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‘Seen but Seldom Heard’ an on-going collaboration between BU academics and Victoria Education Centre, Poole, is taking to the stage again

Seen but Seldom Heard multi-media performance, July 8th, 7pm, West Lulworth Village Hall


West Lulworth Village Hall

Church Road, West Lulworth, Dorset BH20 5SG Monday 8 July 2013, 7pm (doors open).


‘Seen but Seldom Heard’, an on-going collaboration between BU academics and Victoria Education Centre, Poole, is taking to the stage again – this time in the seaside village of West Lulworth.

  The aim of Seen but Seldom Heard, a participatory research project using arts-based methods, is to offer a group of young disabled people a ‘voice’ to collectively question and challenge existing dominant perceptions and representations of disability by sharing their own personal stories through the medium of performance poetry.

   Next Monday’s event will celebrate the achievements of the current group of young poets before many of them leave school this summer. Compered by professional performance poets, Liv Torc and Johnny Fluffypunk, the evening will showcase work using multi-media performance including film, live poetry reading, comedy and song. Four students who received one-to-one mentoring from the professional poets, funded by BU AimHigher, will also perform their individual ‘sets’.

 Seen but Seldom Heard will continue in 2013/14 with a new group of young poets from Victoria Education Centre with further performances already being planned.



 Stephen Copp has recently participated by invitation in an international roundtable consultation at Oxford University for senior academics, business practitioners and religious leaders interested in the intersection of business, faith and development and its global implications. This opportunity arose as part of the development of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative (“ELI”) launched earlier this year by the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture. “

Feedback from Guinea Pig 003





Some quick feed back from attending Wednesday’s new staff development session on Funding your Studentship: engaging effectively with business and industry.   I fell into this session somewhat by accident having moaned in my Associate Prof Action Learning Group the day before about how difficult I was finding working with industry/practice partners (both in getting them to invest but also after investment in the post award working relationship).  I promised Colleen I would pop in for half an hour in the morning and stayed the whole day (so much for the deadlines I face to day!).

I have recently completed a KTP with a local charity and am beginning a matched studentship with another, and was a little down that I could see the same miserable cycle of different timeframes and priorities, the perceived irrelevance of the university and their contributions were rearing their ugly heads yet again.  Similarly, I have been working on building ideas around the development of a centre of collaborative practice based on HSC’s practice development units, and was feeling at a loss as how I could engage and convince practice this was exactly what they needed, even if they don’t know it yet.  Needless to say, sitting in front of a computer practicing the evil art of telepathy has had mixed results.

Following yesterday’s session, I am now full of beans again.  I hadn’t realised the wealth of expertise we had in BU in the form of Linda Amor, Orlanda Harvey, Lucy Rossiter, Ian Jones and Paul Lynch and it was well show cased in yesterday’s session.  The content hit the spot completely with my problems mentioned above.  The session isn’t only about studentships, although listening to different models of making studentships work and breaching the potential gap that lies between what the company and BU perceive the studentship to be, delivering quick wins for the company whilst maintaining academic rigour, were enormously useful.  It is also about crossing those academic/industry boundaries, learning to speak the language of our industrial partners, managing their expectations, listening to their needs and being able to clearly and concisely articulate your added value in addressing their needs.

These are skills rather than knowledge, so I will need to practice. I have a long way to go and am unlikely to get it right every time However, I feel energized enough now to go back into the fray. In fact, I’m now off to pick up the phone (no, not an email) and get on a train to London to talk to my matched studentship partner CEO, to listen to what he really wants from our studentship and see how I can help.

Next sessions run in September for other ivory tower academics looking for a ladder to get you out (of) there.



Fusion supports Euro PR History Network advance

Delegates to the EPRHN Planning Meeting

With financial support from the Fusion Investment Fund, the European Public Relations History Network (EPRHN) held its first planning meeting at BU on Wednesday June 26.

