Dr Chris Stantis from the Faculty of Science and Technology recently attended an international workshop sponsored by the British Council, ‘Archaeology and Cultural Geography of Arctic and Subarctic Coastal Regions,’ AKA ‘Arctic Coasts.’ As part of the British Council Researcher Links Programme, Arctic Coasts provided opportunities for researchers focusing on this part of the world to interact and explore long-term collaboration in the beautiful region of Arkhangelsk. The Arctic often holds well-preserved archaeological material due to the cold temperatures, but climate change necessitates a timely spotlight on these sites as archaeological deposits are lost at an alarming rate due to issues such as melting permafrost and rising sea-levels.
In addition to special guests who were established leaders in the Arctic, this workshop supported the participation of 24 early-career researchers working out of Britain and Russia. Dr Stantis contributed to the workshop as an early-career researcher who focuses on bioarchaeology, the study of human remains from archaeological contexts.
The Arctic Coasts workshop gave ample opportunity for the participants to learn about each other and each other’s work in the beautiful city of Arkhangelsk, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Solovetsky Islands, and the seventeen hour train-and-ferry journey in between. Introductory presentations showed a variety of researchers had attended the workshop: not only archaeologists, but museum curators, folklorists, and cultural anthropologists focusing on heritage adaptation. Multiple contacts were made by Dr Stantis that will hopefully establish long-term collaboration in the future.
The Medical Research Council have a series of ‘career inspirations’ podcasts, released on the first Wednesday of every month, where they ask a scientist to share their career highlights, what makes them tick, and their advice for forging a career in medical research.
This month’s comes from a technology specialist, however in the last 3 months they have also released podcasts from a clinical psychologist, a nutrition scientist and a stem cell scientist.
You can find the series here, which contains a link to iTunes where you can subscribe to the podcasts on your iPhone or iPad.
On the 10th April 2018, Dr Ben Hicks (Psychology Lecturer and ADRC) presented on the graffiti work that was undertaken at the Brooke Mead assisted living facility in Brighton. The event was used to mark the opening of Brooke Mead, a facility with 45 self-contained flats for people with dementia and their care partners, and was attended by the Brighton Mayor and local councillors.
Over the past month, as part of a British Psychological Society funded project, Ben has worked with Dr Shanti Shanker (Psychology Lecturer), Angela El-Zeind (Graffiti Artist) and James Skinner (documentary film maker) to deliver a series of graffiti workshops to residents of Brooke Mead who are living with dementia. The workshops focussed on exploring participants’ sense of ‘self’ and identity since the on-set of dementia and their transition into a new environment. As part of this, they were encouraged to ‘get creative’ by crafting their own stencils, developing their own ‘tag’ (a symbol that is personal to them) and expressing their message on a canvass board using spray cans. A short film documenting the workshops was created as part of the project and was premiered at the opening alongside the residents’ art work.
The art work was warmly received by those attending the event, and informal discussions highlighted the potential that graffiti has for providing a creative platform whereby people with dementia can challenge negative public perceptions of their capabilities. As Brooke Mead continues to fill its rooms with local Brighton residents, they are keen for further graffiti workshops to take place. Boosted by these positive findings, the researchers will use this preliminary data alongside the short film to seek funding for a more substantial project that will examine how graffiti arts can be used as a medium to support identity and social inclusion in people with dementia.
For more details on Brooke Mead please visit: https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/press-release/brooke-mead-extra-care-housing-scheme-opens
Ben with a local artist in residence
The Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) External Innovations are running a Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP) to aid with the commercialisation of STFC research in key global challenge areas within the healthcare sector.
Key Priority areas include:
- Informatics and Computing for Physical and Mental Health
- Early diagnosis and disease detection
- Remote patient monitoring
- Cancer Treatment
Applicants will need to demonstrate that they are working closely with industry and clinicians as well as prepare a full business plan. Please note, lead applicants must be employed within a Research Organisation group previously or currently funded by the STFC core Science Programme.
The closing date for outline applications will be at 16:00 on 7 November 2017.
For those wishing to prepare an application to this funding call please contact your relevant faculty Funding Development Officer.
Following a successful application to the Fusion Investment Fund I have been awarded a period of Study Leave, to move on a body of research to publication. Under the umbrella title of ‘ The ceremonial landscapes and funerary monuments of southern Britain’ I will be bringing together material from seven seasons of archaeological field work focussed upon the later Neolithic and Early Bronze Age monuments found in the Allen Valley on Cranborne Chase in east Dorset. The cluster of henge monuments at Knowlton and a dense concentration of round barrows associated with them have been an important factor associated with my research interests since 1994. This grouping of broadly contemporary archaeological monuments has up until recently been under explored even though the importance of the group it can be argued is on a par with better known ceremonial complexes such as those at Stonehenge, Avebury and Orkney.
Amongst the discoveries made during the fieldwork was the discovery of a late Neolithic house, one of the most complete examples thus far discovered in the UK and an unusual mortuary complex which offers important and exciting new insights into the burial ritual and practices at the beginning of the 2nd millennia BC.
The study leave period will be starting in the late summer and I am very much looking forward to the dedicated space and time so necessay to bring together this large body of work.
Excavations at High Lea Farm 2007 ( Early Bronze Age Barrow and later Saxon cemetery)