Reading Research Blog

What’s the weather like in space?

On 23 November we’re welcoming NASA Astronaut Steve Swanson to campus to tell his stories about life in space. Here at Reading, Dr Clare Watt’s research looks at space weather and how that can affect the thousands of satellites currently whizzing around in orbit above us. Here she tells us about her job and what she loves about it.

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A sailor’s life for me: early modern #MaritimeArchives

We tend to picture 16th century sailors as rowdy, hard-drinking, ‘salty sea dogs’ akin to Captain Redbeard Rum from Blackadder. But sailors’ autobiographies from the time tell a different story, says naval historian Dr Richard Blakemore in this post for #ExploreYourArchives week.

An illustrated page from the journal of Edward Barlow, 1659 – 1703. Image Credit: Jon Stokes/ National Maritime Museums Greenwich

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How to get rid of head lice without spending loads of money

This winter looks set to be lousy for school children – Reading Biologist Dr Alejandra Perotti explores the science of head lice and how to get rid of them in a new post for The Conversation.

Scanning Electron Microscope image of a head louse clinging to a strand of hair. Credit: Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen/Wellcome Images, CC-BY-4.0

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Parliament week 2018: Top tips for engaging policy-makers with your research

In her second blog post for Parliament Week, University of Reading Impact Officer Ali McAnena gets the lowdown on how academics can engage policy-makers with their research from Mark Shanahan, Head of our Division of Politics and International Relations.

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Why we need to stop taking disfigurement at face value

From the Phantom of the Opera to Bond villains, facial disfigurement is often portrayed negatively in popular culture. As we commemorate the Armistice of 1918, WW1 historian Dr Marjorie Gehrhardt reflects on how much – or little – has changed since facially injured soldiers returned from the trenches.

A French soldier with an injury to the right cheek, 1916. Credit: Wellcome Images, CC-BY

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Putting LGBTI issues in the school curriculum goes far beyond ‘political correctness’

As Scotland embeds LGBTI teaching into the school curriculum, Dr Richard Harris from Reading’s Institute of Education argues that this is not simply political correctness, but a welcome move to acknowledge that human society is, and always has been, diverse.

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How we’ll sit less and move more in Reading, 2050

Most of us now live in cities, leading sedentary lifestyles. Dr William Bird, CEO of Intelligent Health, who is presenting the next Reading 2050 lecture on 29 November, outlines how healthy living in urban areas will be critical for people in decades to come.

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Ayn Rand from the left: academics gather to examine Trump’s favourite author

Famous fantastic mysteries 195306
The cover of Ayn Rand’s Famous Fantastic Mysteries, published in 1953. By Popular Publications / Lawrence Sterne Stevens [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ayn Rand’s books have been made into films, topped bestseller lists and admired by capitalists from Reagan to Trump. Until now, left-leaning thinkers have failed to take her seriously – but at their peril, writes Dr Neil Cocks, who has organised the first ever conference examining her work from a left-wing perspective, on 13 November. Continue reading “Ayn Rand from the left: academics gather to examine Trump’s favourite author”

Exploring the effect of WW2 on three generations – Silence comes to Reading

Silence, a new play by Nicky Werenowska which explores the effects of WW2 on three generations of a family with Polish heritage, will be staged at the University of Reading on 8 November. Here, Dr Teresa Murjas, who curates the artists collective behind the play, tells us about their collaboration and how it is shaping her practice-led research.

Image credit: Robert Day/Unity Theatre Liverpool www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk 

A few years ago, I started work on a practice-led research project entitled Surviving Objects.

I wanted to use the project to discover how, as an arts practitioner, I might convey to a contemporary audience my family’s experience of deportation by the NKVD (the interior ministry of the Soviet Union) from Poland to Siberia during WW2. My family subsequently spent six years in a British-run refugee camp in Bwana M’Kubwa, Zambia and eventually arrived at a displaced persons camp in the English countryside after the end of the conflict. Continue reading “Exploring the effect of WW2 on three generations – Silence comes to Reading”

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