The network was founded virtually in 2012 by Prof Tom Watson of the Media School and drew interest from 33 academics and practitioners in 11 European countries. It was a project by EUPRERA (Europe’s PR education and research association) in autumn last year.

Its aims are to develop and produce information about the history and historiography of public relations in Europe through the identification and formation of archives, transnational research, joint research bids and the production of publications in print and online formats.

The meeting of EPRHN’s core group brought seven historical researchers from Germany, Romania, Spain, Scotland, Turkey and Bournemouth. Fusion assisted their attendance through travel bursaries.

Among the actions to be progressed are a bid to the EU’s COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology) scheme, which was facilitated on Wednesday by Paul Lynch of RKE; a second edition of its Archives Record publication; and a panel session on ‘developing the history of European public relations’ at EUPRERA’s annual conference in October.

Prof Watson, who was supported by Dr Tasos Theofilou in the organisation of the meeting, said it had been highly productive. “There’s a limit to what we can achieve by email and Skype. The EPRHN made a big forward step because FIF helped bring key members together”. It will also assist Prof Watson and Dr Theofilou to fully launch the group at the October conference.

“At present, 13 countries are represented in the network. We hope to widen that base and engage many more historical researchers in its activities”, said Prof Watson.

For more information about EPRHN and BU’s contribution to the burgeoning field of PR history, go to:

Papers from 19 countries at 4th PR history conference

Boston University (BU) speakers at IHPRC 2013

Aussie academics at IHPRC 2013



The fourth International History of Public Relations Conference, held at BU on June 24-25, attracted papers from 19 countries. Organised by the Institute for Media & Communication Research in The Media School, it covered topics as diverse as the Royal Family’s first PR adviser to PR in Kazakhstan, and publicity for the launch of Gone With The Wind in 1939.

Held at the Executive Business Centre, there were two strong themes: the historiography of public relations and historical aspects of the professionalisation of PR. They symbolised the conference’s development since 2010 from largely descriptive narratives to a more analytic, sometimes critical approach.

The conference welcomed the authors of five new or recent books and witnessed the launch of the first title in Routledge’s New Directions on Public Relations and Communication Research series which has been developed and edited by Dr Kevin Moloney of the Media School. The book, Public Relations and Nation Building: Influencing Israel, was written by Dr Margalit Toledano and Prof David McKie.

Prof Tom Watson gave the keynote presentation about the state of scholarship in public relations history. He called for historians to move away from “comfortable” topics to more critical investigation into the use and abuse of public relations.

The conference dinner was addressed by Bob (Robert S.) Leaf, a pioneers of international public relations in the 1960s to 1980s, when he was the international chairman of the leading public relations consultancy Burson-Marsteller. Mr Leaf recently published a memoir, The Art of Perception. Delegates also attended a “meet the editors” session which featured contributions on research and publishing by the editors of four major academic journals in the field.

Papers and presentations will be published on the conference website,, in the late summer. Planning for the 2014 conference, which will be held at the EBC on July 2-3 next year, will start shortly.

Research Ethics: Insights from the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health and the Centre for Social Work, Sociology & Social Policy

Ethics contributions

Collage of research ethics contributions

Academics based in HSC have experience in a wide-range of research.  In the process of reflecting on all aspects of the research process several members of HSC have published about ethical issues that they have had to address in their own research.    This BU Blog highlights some of these key HCS papers which may help fellow academics and students across the globe address similar ethical questions.  HSC has a history of publishing on research ethics, Professor Emerita Immy Holloway wrote about the researcher who may have a dual role, or even conflicting role, as researcher and health care professional (1).  More recently, several midwifery researchers in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health wrote about the issues facing practitioners doing research in the field where they work, especially concerning the similarities and differences between professional ethics and research ethics (2-3).  Negotiating ethical paths cleaved by competing concerns between protecting research participants and over-managing the ethical process is tricky.

