Tag Archives: exeter

Rural researchers to take the temperature of public opinion on UK environmental change

Social scientists at the University of Exeter are working with environmental policy makers to explore public views on the future management of UK ecosystems.

The Centre for Rural Policy Research (CRPR) are leading a £325,000 project, funded by Sciencewise, the UK’s national centre for public dialogue in policy making involving science and technology issues.  (more…)

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Perfectly mixed up

Drama has become a regular activity for Exeter’s young people in care who have joined forces with students from the University of Exeter to stage a play in Austin, Texas. Stetsons and cowboy boots are at the ready as Exeter’s creative gang of performers head to the United States.

This life changing experience will be the first time that the theatre company ‘Perfectly Mixed Up’ travel and perform outside of Devon. Throughout the week long stay the company will perform their show, More than the Sum, and run two workshops with young people in care in Austin, Texas. ‘Perfectly Mixed Up’ are guests of the University of Texas at Austin who have an exchange programme with the Drama department at University of Exeter.   (more…)

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Slinky Science Inspires African School Children

A University of Exeter physicist has inspired hundreds of African school children to engage with science during a whirlwind outreach tour to Malawi.

Professor Pete Vukusic used simple interactive demonstrations including slinky springs, glass prisms, light sticks and iridescent butterflies to enthral large classes of pupils and teachers in underprivileged rural schools.

The charismatic lecturer combined use of the demos and an interactive and engaging teaching style to explain fundamental and modern science principles to students who are used to formal instructional teaching methods. Professor Vukusic hopes his visit will both help to inspire science learning in these schools and help their teachers adapt to more modern techniques that engage young people more effectively. (more…)

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Proves Effective at Reducing Depression in People Who Have not Responded to Antidepressants

Antidepressants are the most widely used treatment for people with moderate to severe depression.

However, up to two thirds of people with depression don’t respond fully to this type of treatment. New findings have shown cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), provided in addition to usual care, can reduce symptoms of depression and help improve patients’ quality of life.

This is the first large-scale trial to test the effectiveness of CBT – a type of talking psychotherapy- given in addition to usual care that includes antidepressants. The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA)-funded CoBalT study aimed to determine the best ‘next step’ treatment for people whose depression had not responded to medication alone. (more…)

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Close as a Blade-Shaving and Masculinity

Moustaches from the classic handlebar to the dramatic Dali are soon to be cut short as the month of Mo’vember draws to a close, and clean shaven faces return from their period of charitable exile.

Research by a historian at the University of Exeter into the history of shaving and masculinity in eighteenth century Britain shows the advancement of new technologies in steel and the connection between advertising are inextricably linked to a closer shave.

Shaving chimed in with the Age of Enlightenment, where the advance of knowledge through science was encouraged and notions of gentility, polish, and proper self-presentation were hailed. Numerous middle and upper class men in the 18th century known as dandy’s or fops placed a great deal of emphasis on physical appearance, were clean shaven and considered themselves elegant gentlemen. To sport a beard or any form of facial hair was considered to be barbarous or associated with a rustic country cousin, rather than a fashionable man about town. In fashionable circles the period between the Stuarts and the Victorians was a beardless age. (more…)

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Ecologists Shed New Light on Effects of Light Pollution on Wildlife

Light pollution is often associated with negative effects on wildlife. Now, ecologists have found that by mimicking a perpetual full moon, the gas flares and electrical lighting along Scotland’s Forth estuary are helping shorebirds stock up on more food during the winter to fuel their spring migration.

The research is the first to use night-time light data from US military satellites to study animal behaviour.

Coasts and estuaries are among the most rapidly developing areas on Earth. Night-time satellite images of the planet show that except Antarctica, continents are ringed with halos of brightly-lit human development. But coasts are also key wildlife sites. Every year, millions of waterbirds arrive from the Arctic to overwinter on UK coasts, yet scientists remain largely in the dark about how these birds respond to the bright lights of coastal cities and industry. (more…)

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Attitudes Towards Security Threats Uncovered

New research has revealed a significant gap between what the government claims are the biggest security threats facing the UK and the fears of the population.

Terrorism is not perceived as the most important threat to everyday life despite claims by policy makers.

Politics researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Warwick led detailed focus groups across the UK and conducted a nationwide survey as part of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project which looked at public attitudes towards security threats. (more…)

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Blame, Responsibility and Demand for Change Following Floods

New research shows concerns about governmental failure to act effectively and fairly in the aftermath of extreme weather events can affect the degree to which residents are willing to protect themselves.

Published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the findings of a team led by scientists at the University could prove key to establishing how society should evolve to cope with more turbulent weather and more frequent mega storms.

The team examined attitudes in Cumbria in north west England and Galway in western Ireland, which were both hit by heavy flooding in November 2009. Record rainfall was recorded in both countries, resulting in a number of deaths, properties being severely damaged and economic disruption. (more…)

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