Viewing entries in

Digital Health in the House of Commons

Digital Health in the House of Commons

Last week, the Digital Health Generation project I have been working on with Emma Rich, Sarah C. Lewis, and Deborah Lupton had a major event in the House of Commons, sponsored by Lisa Cameron MP.

The evening was a culmination of our work over this last year and aimed to kickstart a conversation about how the future of healthcare ensures that young people are at the heart of plans. 

Here are some of the slides from the evening.


A day at Buckingham Palace

A day at Buckingham Palace

Yesterday, I accompanied my Vice Chancellor to a private audience with HRH Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, along with our Registrar Alison Blackburn and civil engineer and all round  Here's the internal comms story we put out....

On Tuesday (18th July) Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Marshall visited Buckingham Palace for a royal audience with Prince Philip in celebration of our 50th anniversary. Helen, along with University Registrar Alison Blackburn, Chair in Science Communication and Future Media Professor Andy Miah and Lecturer from the School of Computing, Science and Engineering Neil Currie, had the rare opportunity of meeting with the Duke of Edinburgh to discuss our recent successes and plans for the future.  

As you may be aware, the Prince has had a long-standing affiliation with the University and was our first ever Chancellor who remained in post until 1991. He spoke fondly of the times he has visited Salford over the years and how impressed he has always been with our strong industry links. The Prince was interested to hear about our growing collaborations in the region, along with our drive for public engagement programmes like the Manchester Science Festival.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Marshall said: “Prince Philip being our first ever Chancellor made this special engagement at the Palace especially poignant. He has always had a very close relationship with the University so I welcomed the opportunity to meet with him just before his retirement. I was delighted to tell him about our strong employment figures and update him on our vision of the future in this, our 50th anniversary year.”

Professor Andy Miah added: “What came across to me was that, while figures like the Duke of Edinburgh have countless patronages and public roles, it felt like he truly cared about his contribution to our University. Salford was a place he could talk about with strong recollections and a sense of purpose about what the university could do.”

We'll leave you with this great image Andy took of the team outside the Palace gates which get top marks for aesthetics..

Salford Science Jam

Salford Science Jam

Our most spectacular event in Manchester Science Festival is the Salford Science Jam, in which we had an amazing array of events for all the families. This year's production included a plethora of virtual reality systems, co-creation of the amazing Sensory Sound Pit, by European City of Science Artist in Residence, Di Mainstone, a co-commission with the Foundation of Art and Creative Technology, and even Dr Helen Sharman's space suit. More documentation to follow!

City Events 2016

City Events 2016

Last week, I was in Paris for another City Events conference, at which the focus was on the social responsibility of mega events. While the buzz word around events for the last 20 years has been 'legacy', we tried to unpack this idea a bit and explore further what events can do to make a meaningful contribution to society. I chaired a session which brought together expertise in development, social science, anthropology, officiating, and playing sports. 

Some of the interesting ideas were around the role of other role models in sport - such as referees and officials who provide a crucial educative role for young people in understanding the value of rule-keeping. Also, we talked about how sports can contribute to promoting individual rights, especially the rights of the child. 

In my summary, I talked about the importance of event organizers looking at the community, talking with it, and understanding what are the most urgent and pressing social issues, so that events can be a vehicle for addressing areas of most need. In the absence of other ideas, this seems a useful process through which to begin any such journey.

Benchmarking Creativity

Benchmarking Creativity


After the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the summary report acknowledged the growing volume of practice-based research outputs within the Communication, Cultural & Media Studies Unit of Assessment. It also emphasized the need for practice-based researchers to provide clearer detail on the research process underpinning their work, but questions remain about how any given output should be evaluated. As well, while many departments expressed their investment into practice and theory, practice-based outputs constituted less than 5% of the total outputs submitted across all results. Given the increased use of practice-based methodologies within REF2014 UoA36, how should research outputs like exhibitions, documentary films, media art, or scriptwriting be evaluated by the peer review panels? And how should we account for interdisciplinary practice-based outputs, for example work at the intersections of media and performance or media and music?

This free event is hosted by the Creative Futures Research Centre at the University of the West of Scotland, and is co-funded by the MeCCSA Practice Section. It is designed to give peers an opportunity to inform the Research Excellence Framework 2014 in benchmarking quality for the future.

Where: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow When: March/April 2012 TBC

Follow: @CreativeFutur for updates

Leitmotif, Unity Theatre

Last night, I saw Andrew Dawson's Leitmotif at the Unity Theatre. It was a small crowd - a little too small given the outstanding  performance from Dawson. It's the kind of piece which is, at times, abstract enough to provoke the minimally sensitive viewer and accessible enough to engage anyone who ever doubted the medium of performance space. Everyone should see this.

2003 April: Glasgow Against the war

The April march in Glasgow against the Iraq conflict has the privilege of being the first substantive entry to this blog. I'm endeavouring to be chronological at this stage, starting with everything so far.

I lived just around the corner from where this photograph was taken. The phrase 'Not in Our Name' reflected the established use of this phrase at the time, which has continued to be used across a number of other campaigns.

Here in Glasgow, the police wanted to ensure that protesters did not reach the M8 intersection, so police walls were set up just at the edge of Sauchiehall Street. The west side of this street was packed, but everything was quite civilized, no violence etc. I've still to work out whether this placard ought to have had a stronger design quality, it being 'artists' and so on.