In her book Rainforest Asylum: The enduring legacy of colonial psychiatric care in Malaysia Dr. Ashencaen Crabtree in the Centre for Social Work, Sociology & Social Policy, addresses the problematic issue of gate-keepers in research together with the ethics of critical observation of abuse (potential or actual), as well as the ethics of advocating on behalf of research participants (4).

The fear that the ethical application process in the UK is becoming more and more cumbersome and bureaucratic has been widely recognised as highlighted by Prof. van Teijlingen and colleagues (5-6).

Research ethics review processes are also considered in terms of access to participants regarded as ‘vulnerable’ in a recently published paper by Dr. Ashencaen Crabtree (7) of ethnographers working in health settings who are seeking to understand the context of care and patient/service user experiences.  She concludes that paternalistic control of participation on the grounds of ethical protection of vulnerable people seriously disenfranchises potential participants in preventing them from being able to share their relevant, lived experiences as recipients of service provision.

Prof. van Teijlingen and BU Visiting Fellow Dr. Padam Simkhada highlighted that the social, cultural and economic contexts in which research is conducted often differ between developing and developed countries.  However they stress that researchers need to apply for research ethics approval to the relevant local authority, if national legislation requires one to do so (8).

A new and challenging area of research is the use of discussion boards as a source of research data.  In their paper Dr. Bond and BU colleagues discuss both practical and ethical dilemmas that arise in using such data (9). In earlier research, Prof. Parker of the Centre for Social Work, Sociology & Social Policy, highlighted some of the benefits and dangers of using email and the Internet for research as the potential for electronic media continues its rapid growth (10).

Obtaining informed consent is something that all researchers need to consider. However, in some research situations obtaining consent can be particularly challenging.  Prof. Hundley and colleagues discuss the ethical challenges involved in conducting a cluster randomised controlled trial, where consent needs to be considered at a number of levels (11).  In a second paper issues of consent during pregnancy, where there is the potential for harm to two participants, are considered (12).

In research into the implications of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for social research, Prof. Parker explored the contested meanings and difficulties associated with informed consent in social research, highlighting some of the challenges raised by an almost unquestioned acceptance of biomedical research ethics in social research and questioning whether potential ‘harm’ is different in this context (13, 14). This research has led to further explorations of the potential for ethical covert research by Prof. Parker and Dr. Ashencaen Crabtree.


The way forward

There a plenty of challenges to research ethics in both the health and social care sectors.  Ethical considerations relate to technological developments such conducting research over the Internet or the analysis of tweets.  HSC staff will continue to publish on a range of moral dilemma as well as practical issues related to research ethics.  Moreover, academic from the two centres are planning a Masterclass on research ethics to be held in early 2014.




