
Using integrative content analysis and emotional text analysis, Dr Bolat’s project will explore the trust repair process and trust repair mechanisms used in the context of traditional and digital media, within selected high profile trust erosion cases in the service sectors. Dr Robson (Department of Marketing, FM), Professor Juliet Memery (Department of Marketing, FM) and Dr Caroline Jackson (Department of Leisure and Events, FM) are acting as mentors for the project and advising on the contextual setting of the study.
Moreover, this project supports Dr Bolat in acquiring new skills in quantitative analysis of qualitative data and deepening understanding and use of language processing software.
Dr Bolat comments: “Academy of Marketing is one of the biggest international organisations to support marketing scholars and to be one of the few recipients of this prestigious funding scheme is an absolute honour. This also helps our QR project to extend its impact and reach.”
To find out what other projects are recipients of this year’s Academy of Marketing Research funding scheme, access: https://www.academyofmarketing.org/research/amrc-research-funding/
Trust Repair team has delivered a successful Festival of Learning 2017 event on 11 July titled ‘Lies and Scandals: Whatever happened to Trust?’ and received an overwhelmingly positive feedback from the audience. Once of things that came out of this interactive event is a powerful impact media has on stakeholders’ interpretation of organisational transgressions and, therefore, on ability of brands to repair trust damage. Hence, this sub-project will help in extending scholar’s and practitioners’ understanding on role of both traditional and digital media play in repairing trust towards brands.
This grant is a very positive recognition of BU’s standing internationally and nationally within marketing and consumer behaviour research and contributes towards a growing impact generated by Influences on Consumer Behaviour research centre.
To connect with Dr Bolat, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at @Elvira_MLady
To follow Trust Repair project, tweet at @TrustRepairBU