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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Don’t make a meal out of insects

Monday, 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: ]

British Academy calls for evidence for new interdisciplinarity project

Monday, 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: ]

Talking Humanities: School of Advanced Study launches online humanities hub

Monday, 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: ]

Six UK universities reach the top of worldwide subject league tables

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

“In case you’ve missed the barrage of excited tweets from universities, QS has released its annual subject rankings, showing which universities around the world are rated best across a selection of 36 subject areas.”

“This year’s tables show a mixed picture in the UK, and suggest that academic excellence is continuing to spread eastwards. But which countries are gaining ground and who is losing out?”

“The subject rankings are based on research citations from Scopus data – this includes analysis from 17.3 million research papers and over 100 million citations – alongside reputational surveys of over 126,000 academics and graduate employers worldwide.”

“This year, QS introduced six new subjects to the rankings: business and management, architecture, art & design, dentistry, development studies and veterinary science.”

[Source Higher Education network: ]

1930s Land Use Maps now in Environment Digimap

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

“We have moved the Dudley Stamp Land Use Survey maps from the Historic Digimap Collection to their more natural home in Environment Roam. In doing so we have increased their usability. You can now pan and zoom much more easily and can print and annotate the maps, something that was not available in the previous Land Use Map Viewer.”

“Two scales of map are available for all of England, Scotland and Wales: 1:625,000 and 1:63,360.  Environment Roam automatically switches between these at the appropriate point when zooming in or out of the map.”

“To view the 1930s maps go to the Basemaps selector on the right hand side of Environment Roam and choose Dudley Stamp 1930s from the drop down window.”

[Source Digimap blog: ]

Remember the World as well as the War (WW1)

Monday, April 27th, 2015

“The year 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, setting in motion some research about the level of historical knowledge about the war and perceptions of its contemporary relevance.”

“The results of this survey, conducted by the British Council, are now available to download from the UK Data Service: ‘Knowledge and Perceptions of the First World War, 2013: a Seven-Country Survey’.”

“The survey spanned seven countries (Egypt, France, Germany, India, Russia, Turkey and the UK), sampling over 1,000 individuals from each country, and informed the British Council’s publication on the centenary of the beginning of the First World War, Remember the World as well as the War. The survey explored respondents’ knowledge of historical facts about the First World War as well as their perceptions of the conflict’s contemporary significance, capturing the implications of the conflict beyond Europe.”

To access the publication Remember the World as well as the War, go to:

To access the dataset Knowledge and Perceptions of the First World War, 2013: a Seven-Country Survey, go to:

[Source UK Data Service news: ]

A new vision for Food, Nutrition and Health research

Monday, April 27th, 2015

“BBSRC [Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council], MRC [Medical Research Council] and ESRC [Economic and Social Research Council] have published a vision for joint working in Food, Nutrition and Health research.”

“The document has been developed by a joint expert steering group. It recognises that where research problems are influenced by a variety of interacting biological, medical and social factors, approaches which consider these interdependencies will provide a more effective basis for new health policies, therapies, products and interventions.”

“The vision outlines the Councils’ intent to jointly foster multidisciplinary and integrative research and researchers in Food, Nutrition and Health across the biological (basic and medical) and social sciences. It aims to clearly articulate the added value of a joint strategic approach, running alongside Council-specific activities, and highlight emerging opportunities for integrative research across Council remits.”

“In the spirit of the joint Research Council Food, Nutrition and Health vision, BBSRC and MRC will partner to encourage co-ordinated effort in mechanistic nutritional research through Responsive Mode later in 2015.”

“To complement this vision, BBSRC has published a Strategic Framework for its investment in Food, Nutrition and Health research. The Framework aims to provide the academic and wider stakeholder communities with a clear roadmap for BBSRC’s strategic support for the area over the next five years.”

“Both documents, ‘A Cross-Council vision for Food, Nutrition and Health research’ and ‘BBSRC Research in Food, Nutrition and Health – Strategic Framework: 2015 – 2020′ are available in the downloads section at

[Source BBSRC news: ]

Cormac Ó Gráda Public Lecture: ‘Cast Back into the Dark Ages of Medicine? The Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance’

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Location: Room IMC.002, University of Warwick

Date: 28 April 2015, 18.00-19.15

“Professor Ó Gráda will talk on ‘Cast Back into the Dark Ages of Medicine? The Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance’.

  • With the virtual eradication of most infectious diseases, life expectancy in the UK and other high-income countries has doubled in the last century or so.
  • The gains in poor countries have been smaller, but still significant.
  • The welfare gains associated with the control of infection have been huge.
  • Most of the increase in life expectancy preceded the antibiotics revolution.
  • Public health measures have been essential to the story of controlling infectious diseases.
  • The challenge of AMR needs to be set in historical context: though real, it does not have to mean a return to ‘the dark ages of medicine’.
  • Meeting the challenge requires a focus on both supply of antimicrobials (the ‘pipeline’) and the demand for them (consumption).
  • There is considerable scope for reducing consumption and thereby resistance.
  • Public health measures and health education can usefully reinforce measures to restrain consumption.
  • The pipeline is not as dry as usually claimed.”

[Source ESRC news: ]

Social cognition: From evolution to applications – 2015 workshop

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Location: Bangor University, Wales

Date: 27-28 August 2015

“The aim of this workshop is to encourage and continue interdisciplinary discussion of social cognition. We welcome comparative psychologists, developmental psychologists, social neuroscientists, and psychologists working in clinical and applied domains, and challenge attendees to reflect on how their work relates to other academic and applied disciplines. Similar to last year’s meeting, the broad themes of the workshop include “evolution”, “development”,  “mechanisms”, and “applications”, drawing discussants from a range of disciplines including comparative biology, developmental psychology, social neuroscience and clinical psychology. To foster the richest discussion between all participants, attendance will be capped at 55 participants again this year.”

Register and submit your abstract (before 1 May) on the Social Cognition website:

[Source Economic and Social Research Council news: ]

Big data in practice: Canada and the UK join forces on dementia research

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

“The MRC Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) has joined forces [] with the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) in a transatlantic effort to share data and research expertise in the fight to better understand, treat and prevent dementia.”

“The collaboration, agreed through a Memorandum of Understanding [], will link the vast amount of health and healthcare data which is collected as part of large population studies (called ‘broad data’) in the UK and Canada,  with detailed clinical and biological data (called ‘deep data’) to create an international resource for dementia research. This ‘big data’ pool will give researchers a wealth of useful information about people’s health and lifestyle from a variety of environments, including care in the home and long term care facilities, which will be key in understanding how and why dementia develops.”

[Source Medical Research Council news: ]

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