  1. Holloway, I., Wheeler, S. (1995) Ethical Issues in Qualitative Nursing Research, Nursing Ethics 2: 223-232.   Web address:
  2. Ryan, K., Brown, B., Wilkins, C., Taylor, A., Arnold, R., Angell, C., van Teijlingen, E. (2011) Which hat am I wearing today? Practicing midwives doing research, Evidence-Based Midwifery 9(1): 4-8.
  3. van Teijlingen, E.R., Cheyne, H.L. (2004) Ethics in midwifery research, RCM Midwives Journal 7 (5): 208-10.
  4. Ashencaen Crabtree, S. (2012) Rainforest Asylum: The enduring legacy of colonial psychiatric care in Malaysia, London: Whiting & Birch.
  5. van Teijlingen, E., Douglas, F., Torrance, N. (2008) Clinical governance and research ethics as barriers to UK low-risk population-based health research? BMC Public Health 8(396)                            Web address:
  6. van Teijlingen, E. (2006) Reply to Robert Dingwall’s Plenary ‘Confronting the Anti-Democrats: The unethical Nature of Ethical Regulation in Social Science, MSo (Medical Sociology online) 1: 59-60  Web address:
  7. Ashencaen Crabtree, S. (2013) Research ethics approval processes and the moral enterprise of ethnography. Ethics & Social Welfare. Advance Access: DOI:10.1080/17496535.2012.703683
  8. van Teijlingen E.R., Simkhada, P.P. (2012) Ethical approval in developing countries is not optional, Journal of Medical Ethics 38 :428-430.
  9. Bond, C.S,  Ahmed, O.H., Hind, M, Thomas, B., Hewitt-Taylor, J. (2013) The Conceptual and Practical Ethical Dilemmas of Using Health Discussion Board Posts as Research Data, Journal of Medical Internet Research 15(6):e112)  Web address:
  10. Parker, J.  (2008) Email, ethics and data collection in social work research: some reflections from a research project, Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate & Practice, 4 (1): 75-83.
  11. Hundley, V, Cheyne, HC, Bland, JM, Styles, M, Barnett, CA.. (2010) So you want to conduct a cluster randomised controlled trial? Lessons from a national cluster trial of early labour, Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 16: 632-638
  12. Helmreich, R.J., Hundley, V., Norman, A., Ighedosa, J., Chow, E. (2007) Research in pregnant women: the challenges of informed consent, Nursing for Women’s Health 11(6):  576-585.
  13. Parker, J., Penhale, B., Stanley, D., 2010. Problem or safeguard? Research ethics review in social care research and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Social Care & Neurodisability, 1 (2): 22-32.
  14. Parker, J., Penhale, B., Stanley, D. (2011) Research ethics review: social care and social science research and the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Ethics & Social Welfare, 5(4): 380-400.


Vanora Hundley, Sara Ashencaen Crabtree, Jonathan Parker & Edwin van Teijlingen



European Interprofessional Education Network

For all of us interested in building EU networks in the area of interprofessional, interagency and integrated working and education, the European Interprofessional Education Network (EIPEN) conference in September may be of interest.  Abstract deadline has been extended to 30 June.

BU research on the Japanese Tohoku tsunami

Dr Maharaj Vijay Reddy from the School of Tourism has recently returned from the Tohoku region of North East Japan, where he explored the nature of the impact of the 2011 on the tourism industry of the North East Japan and identified the priorities for socio-economic revival and sustainable future of the coastal communities and local businesses including agriculture and fisheries. The Great East Japan earthquake (8.9 magnitude) and the tsunami that followed have had catastrophic impacts on Northern Japan creating economic, nuclear and humanitarian crises in 2011. The major part of fieldwork was carried out with the financial support offered by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation in London.

Dr Reddy’s very intensive fieldwork in March 2013 covered all the four Prefectures of the Tohoku on the Pacific coast, namely Miyagi, Iwate, Aomori and Fukushima. He has completed over 80 semi-structured interviews by meeting with multidisciplinary stakeholders from the four worst affected Prefectures as well as respondents and relevant organizations in Tokyo and other parts of the Japan. This significant project was completed with the prompt local help offered by the Directors related to the Departments of Environment, Fisheries, Infrastructure, Industry and Tourism within the Prefectural Government Offices of Miyagi, Iwate and Aomori.

Respondents include ANA Airlines, Japan East Railway, JAL City Hotels, Metropolitan Hotels, Monterey Hotels, Toyoko Inn Hotels, Tourism Associations based in famous locations such as Matshushima (Miyagi), Hachinohe (Aomori) and Morioka (Iwate), leading tour operators including JTB, relief agencies such as the Nippon Foundation, Ocean Policy Research Foundation and many other local businesses whose opinions are being translated (from Japanese language) ‘anonymously’ by the students at the School of Tourism for analysis and interpretation.

Dr Reddy expressed his sincere thanks to those respondents and the others who offered immense support. For instance, Mr Ishikua of Miyagi Prefecture Government, Mr Mikami of Aomori Prefecture Government, Mr Kobori of Japan National Tourism Organisation in Tokyo, Ms Mizuho of Monterey Hotel in Sendai, UNITAR Hiroshima, Sendai Tourism and Convention Bureau, and researchers at the Kwansei Gakuin University in Hyogo and the Fukushima University.

