Neighbourhood Planning HIVE: The University of Reading, 6th June 2018

Meadow Suite, Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading

Since 2011 Neighbourhood Planning has developed considerable momentum and many lessons have been learned. The University of Reading has become renowned for its academic research on Neighbourhood Planning activity, and this has informed Government policy and communities.

On 6th June 2018, the University of Reading will host an event aimed at capturing and sharing first hand experiences from citizen-planners active in their local Neighbourhood Planning Groups. The event will be led by Prof Gavin Parker and be designed to address emerging issues from these invaluable experiences; over the next few months we will engage with registered delegates in order to shape the event so that it provides the best learning value.

The aims of the day will be to discuss and share experiences, with a view to consolidating and analysing practical knowledge in order to inform and enhance Neighbourhood Planning in the future. A report will be published after the event. Based on delegate experiences, it will provide on the ground practical advice which will assist in the implementation of community-led planning priorities.

Registration will open in March 2018.

By Dr Gemma Watson, Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in the Department of Archaeology

Back in May 2017, Roberta Gilchrist, Professor of Archaeology and Research Dean at the University of Reading, presented the prestigious Rhind Lectures, the oldest and biggest archaeology lecture series in the world, hosted by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Professor Gilchrist presented on the theme of ‘Sacred Heritage: Archaeology, Identity and Medieval Beliefs’, exploring over six lectures the value of sacred medieval heritage today and in the past. The lectures outline a new research agenda for the archaeological study of later medieval monasticism with a strong emphasis on the archaeology of medieval Scotland and tying in with the Scottish Government’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017. The lectures are now available to watch online.

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By Professor Neil Crosby, Professor of Real Estate & Planning, University of Reading

With the increase in house prices in London since 2008, and resultant increase in land values, there might be an expectation that the number of affordable homes provided within residential development schemes would meet local planning authority policy expectations.

However, this has not happened. Instead, the percentage of affordable housing delivered within schemes has actually fallen. These were the findings of a research project I co-authored, which was commended in the recent RTPI Awards for Research Excellence.

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By Professor Paul D. Williams and Luke N. Storer, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading

The study makes turbulence projections for multiple global regions

Our new study calculating that climate change will strengthen aviation turbulence has caused a stir on social media. Most of the online comments about the article have been positive – albeit expressing a little anxiety at the prospect of experiencing double the amount of severe turbulence later this century.

The new paper, as well as our previous study on this topic in Nature Climate Change, was peer-reviewed by international experts in aviation turbulence and found to be scientifically correct. However, as is commonplace in the public discussion about climate science today – at a time when opinions seem to count more than evidence and facts – a small number of non-expert commentators have misunderstood the scientific details and attempted to discredit the findings.

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By Dr Plinio Ferreira, Post-Doctoral Researcher in Platelet Biology in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences

We are carrying out research to better characterise blood and platelet extracellular vesicles, which are released by cells and play an important role in both health and disease.

If you are a healthy adult (age range 18-65) with no diagnosed disease, no illnesses requiring long-term medication and are willing to donate blood, we need you.

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By Sensory Dimensions

We are launching a Dog Food study on wet Dog Food for men and women aged 18 to 70.

The study is taking place on Monday 16 October. It lasts 75 minutes, paying £15. To take part you must be screened over telephone. Exclusion: You cannot participate if you have taken part in any market research in food or drink in the last 6 weeks.

Times available: 15:00, 16:30, 18:00 or 19:30

If you are interested and would like a call: please email ahill@sensorydimensions.com. If you know of anyone that might want to take part, pass along our email so we can invite and pay as many people as possible.

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By Dr Wine Tesseur, Post Doctoral Research Assistant in Modern Languages and European Studies

This blog has been translated to over 15 languages with the support of ‘The Language Industry’. See the translated versions.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to put the most vulnerable populations first and to leave no one behind. This implies communicating in a multiplicity of languages, yet the SDGs are silent on language issues.

Although proponents see the realisation of the SDGs as emerging from dialogue with vulnerable populations, it is unclear how sustainable, two-way democratic communication will be ensured.

The absence of any mention of language in the SDGs was the topic of a United Nations Symposium titled ‘Language, the Sustainable Development Goals and Vulnerable Populations’, held in New York on 11-12 May 2017. It was the second event organised by a Study Group on Language and the United Nations, an independent group of scholars and practitioners.

As a researcher on the project ‘The Listening Zones of NGOs: Languages and Cultural Knowledge in Development Programmes’, jointly organised by INTRAC (the International NGO Training and Research Centre), the University of Reading and the University of Portsmouth, I participated in the symposium and contributed a paper on the role of languages in the development work of international UK-based NGOs. I was curious to find out more about the work of other researchers as well as practitioners working on the role of languages in development. In this blog, I share some thoughts and insights on the discussions and debates that took place over these two stimulating days.

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By Dr Mark Shanahan, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

Deep Space Gateway in lunar orbit as proposed in 2017

This week, in the run-up to World Space Week, NASA announced a long-term co-operation project with Roscosmos, the Russian space agency to develop the Deep Space Gateway, a manned space station orbiting the moon.

The US agency sees this project as a stepping stone towards a manned mission to Mars. While of course there’s no detail, no dates and no certainty that this project has any more certainty than the mirage of the Southern border Wall, it’s a quite different take on space exploration by the Trump administration. Read the rest of this entry »

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By Laura Thei, University of Reading, UK

Reproduced with permission from The Physiological Society’s blog.

The watch, worn by years of use, sits ticking on our table for the first time in two years. It has a simple ivory face and is the last memorabilia my partner has from Grandad Percy. Percy passed from us after a long personal battle with dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. It is in his name that my partner and I will take to the beautiful winding pathways beside the Thames, to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

We will be taking part in a 7 km Memory Walk, with thousands of others, some my colleagues from the University, each sponsored generously by friends and families, each who has had their life touched by this disease in some way. Last year nearly 80,000 people took part in 31 walks, raising a record £6.6 million. As a researcher in Alzheimer’s disease, I am acutely aware of every penny’s impact in helping to solve the riddle of dementia.  Read the rest of this entry »

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By Andy Willimott, Lecturer in Modern Russian and Soviet History, University of Reading

With the centenary of the 1917 October Revolution approaching, historians who focus on this period, like me, find ourselves in demand. As well as highlighting the facts of Russia’s second revolution that year, we often find ourselves focusing on the turning points, the personalities, and the politics.

Of course, it’s impossible to view the events of 1917 without considering those that followed. The popular uprising of that momentous year could be viewed as a mere punctuation mark in a story that takes in five-year plans, Stalin, the Gulag and a reign of Terror.

But the socialist revolution in Russia was about more than just Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and the birth of a new state.

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