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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

Don’t make a meal out of insects

May 18th, 2015

“Anyone for beetle dip, ant tacos, cricket fried rice? No? That doesn’t surprise researchers from the University of London’s School of Advanced Study (SAS).”

“Their blunt advice to those worried about dwindling food supplies is simple. Don’t make a meal of the insect ingredients – you’ll just put people off. Instead, simply produce brilliant dishes that no one can resist and let the tastes do the talking.”

“The report, ‘The insectivore’s dilemma, and how to take the West out of it’ is written [by Dr Ophelia Deroy, researcher at SAS’s Centre for the Study of the Senses (CenSes)]  in association with Ben Reade, former head of culinary research and development at the renowned Nordic Food Lab, and Charles Spence, professor of experimental psychologist at Oxford University. It is based on an exhaustive survey of all the recent research done on eating insects, and reveals everything that is wrong with the thinking that people will buy a packet of grilled crickets, or bread made with insect flour as healthy snacks or to save the planet. Public policies treating ‘insects’ as a general category and thinking that people will be convinced by arguments, are heading the wrong way.”

To read the report (Open Access) go to:

[Source School of Advanced Study news: ]

2015 Census Conference

May 18th, 2015

Census Applications: Using the UK’s population census data

Location: University of Manchester

Date: 16 – 17 July 2015

“Now that nearly all census outputs are out and being used the UK Data Service are hosting a two-day conference to celebrate the UK censuses.”

To find out more go to

[Source UK Data Service news: ]

The ‘5 Safes’ of secure access to confidential data

May 18th, 2015

Location: University of Manchester

Date: 17-18 September 2015, 12.00-15.00

“Why do we need a safe environment and procedures to access sensitive data for research? Confidential data, deemed ‘personal’, are generally prevented from release by data collectors, for fear that a data subject could be identified, and confidential information about them exposed.”

“The consequences of such an event are easily imagined: aside from potential legal action and financial compensation, the public will become wary of responding to surveys. Far worse, the public will no longer trust public services which they interact with, to keep their data safe. They may stop visiting their doctor, for example, because they fear their medical data will end up in the hands of an unscrupulous insurer or pharmaceutical company. The consequences of this would be dire. Unless a ‘controlled’ environment can guarantee that the data can be accessed safely, data is generally not made available.”

“This one and a half day workshop organised by the UK Data Service will introduce what is involved in setting up a secure research facility and the principles to support international best practices for providing safe and secure access to confidential and sensitive microdata via secure remote access, the 5 Safes: Safe People, Safe Projects, Safe Settings, Safe Outputs, Safe Data.”

[Source ESRC news: ]

British Academy calls for evidence for new interdisciplinarity project

May 18th, 2015

“The British Academy has [] launched its call for evidence for a new project on interdisciplinarity in research and higher education.”

“The call for evidence will ask individual academics, university management, funders and publishers about their experiences of engaging with interdisciplinarity, the success stories and the challenges.  The project will investigate:

•    how interdisciplinary research is carried out

•    the demand for interdisciplinary research and research skills

•    how academics can forge interdisciplinary careers

•    whether the right structures are in place to support interdisciplinarity across the research and higher education system.”

The deadline for submitting evidence is 26 June 2015.

[Source British Academy news: ]

Chatham House: Social Movements and Civil Society

May 18th, 2015

“Ranked by the University of Pennsylvania’s 2014 Global Go To Think Tanks Index Report as the second most influential think tank in the world (after the Brookings Institution), Chatham House has been contributing to expert thinking on international issues since its founding in 1922. The Social Movement section of the site concentrates its attention on everything from power struggles in Saudi Arabia to tribalism in South Sudan. Readers may scout the site by categories such as Latest, Expert Comment, Research & Publication, Past Events, and Video & Audio. There is a tremendous volume of content here. For instance, there are over 250 (and counting) research papers that are freely accessible, including reviews of democracy in Kuwait, Islam in Russia, and the legacy of France’s colonialism as it plays out in Paris’s suburbs. For readers fascinated by social movements, and looking for a reliable, informed source for in-depth information, Chatham House provides great resources. [CNH]”

[Source Scout Report, 17 April 2015: ]

Power and Education – new MMU journal subscription

May 18th, 2015

Power and Education is an international peer-reviewed journal promoting critical studies of contemporary educational practice and challenging the complicit practices and assumptions of mainstream educational research.”