Rami Mhanna visits Russia as part of the Santander Travel Grant






Last year we bought you the story of Rami Mhanna receiving a Santander Scholarship. Below he shares his experiences of travelling to Russia as part of his grant:

As part of Santander Travel Grant, I am visiting Russia in order to do a research about Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

I started by visiting Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), which is one of the Santander Universities. I also visited the Russian International Olympic University in Moscow RIOU, where I met Professor Nicolay Peshin. And then, I did an interview at Sochi 2014 Committee in Moscow.

In Krasnodar Region where Sochi is located my research focused on the planning and preparation for Sochi 2014 as well as the perceptions of Sport and Tourism legacy. I met some of the key decision makers such as the Deputy Ministers of Sport, and Deputy Minister of Tourism for Krasnodar Region. During my stay in Krasnodar, I visited Kuban State University for Physical Education Sport and Tourism; I met the Vice Rector of Research and the head of Sochi 2014 volunteers centre. The Kuban University welcomed me and BU and they thanked me for doing research about Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

I moved then to Sochi city and I stayed 4 days, where I visited Sochi City Administration. I interviewed the Deputy Mayor of Sochi, the Deputy Head of the department for Sport and the Deputy Head of the Department for Tourism.

My visit to Russia was successful at all levels, and it will enrich my experience and my research skills.

I would like to thank Santander and BU and my great supervisors: Professor Adam Blake and Dr. Ian Jones for their support.

Challenges of Leadership

Leadership is a word often bandied about with many people claiming, assuming or being allocated ‘leadership’ roles, but what does this actually mean when trying to bring about societal improvements? Last week as part of an NHS South of England project BU and Plymouth University hosted a 2 day workshop for strategic leaders in the NHS, Local Authorities and the voluntary sector responsible for strategic leadership in the world of dementia in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. The aim of this project is to promote improvements in the provision of dementia care at a time of fiscal challenge. Working across organisational and disciplinary boundaries, learning from others and acting rather than just talking about the policy directives and vision that contextualises dementia is key. We had several high profile speakers at the workshop, including the Chief Executive of the Alzheimer Society, Jeremy Hughes; the Clinical Lead for dementia for NHS England, Prof Alistair Burns; the immediate Past President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Sarah Pickup; Angela Rippon a high profile ambassador for the Alzheimer Society as well as BU’s own director of the NCPQSW. Prof Keith Brown who does a lot of leadership training across the country. We also had a person living with dementia reminding us of why it is of utmost importance to ensure that people with dementia can live well with their dementia and really what the workshop was all about. Key messages I took from the 2 days that are perhaps transferable to anyone with a leadership role are first that it sometimes just important to get on and do what you need to do because it is the ‘right thing to do’ and this may be at odds with procedures, other colleagues perceptions and priorities but still worth doing! Good leaders sometimes need to buck the trend and with convention, and there were lots of dementia specific examples about how people have been innovative in challenging times. Another key leadership message related to working together and learning from others rather than reinventing the wheel. None of these are new messages but do highlight the ongoing challenges those with key strategic roles face as they work to address key societal concerns.

Pragmatic but theoretically informed solutions to the challenges facing collaborative practice and education

In-2- theory Group members delivered a workshop at the CABIV Conference in Vancouver this week on how to operationalise  psychosocial theory in collaborative practice and interprofessional education settings to assist practitioners in their critical reflection and problem solving skills in this area. The workshop offered a taster of a knowledge exchange model to be developed through a Canadian Institutes of  Health Research (CIHR) grant held by the Universities of New Brunswick, Bournemouth University, University of British Colombia and others.  In this model the domains of practitioner knowledge collected through participant narratives overlap with academic theoretical knowledge, in the coproduction of new narratives retold through a theoretical lens.  Our aim is the development of pragmatic but theoretically informed solutions to the challenges facing collaborative practice and education.   For further discussion, Contact Sarah Hean or Shelley Docuet,

BU paper in top ten in the international journal Midwifery


First page of the paper

The paper ‘Risk, theory, social and medical models’ published in 2010 co-authored with Dr. Helen Bryers made it into the top ten most downloaded articles in the past 90 days from the journal Midwifery.  See

It is also in the top 12 most quoted papers published in Midwifery.  This interesting as all 11 papers that have been cited more often are older, i.e. have been in print longer and therefore had more time to be cited.

