University of Reading Research Blog

Forget the Premier League, it’s grassroots football that we need to preserve!

The lifeblood of any sport is at its grassroots – the football that is played on local playing fields between teams of all ages, and even sometimes with jumpers for goalposts. And there are social benefits to any sport, over and above the benefit to the individual – an argument economists have always used to make the case for government support for certain activities. Here Economist James Reade and Sports Scientist Daniel Parnell review the landscape for grassroots football once the current COVID-19 lockdown is behind us.


Business as usual post-pandemic? Reshaping relations between the state and the private sector in light of COVID-19

The unprecedented support that governments around the world are providing to business in light of the COVID-19 emergency means the introduction of a social contract between governments and the private sector must now be given serious consideration. Philosopher Emma Borg argues that society needs a mechanism via which it can assess and, if necessary, redress, moves by firms which have taken state aid.


Talk of war in COVID-19 coverage may be hiding testing failings

Everyday we are bombarded with metaphors of war from the media reporting on COVID-19. Dr Sylvia Jaworska from the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics, asks whether the differences in language used by different nations is an indicator of how countries are dealing with the spread of the virus.


Book clubs and the Blitz: how WWII Britons kept calm and got reading

As people remain confined to their homes, options for what we do with our free leisure time has become restricted. Associate Professor Nicola Wilson from the School of Literature and Languages explores popular reading choices during the second world war and what this tells about how we get through a crisis in a recent post for The Conversation.

people sitting reading under railway arches
Reading under the railway arches © IWM D 1587


Diverse funerary needs at a time of crisis: reflections on Covid-19 in multicultural Europe​

As the Coronavirus lockdown continues, many UK Councils have decided to ban funeral ceremonies to observe social distancing rules, opting to carry out ‘direct cremations’ instead. Social and cultural geographer, Professor Avril Maddrell, discusses the need to ensure funeral preparations respect and meet the needs of diverse communities in a recent blog for HERA.

Coronavirus: just letting children play will help them, and their parents, cope

For substitute teachers (ie parents) trying to work at the same time as caring for school age children, Professor Helen Dodd and Dr Tim Gill from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, remind us of the importance of play in a recent post for The Conversation.


A healthy partnership

#WeAreTogether: From dancing to prevent falls in older people to VR-based stroke rehab, patients in Berkshire are benefiting from a research partnership between the University and the NHS. Sarah Harrop reports on some of the projects. 

Wellcome Collection, CC-BY


How reading can help with your home-schooling worries

Two weeks into home-schooling, and the Easter holidays may come as a welcome relief. Here Dr Holly Joseph reminds us of the joys of reading with young children and how it supports other, more formal, learning.

Many parents are still struggling. Juggling work, domestic responsibilities and educating your child may feel overwhelming. With so much information available about structuring the day, staying positive and making learning fun, have we forgotten about something much simpler but equally worthwhile?

Father reading with son
Father reading with son


How will football return after this unplanned hiatus?

As many of us fill the void in live sport by watching repeats of the FA Cup Quarter Finals, or dipping into documentaries on Maradona and Sunderland FC on streaming services, we are all wondering when will football be back, and importantly, how will it return? Reading Economists James Reade and Carl Singleton explore the options in a new post for The Conversation.


The butterfly effect

We exist in a complex ecosystem and policy solutions for problems like climate change need a systemic approach, writes Ecologist Professor Tom Oliver for the Cabinet Office’s Systems Thinking blog.

A fritillary butterfly