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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

MRC launches new mental health strategy

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

“The Medical Research Council’s [MRC] neuroscience and mental health board has today launched a completely updated mental health strategy (PDF, 750KB) to drive forward discovery science in the field.”

“Mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, are estimated to affect approximately one in six people at any time in the UK and have a significant and long-term impact on the lives of individuals and their families. Mental disorders cost the UK economy an estimated £70-100 billion annually.”

“The MRC will work with other Research Councils; Departments of Health across the four nations of the UK; charities; industry and people with experience of mental illness.”

“While continuing to support mental health research through the MRC’s open competitions for research grants and fellowships, the new strategy aims to accelerate understanding of mental illness and the development of new treatments by focusing research in a number of key areas.”

[Source Medical Research Council news: ]

MRC Festival of Medical Research

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

“The second annual MRC [Medical Research Council] Festival of Medical Research will take place from 17–25 June 2017. To find MRC Festival activities near you to attend, take a look at the programme:

“The MRC Festival takes place in England, Scotland and Wales, online and in Africa where a wide range of free public activities involving scientists from research establishments, including MRC units, centres and institutes, will showcase MRC-funded research.”

“MRC Festival activities include open days, public lectures and debates, activity days, workshops, interactive seminars and quizzes. Some are open to the public, either as drop-in sessions or by booking a free place in advance, while others are designed for a specifically invited audience.”

[Source Medical Research Council: ]

Darker Sides of the FWW Study Day

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

“Gateways to the First World War [Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project] is pleased to announce the programme for another of its popular study days, on the theme of ‘Darker Sides of the First World War’, to be held at the University of Kent on Friday 30th June 2017.”

“As the centenary of the First World War rolls on it is right that in 2017 our attention should be focused on the history of military (in)discipline during the conflict. The year 1917 saw the Russian Army collapse, the Italian Army falter and the French Army experience mass mutinies – not to mention what did/did not happen at the infamous Étaples British training camp.”

“Military discipline will be the subject of the opening keynote session by Dr Tim Bowman (University of Kent) who will talk about ‘Mutinies and remobilization: Armies at War in 1917′.”

“To compliment the subjects of mutiny and military discipline the theme of ‘Darker Sides’ was chosen to shed light on the work of historians looking at subjects which do not often feature in the public narrative, often due to their grittier and less comfortable nature. Also confirmed for the study day are papers on prostitution, espionage and policing, the drink problem, soldier suicides, collaboration under military occupation and obscene language.”

To find out more and to book a place go to:

[Source AHRC news: ]

Tricking the Impossible: word and type: Penny Rimbaud and Bracketpress

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

24 April – 25 August 2017

MMU Special Collections Gallery,

3rd Floor,

Sir Kenneth Green Library

“This exhibition examines the close, collaborative relationship between the author Penny Rimbaud (co-founder of the highly influential punk rock collective Crass) and typesetter and book designer Christian Brett. The exhibition draws on extensive archive material from the Bracketpress archive held at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections. Brett’s collaborations with Rimbaud employ many expressive and conceptual typographic tricks, creating visually exciting designs for some very challenging texts. Along with published material (novels, essays, poetry and music) the exhibition also includes working designs for as yet unpublished works.”

“Bracketpress is an independent radical publisher of books, pamphlets and limited edition prints co-founded by Christian Brett & Alice Smith. The exhibition is part of RANDOM Archive, a collaborative project with Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre exploring text and type.”

[Source Manchester Met Library Special collections: ]

Nationwide programme of events announced for UK Robotics Week 2017

Monday, May 15th, 2017

“Challenges in extreme environments and surgical robots, film premieres and flying exhibitions have been announced as part of the second UK Robotics Week.”

“The expanded nationwide programme of events will showcase the UK’s role at the heart of robotics innovation from 24 to 30 June, and will build on the success of the inaugural UK Robotics Week in 2016. The UK’s first Robotics Week proved to be an instant success, with major interest in activities including the demonstration of autonomous vehicle technology.”

“Organised by the EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network) and supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), The Royal Academy of Engineering, IET and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK Robotics Week 2017 will feature exclusive open days, public lectures, film premieres competitions and cutting-edge demonstrations and exhibitions.”

“The Science Museum Lates Exhibition: Robots, will take place on 28 June and feature a unique collection of more than 100 robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk to robots from science fiction and modern-day research labs.”

