[RESEARCH FUNDING] ESRC Festival of Social Science #ESRCFestival

Dr Bex Lewis and Sarah Penney have been awarded funding for the ESRC Festival of Social Science (November 2017) for the following event, drawing upon Bex’s original PhD research into British Second World War propaganda posters, and Sarah’s current PhD research on nostalgic marketing.

Keep Calm and Stay Nostalgic: why wartime propaganda posters continue to be relevant today?

To raise awareness with young school students about the importance of social sciences and how we as humans interact with the world around us, and create collective behaviours. The themes of the sessions will include: identity, consumer behaviour, nostalgia, memory, propaganda, mass communication and influence.

The event will commence with a lecture/assembly with Dr Bex Lewis and Sarah Penney, presenting their specialist PhD research on wartime propaganda and nostalgic marketing to secondary school students, subjects which they are passionate about sharing with others. The Second World War remains an important part of British identity, and is a recognised study area for secondary education. The event will continue with a hands-on task for pupils to engage with the social science theories presented, drawing upon a resource pack. This interactive session would offer new insights for teachers and students into social science perspectives engaging with up to date research. This will encourage them to think about important moments of their childhood, and the formation of their individual and collective identities.

*See related publication.


THE INTERNET ON OUR OWN TERMS: How Children and Young People Deliberated About Their Digital Rights #DigitalLiteracy

The following report was launched in the House of Lords on 31st January 2017, supported by Nominet Trust, Horizon, commissioned by 5Rights. I’m looking forward to reading it:

Academic Digital

Lack of Tech Savvy for PhD Students?

Interesting story about use – or lack of – of social media, etc. in academic institutions:

Few PhD students explore new technologies in their research or understand the range of information available to them, a report commissioned by the British Library and higher education technology body Jisc has found.

Researchers of Tomorrow, published on 28 June, surveyed more than 17,000 PhD students over three years, following 60 in depth and looking in particular at those born between 1982 and 1994, the so-called Generation Y.

It states that despite being technologically savvy, Generation Y doctoral students know little about the range and authenticity of research information available in new formats such as online databases, e-journals and repositories, and few know how to access it.

They also have little understanding of open access and copyright. Many believe supervisors would not approve of citing open-access papers and only 26 per cent know that funders are beginning to expect open access to the research they support.

Read full story.

Academic Digital

A grounding in gadgets (with @aleksk)

The British Library’s new researcher-in-residence will use both her media and academic expertise, writes Hannah Fearn

With an enviable career as a television presenter and popular technology pundit, entry into the academy seemed an unlikely path for Aleks Krotoski.

But a year after completing a PhD at the University of Surrey, she has found the ideal post, which allows her to do work with “academic rigour” and to make the most of her ability to inspire non-specialist audiences about the potential of emerging technologies.

Dr Krotoski was this week unveiled as researcher-in-residence for the British Library’s forthcoming exhibition Growing Knowledge: The Evolution of Research.

The exhibition, held in partnership with Times Higher Education, will showcase current and future technologies that could revolutionise the conduct of research the world over. The British Library’s partners include technology companies such as Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, and institutions such as Brown University in the US. Input will also be sought from other leading libraries such as the New York Public Library and Columbia University’s library.

Academic Digital

Scholars need to use more digital research tools

Libraries can aid academics with resource discovery by helping them to use cutting-edge technologies, says Richard Boulderstone

The Garibaldi Panorama is one of the most striking treasures held by Brown University in the US. It was originally displayed to large, paying audiences in the 1860s, at the height of Giuseppe Garibaldi’s international popularity: 4ft high and 273ft long and painted on both sides, it scrolls through depictions of the life and adventures of the great Italian hero.

Its unusual format means that the physical artefact is not readily accessible to large numbers of researchers – but recent advances in digitisation and display technologies mean that the Panorama has a rich, inspiring future.

Painstakingly scanned in 6ft sections and then stitched together into a seamless whole, a virtual version of the Panorama can now be viewed via a Microsoft Surface “tabletop” viewer. Groups of researchers can scroll, extract and zoom in on details of the painting. Extra information, such as contemporary newspaper reports of Garibaldi’s exploits, can be viewed alongside, opening up new possibilities for collaborative research.

The cutting-edge technology used on the Panorama is just one of a wide range of applications that allow people to interact and collaborate, in real time, regardless of previously critical limitations such as distance, space and number of participants.

But while these technologies are widely used for social interaction, there is evidence that many researchers are not yet taking advantage of these tools, despite their potential.

Read full story.