Articles by sarahharrop

You are currently browsing sarahharrop’s articles.

Climate change is one of the most urgent issues facing humanity. While we will all feel its impact, it hits hardest the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet. To mark the UN World Day of Social Justice 2018, we highlight our new Reading Centre for Climate and Justice which was launched last month by Mrs Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Image by Asian Development Bank licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Tags: , , , ,

The shared experience of poring over the pictures in a book with a child can feel like a luxury for many parents and carers as they juggle the responsibilities of parenthood. But the value of these early interactions cannot be overestimated. Professors Lynne Murray and Peter Cooper have worked with parents and children in low- and middle-income countries for more than 20 years to assess the impact of early parenting interventions on child development. Here they tell us how a simple, inexpensive intervention to promote sensitive book-sharing can help child development and support the largest group of potential educators – parents.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,

The ‘language of depression’ can be spotted using computer analysis which looks for patterns of words used by those who are suffering from the disorder, explains Dr Mohammed Al-Mosaiwi in a new post for The Conversation.

Kurt Cobain by Maia Valenzuela/Flickr, CC BY-SA

From the way you move and sleep, to how you interact with people around you, depression changes just about everything. It is even noticeable in the way you speak and express yourself in writing. Sometimes this “language of depression” can have a powerful effect on others. Just consider the impact of the poetry and song lyrics of Sylvia Plath and Kurt Cobain, who both killed themselves after suffering from depression.

Scientists have long tried to pin down the exact relationship between depression and language, and technology is helping us get closer to a full picture. Our new study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, has now unveiled a class of words that can help accurately predict whether someone is suffering from depression.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,

The demise of Carillion has exposed the way that UK public services – from the NHS to energy – are contracted out to businesses. In a new piece he has co-authored for The Conversation, Dr Ekililu Salufi says it’s time for a re-think on Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes.

A crane at a building site.

Image by r_stephen licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Carillion’s collapse has brought with it wider scrutiny of the way that UK public services are contracted out to businesses – particularly through the use of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes. The UK’s second largest construction business had a network of these contracts, worth billions of pounds, providing essential public services across government departments. The NHS, defence, education, energy, and prisons have all been left exposed by its collapse.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , ,

After 950 years the Bayeux Tapestry is coming back to the UK, where it was most likely made. Lindy Grant, Professor of Mediaeval History probes the evidence for its provenance in a new post for The Conversation.

A scene from the Bayeux Tapestry

Image by ancientartpodcast licensed under CC BY 2.0

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , ,

The government’s pledge to reduce plastic waste is a step in the right direction – but it’s equally vital to protect our natural resources such as bees, says Professor Simon Potts, co-chair of a UN group working to  safeguard the world’s pollinators, in a new post for The Conversation.

Bee on a flower.

Image by madprime licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Activities outside the classroom which build confidence and resilience are not part of the formal curriculum despite strong evidence that they help children to be the best they can be and grow into centred, productive adults. Government should drop its obsession with grades and embrace a new approach to dealing with educational inequality, says Professor Carol Fuller in a new piece for The Conversation.

Image by bobcox is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Image by bobcox is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , ,

The majority of the world population now lives in cities. ‘Smart cities’ could help solve a range of problems faced by UK city dwellers – from air pollution to economic deprivation. Professor Tim Dixon, whose research helped shape the thinking behind a recent Top Tips for City Mayors booklet, explains what ‘smart cities’ are and how they could change policy to benefit us all.

 

The concept of ‘smart cities’ is seen by many as offering technology-led solutions to the important socio-economic and environmental problems facing our urban areas. They can be defined as cities that offer effective integration of physical, digital and human systems in the built environment to deliver a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for its citizens.

Read the rest of this entry »

Professor Rick Poynor reflects on a new exhibition of National Theatre posters and what they tell us about changing approaches to graphic design from mid-century to the modern day.

The exhibition of National Theatre posters I have curated for the theatre’s Wolfson Gallery spans more than five decades. Since the theatre’s founding in 1963, the posters’ design has been the responsibility of just five people, allowing for an exceptional degree of continuity. This makes the theatre’s output a particularly revealing case study. The posters are not only a record of how an institution central to British cultural life visualised the role of design, but they also provide an insight into changing approaches to graphic design over the decades.

National Theatre poster, Dance of Death, Old Vic Ken Briggs

The Dance of Death, Old Vic, 1967. Design: Ken Briggs. Photograph: Zoë Dominic (copyright National Theatre)

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,

Researchers from the University of Reading’s Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition are looking for volunteers aged between 18 and 65 to take part in a study assessing diet and health risk. They will provide a £20 Love-to-Shop voucher to all volunteers who complete the study.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,