“The journal is committed to providing a distinctive and comprehensive body of knowledge focusing on the relationships between the concepts of power and education in their broadest senses. Innovative and provocative work stimulating debate around the analysis, construction, deployment and discourses of power in educational practice, research and theory is particularly encouraged, as is work exploring forms of presentation and representation. Contributions from other disciplines that engage with these issues of power and education are also welcome.”

[Source Power and Education website: ]

Next Generation Science Communicators

May 18th, 2015

“Experience in presenting research findings and participating in the scientific dialogue are important aspects to the professional development of researchers early in their careers. Advancing scientific discovery relies on scientists at all career levels to clearly communicate their results, their rationale for working on a project and more.”

“To recognize their efforts and support their growth as science communicators, PLOS is offering up to ten travel awards to early career researchers to communicate their work at an upcoming conference. To be eligible researchers must have published with PLOS, be presenting work at a scientific conference, and currently be part of a graduate program or have received a graduate degree within the last five years.”

“If you are an early career researcher, we invite you to share your thoughts on what is the biggest hindrance for communicating science and what you or your peers can do to address this issue. Apply for a chance to win $500 to offset travel expenses associated with presenting work at a scientific conference taking place between August – December 2015.”

The deadline for submission is June 30, 2015. Further details are available at:

[Source PLOS blog: ]

The good, the bad and the antibacterial – the UK Medical Heritage Library project

May 18th, 2015

The Secret of Health, with the Story of the Missing Bag is a combined story and lay medical tract that was published by Lever Brothers Ltd. (which later became Unilever) and is essentially an extended advert for Lifebuoy Soap. It is one of the many Wellcome Library books digitised as part of the UK Medical Heritage Library project, that are now available online at the Internet Archive.”

The Story of the Missing Bag, is a piece of charmingly trite melodrama in which a poor-yet-virtuous orphan turns her life around, escapes a cruel employer and marries a gentleman – all thanks to her timely discovery of Lifebuoy carbolic soap.”

“A key aspect of Victorian melodrama is that the virtuous are ultimately rewarded and the wicked are punished. Personal hygiene and moral hygiene often went hand in hand, and in this story, cleanliness is next to Godliness: our heroine’s high moral principles (and endorsement of the soap) are contrasted with her ex-employer’s scheming, cruelty and reliance on peptonised teas.”

“The term ‘soap opera’ derives from ongoing radio serials, which were frequently sponsored (and sometimes produced) by soap companies in the 1930s. The Story of the Missing Bag predates soap operas by decades, but its sense of melodrama is pure soap.”

[Source Wellcome Library: ]

Talking Humanities: School of Advanced Study launches online humanities hub

May 18th, 2015

“After more than ten months in development the School of Advanced Study (SAS) has [] unveiled Talking Humanities, a brand new hub for comment and analysis of research, events, training and policy in the UK humanities. Written by academics from around the world, Talking Humanities will provide a variety of thought-provoking articles on the things that matter to, and interest, the humanities researcher.”

“Besides displaying improved website navigation and a ‘decluttered’ look, Talking Humanities aims to reflect subject diversity. And the enhanced design, with a range of new features, will also provide more visual clues about each story’s relative importance and its editorial tone. Whether it is a breaking news story, a piece of analysis, an opinion, a feature or a review, we hope there will be something for everyone.”

“A rich and diverse field of study, the humanities encompasses anything from history to languages, legal studies, music, philosophy, the classics, the arts and politics – and any mix between them and other subject areas. The School has a national mission to support research in any number of humanities disciplines, and facilitate discussion, debate and knowledge wherever possible. This new online hub is an important step towards that mission, and will grow and evolve.”

Go to Talking Humanities

[Source SAS news: ]

Sounds Familiar? Accents and Dialects of the UK

May 18th, 2015

“Do you call a ‘bread roll’ a cob, batch, bread cake, barm cake or scuffler? How do you pronounce the words cup and plant? And are you sitting or sat at this computer? The UK is a rich landscape of regional accents and dialects, each evidence of our society’ s continuity and change, our local history and our day-to-day lives. This site captures and celebrates the diversity of spoken English in the second half of the twentieth century.”

Go to the British library ‘Sounds Familiar’ website at:

[Source British Library ‘Sounds Familiar’ website as above]

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