The Abstract of the paper reads:

Background: there is an on-going debate about perceptions of risk and risk management in maternity care. Objectives: to provide a critical analysis of the risk concept, its development in modern society in general and UK maternity services in particular. Through the associated theory, we explore the origins of the current preoccupation with risk Using Pickstone’s historical phases of modern health care, the paper explores the way maternity services changed from a social to a medical model over the twentieth century and suggests that the risk agenda was part of this process. Key conclusions: current UK maternity services policy which promotes normality contends that effective risk management screens women suitable for birth in community maternity units (CMUs) or home birth: however, although current policy advocates a return to this more social model, policy implementation is slow in practice. Implications for practice: the slow implementation of current maternity policy in is linked to perceptions of risk. We content that intellectual and social capital remains within the medical model. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

The full reference this paper is MacKenzie Bryers, H. & van Teijlingen, E. (2010) Risk, theory, social and medical models: A critical analysis of the concept of risk in maternity care. Midwifery 26(5): 488-496.

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health



Challenging accepted ‘givens’

Last week, I (Jonathan Parker, Professor of Social Work & Social Policy, Deputy Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange and Director of the Centre for Social Work, Sociology and Social Policy in HSC) presented a keynote lecture at University Campus Suffolk’s annual conference on social work education and practice last week.

In the lecture, I questioned the increased reliance on practice learning in professional education, reminding delegates – academics and social work practitioners from East Anglia, Essex, Norfolk, Nottingham and Suffolk – that there has been almost uncritical acceptance of this pedagogic methodology demonstrating compliance rather than research-based reflection. I drew on many years of research critically questioning the concept of practice learning to paint alternative pictures of it to the ones promoted by those advocating reform.

I sought to ‘trouble’ the recent reforms of social work education and challenged professional bodies and Government to work together and let recent reforms ‘bed-in’ before attempting further revision. I questioned the anecdotal evidence used to initiate reform as representing political ideology and a means of deflecting attention from other social policy failures rather than indicating a pressing need for change. Using models from organisational sociology and the pursuit of legitimacy through standardisation, consistency and compliance, I called for a continuing questioning and discomforting of ‘givens’, and commitment to searching for best evidence whilst questioning the meanings professionals make of ‘evidence’ and the power relations it constructs. The appeal for intellectually robust resistance to poorly evidenced and politically-motivated calls for reform was well received.

Poland and the Eurozone Conference – September Event

Poland and the Eurozone Conference

Date: Thursday 19 & Friday 20 September 2013

Venue: Bournemouth University, Executive Business Centre<>, BH8 8EB Register for this free event here<>.

Poland is one of Europe’s economic out-performers. The country’s history and geography encourage it to be in favour of deeper European integration. But setbacks affecting the EURO impacted Poland’s European stance with caution. Proposals for pressing ahead with deeper political integration for EMU countries – a step towards a ‘two-speed Europe’ that would leave the Poles outside, have been received reservedly in Warsaw.

The keynote address will be given by Leszek Balcerowicz<> on “Euro: problems and solutions”.  Leszek, former deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and President of the National Bank of Poland, is a Professor of Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics.

This conference aims to contribute to discussions on the future shape of economic and monetary union (EMU) and the next steps ahead. Contributions on all aspects are welcome in the form of 300 word abstracts.

We aim to publish a selection of conference papers with the Palgrave/Macmillan’s book series ‘Studies in Economic Transition’.<>

 Please send all submissions by email<> before 15 July 2013.