[Source EPSRC news: ]

Aerial Digimap updates

Monday, May 15th, 2017

“March/April 2017 has been a busy couple of months for the Data Team who have been working hard to process a huge area of updated aerial imagery data from the data supplier, Getmapping. The update consists of around 80,000 individual 1km tiles, all captured in 2015, which is approximately 30% of the country.”

“Prior to the update just over 50% of the data was from 2013 or later; after the update 77% of the data is from 2013 or later.”

“This means that more up to date imagery is now available for viewing and download through Aerial Digimap for a significant proportion of the country.”

[Source Digimap blog: ]

New research centre to inform UK housing policy

Monday, May 15th, 2017

“The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation are delighted to announce the launch of the new UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE).”

“Housing has a considerable impact on our society and economy. Almost 1 in 10 British jobs are in the housing sector, and more than a fifth of household spending goes on rent, mortgage payments, home repairs, maintenance and improvements. The availability, cost and design of housing impacts on people’s aspirations, their health and wellbeing, and even their children’s education. Failure of housing markets can lead to wider economic problems, as well as poverty and homelessness.”

“The new national research centre, which will be independent from government and other interests, is a collaboration between nine UK Universities and four non-HEI organisations and will have staff located at 5 hubs across the UK in Glasgow, Sheffield, London, Cardiff and Belfast. CaCHE will be led by the University of Glasgow. CaCHE will advance knowledge of the housing market, provide robust evidence to inform housing policy and practice across the UK, and will join together a comprehensive range of stakeholders with the goal of tackling housing problems at a national, devolved, regional, and local level.”

“The five year centre will launch on 1st August 2017 and will receive £6 million of funding from the ESRC, with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the AHRC. A further £1.5m of funding will come from the consortium itself.”

[Source AHRC news: ]

Galleries – a new way to explore Europeana Collections

Monday, May 15th, 2017

“With more than 54 millions objects to find in Europeana Collections, there’s a lot to explore. We regularly feature the stories of these objects – whether paintings, photographs, text, music or video – here on our blog and in our exhibitions.”

“Galleries present a curated selection of images on a certain theme. Some bring together artworks from across Europe, while some focus more on just one country.”

“Most of the galleries connect to our thematic collections: Europeana Art, Europeana Music, Europeana Fashion and Europeana 1914-1918.”

“Galleries also give you the opportunity to delve a little deeper, linking back to the original object with all its contextual information. And should you wish to re-use the item, licensing information is provided.”

“We’re starting with around 40 galleries but we’ll be publishing new galleries regularly, so make sure to check back or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Galleries can be found on Europeana Collections by following the link in the Explore menu.”

[Source Europeana blog: ]

Research teaches machines to decipher the dawn chorus

Monday, May 15th, 2017

“Innovative research looking at the timing and sequence of bird calls could provide new insight into the social interaction that goes on between birds. It will also help teach machines to differentiate between man-made and natural sounds and to understand the world around them.”

“The work is being led by Dr Dan Stowell, a research fellow in machine listening at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). It is supported through an Early Career Fellowship from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). An audio slide-show, “Deciphering the dawn chorus”, on this research is available on YouTube with examples of the bird recordings.”

“In August 2015, Dr Stowell’s technology was released to the public in a smartphone app called Warblr. Users record the sound of a bird on their mobile device and the app analyses the sound, matches it with patterns of bird calls in its dataset and provides a list of possible species that the recording matches.”

“Dr Stowell is now building on this work to take the computer analysis of the sounds that birds make to a new level, to discover more about what messages are being communicated and who is dominating the conversations that are going on.”

[Source EPSRC news: ]

PLOS Collections: Dementia Across the Lifespan and Around the Globe

Monday, May 15th, 2017

“PLOS Medicine recently compiled this special collection of PLOS articles dedicated to research on dementia. This collection may be of interest to researchers and health care professionals, as well as those who know someone personally affected by dementia. This special collection is guest edited by Dr. Carol Bryane, director of the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, and Dr. Bruce Miller, director of the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco. Featured articles include a synthesis of available medical research for Alzheimer’s disease; an analysis of different kinds of rehabilitative therapy for individuals with dementia; and an investigation of dementia diagnosis in the Netherlands over a course of 22 years. In addition, Eric B. Larson and Kenneth M. Langa’s article, “What’s the ‘Take Home’ from Research on Dementia Trends?”, offers a helpful analysis of the Dutch study’s significance for members of the general public. [MMB]”

[Source Scout Report, 24 March, 2017: