Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

2013

Cardiff's Universities' Police Science Institute in partnership with the School of Computer Science and Informatics has been awarded funding from the Economic and Social Research Council to use their innovative work on social media analytics to look at the community impacts of the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

For the first time, the research will examine how public opinion developed and evolved in reaction to the crime as new information about it emerged and look at how members of the public used social media to share knowledge about the crime.

The study will involve analysis of publicly available data, which has been collected from the time of the incident and will continue to the conclusion of the criminal justice process.

Professor Martin Innes, Director of the Institute and Principal Investigator on the project said:

"Social media played an important role in bringing information about the murder of Lee Rigby to the public's attention. With this project we will be using advanced analytic methods to track in fine-grained detail how public understandings of this crime and reactions to it, evolved and adapted as new details became available.

"This work will be a world first in terms of being able to trace the arc of public opinion and sentiment from crime scene to the court case."

British Army Fusilier Lee Rigby was publicly murdered as he walked back to Woolwich

Barracks in southeast London on May 22, 2013. The two individuals accused of his murder are currently on trial at the Old Bailey. The case continues.

The achievements and dedication of Cardiff University staff have been recognised at the annual Celebrating Excellence Awards.

In their second year, the awards represent the University's appreciation of staff who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution, and who are recognised for going above and beyond the call of duty.

More than 100 members of staff were nominated this year, representing the highest level of effort, excellence, innovation and best practice.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony last week. Speaking at the event Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Treasure said: "This event celebrates the outstanding achievements of staff right across the University. Those nominated have been recognised by their colleagues as not only having contributed to the success of our institution, but as having done so to an exceptional degree.

"I offer my sincere congratulations to all the winners and finalists. They should be very proud of their achievements and we are grateful for all that they have contributed to the University."

Full list of winners:

Rising Star Award – Dr Gemma Whatling, School of Engineering

Sustained Excellence Award – Matthew Williamson, School of Healthcare Sciences

Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr Sara Delamont, School of Social Sciences

Outstanding Contribution to Community or Environment – Dr Dan Rogers, School of Engineering

Exceptional Enhancement of the Student Experience – Neil Coles, Research, Innovation and Enterprise Services

Excellence in Teaching – Dr Jon Anderson, School of Planning and Geography

Excellence in Research – Professor Stijn Smismans, Cardiff Law School

Outstanding Contribution to the University's International Activities – Professor Andrew Quantock, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Outstanding Contribution and Engagement – Professor Jenny Kitzinger, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

Outstanding Support to the University – The University Library Service, Social Media, Digital Signage and Marketing Team

Outstanding Contribution to Leadership – Professor Gary Baxter, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Sir Herbert Duthie Prize for Staff Development – Sarah Ingram, Student Services

William O'Grady Prize for Technicians – Adrian Crabb, Estates

Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contribution to the University – The REF team, including staff from Information Services, Planning and Human Resources

New research by Cardiff University has revealed how pre-teen boys and girls feel about growing up in an increasingly sexist society.

Commissioned by the NSPCC and the Office of the Children's Commissioner for Wales, this research has, for the first time, gathered young people's perspectives on how they feel about growing up in Wales today.

In 2012 Jocelyn Davies (AM) set up the National Assembly for Wales Cross-Party Group, Childhood Sexuality - 'Sexualisation' and Equality. The launch of the group stressed how children's own experiences have been absent from media debates and public concern over the sexualisation of children.

To address this silence, Professor Emma Renold from Cardiff University's School of Social Sciences conducted an exploratory qualitative research project to prioritise children's own views and experiences.

In total 125 children from urban and rural south Wales took part in the research that aimed to bridge the gap between what adults think they know about childhood and sexuality and what children actually say about these issues.

The report, 'Girls and Boys Speak Out: A Qualitative Study of Children's Gender and Sexual Cultures (Age 10-12)' was launched today (5thDecember 2013).

Professor Renold said: "The research focused on what children themselves thought about adult fears that they are growing up too quickly, too soon. It also focused on body image, fashion, friendships, peer cultures, boyfriends and girlfriends, and how different contexts, online and offline, shaped their day to day lives.

"Central to all of this was paying attention to the diversity of experience, which meant talking with children from different social and cultural backgrounds.

"We want to provide the Welsh Government with enough knowledge to tackle the issue of sexualisation. Adults can often misinterpret why children and young people are dressing a certain way, talking about girlfriends and boyfriends at an early age and being so concerned with looks – but their reasons may be very different than simply wanting to 'grow up' too soon.

"When girls talk about wearing high heels, not to look sexy, but to get respect, feel independent and not to be treated like dirt, we need to think again about what it means when children want to 'look older'.

"When boys and girls couple up as boyfriend and girlfriend so they can be 'best friends' we need to think differently about young 'boyfriend and girlfriend' cultures as evidence of premature sexualisation."

Some of the young people who Professor Renold spoke to have been quoted below (names have been changed, ages are correct):

"When you look older, people no longer treat you like dirt." (Maria, age 10)

"At (primary) school you just had to go out with someone, it was a virtual rule. If you had a girlfriend you were marked out as cool, if you didn't you were called a chav." (Nico, age 12)

" I got called strange by boys … cos me and this girl Alice used to hang out. so in the end we made up a lie that we were cousins." (Jared, age 12)

"I hardly go out anymore, I just stay in my PJ's … I am so self-conscious … I don't like to walk past guys … I just feel like they are going to talk about me or they will judge me." (Aneria, age 12) 

"I feel pushed to be a girl." (Maisy, age 10)

"I think natural is best … but you cannot go to school without make-up!" (Hayley, age 11).

"Eyeshadow, that's what girls wear. I wish I was a girl." (Taylor, age 10)

"Children were critical and angry about having to negotiate constraining and punishing gender and sexual norms, but felt there was nothing that could be done to change it," Professor Renold added.

"Any policy or practice aimed to address sexism and sexual harassment in schools needs to begin from and connect with the complex realities of children's own gender and sexual cultures - only then can we really understand girls' and boys' diverse experiences of why they feel the way they do, what it means for the way they act and how things can ultimately change."

The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon could generate a £300M spend in Wales, create 1850 jobs and support the creation of £173M of gross value added for Wales within its three year development phase.

That's according to a new report published by the University's Welsh Economy Research Unit, Cardiff Business School on the economic effects associated with the construction, development and operational stages of the Lagoon.

Key findings include:

  • A capital investment of £756M of which £300M will be spent in Wales (40%);
  • Potential additional output in Wales of £454M and £173M GVA in the three year development phase;
  • Over £5M annual local spend during the operational phase;
  • A further potential £1.5M-2.1M per annum GVA to be achieved through associated leisure opportunities;
  • Approximately 5540 person years (1850 FTE) of diversely-skilled employment in Wales during the three year construction period;
  • Creation of 60 long term operational jobs and up to 90 additional jobs linked to visitor spending.

Led by Professors Calvin Jones and Max Munday, the economic effects assessment is based on a model developed by the University to track the existing and potential economic impacts for Wales of different electricity generation technologies.

The proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will be the world's first, purpose-built, tidal energy lagoon, capable of generating predictable, renewable electricity for over 120,000 homes for over 120 years.

It also aims to create jobs, support onshore regeneration, promote tourism, and even foster art, sport and healthy living.

Professor Jones said: "We estimate that the £300M of regional spending evenly spread over a three year development period starting in March 2015 will result in a total of an additional £454M of additional output in Wales. This means for every £1M spent in the region, an estimated further £0.52M of economic activity is supported. Around half of this, almost £223M, is in the construction sector, with manufacturing and production the next largest portion at £170m. We estimate around £34M of output in financial and professional services would be supported, largely comprising project management, planning and engineering activities." 

Professor Munday added: "The focus of job creation and support in manufacturing and construction sectors is important in the context of current challenges facing the Swansea Bay and Welsh economies. In the Swansea case economic inactivity rates are relatively high at 29%, and with nearly 5,000 Job Seekers Allowance claimants in September 2013. In Wales as a whole, following the recession, manufacturing employment has fallen by over 40,000 people and with around 30,000 jobs lost in the construction sector. There are connections between jobs losses in the two sectors with poor performance in terms of construction output linking through to lower demands placed on elements of the manufacturing sector. Larger strategic projects such as Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay integrating construction demand with local manufacturing inputs and new industry will be an important means of strengthening prospects in these important parts of the regional economy.

"Furthermore, it is important to note that Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay is first of an expected network of projects and construction and manufacturing employment connected with this first build could possibly be used in future lagoon builds in Wales and elsewhere. In addition to this, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay will continue to have economic and employment benefits over the many decades of its operational lifespan."

Mark Shorrock, Chief Executive Officer, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay explains: "Swansea Bay will be the first in a series of developments in Wales and the wider UK such that supply infrastructure developed as part of this project could gain additional opportunities in the long term in serving a wider network of lagoon projects. We want to see a minimum 50% of Welsh content for our first tidal lagoon and will work with Welsh industry to ensure that the region capitalises on its first-mover advantage to serve subsequent tidal lagoon developments."

"We want to see the Swansea City region become the Supply Chain Hub for all tidal lagoons and are working up plans for a large scale assembly facility in the Swansea City Region. We want to build excellence in marine construction of turbine housings and secure all critical components for hydro turbines in the UK with the majority from Wales. We also want to build part of the generators in Wales. We have assembled a best-in-class consortium of UK and international industrial businesses to establish local production facilities and supply chains to serve Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay and future developments. We are confident from our work so far with representatives of Welsh industry that Wales has the skills base, experience and scalability to serve a larger UK tidal lagoon industry."

Cardiff linguistics researchers will study multilingual interaction in four of the UK's cities to help policy-makers better understand how to communicate with people across different languages and cultures.

Researchers from the Centre for Language and Communication Research in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy have been awarded £1,973,527 as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Translating Cultures theme.

The four-year research project, Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations in Superdiverse Wards in Four UK Cities, is a collaboration between Cardiff, Birkbeck (University of London) and the University of Leeds, led by the MOSAIC Centre for Research on Multilingualism at the University of Birmingham.

Globalisation and changing patterns of migration mean that 'superdiverse' cities are increasingly populated by speakers of multiple languages. The research will generate new knowledge about communication in changing urban communities and communicate these to policy-makers and communities locally, nationally, and internationally.

Co-investigator and project lead at Cardiff, Dr Frances Rock said: "This is an exciting development which will enable Cardiff academics to work on a timely and extremely important project. It is crucial that language researchers engage with pressing social issues in a constructive and empowering way and this project aims to meet that ambition. The grant also creates exciting new employment and study opportunities. We anticipate that the project will change academic and public understandings of multilingual interactions in ways which will have long-term benefits for a wide range of constituents."

The research team will conduct detailed linguistic ethnographic investigations in selected wards in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, and London. They will focus on multilingual interactions between people in contexts of business, legal advice, community sport, libraries, and museums. Analysis will provide detailed evidence of how people communicate across languages and cultures.

The interdisciplinary project will involve academic researchers from a broad range of subject areas, including Business and Entrepreneurship, Cultural Heritage, Education, Law, Sociolinguistics, Forensic Linguistics, Sport and Exercise Sciences, and Social Policy.

It will be run in collaboration with partners from private, public, and third sectors, including Migrants' Rights Network, Business in the Community,Law Centres Network, Sporting Equals, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The project will also benefit from the expertise of international specialists in multilingualism and superdiversity.

Professor Charles Forsdick, Leadership Fellow for the AHRC's Translating Cultures theme said: "The award will provide an urgently needed contribution, from an Arts and Humanities perspective, to our understanding of some of the most pressing issues in the twenty-first-century. The aim of the project is to interrogate, analyse and demonstrate the central place of languages and culture in contemporary life. The project will transform academic and public understanding of the theories and practices of translation and interpreting in innovative, exciting and, I anticipate, often unexpected ways."

Busy Cardiff Christmas shoppers will be able to relax with a free hot drink while learning more about mental health at a pop-up shop run by experts from the University's National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH).

HeadSpace: The Mental Health Pop-Up Shop will be situated in a unit opposite the Sainsbury's store on Cardiff's Queen Street.

The shop will be open for a special day of free events from 10am – 3pm on Thursday 12th December, with speakers including Guardian science writer Dr Dean Burnett, a prize draw, and performances and exhibitions around the theme of mental health.

"The aim of our pop-up shop is to encourage people to talk and think about mental health issues in a different way," explains Professor Craddock, Director of the NCMH.

"We want to explain the important role that the public can play in our research, which can help improve life for thousands of people affected by mental illness in the future.

"We know that Christmas can be a very stressful time of year for many people. We hope that being able to pop in and put their feet up for a few moments with a hot drink while enjoying our talks and performances will be helpful," he added.

The event will also feature information stands from a host of Welsh mental health organisations including Cardiff Mind, Time to Change Wales, The Alzheimer's Society and Hafal.

The NCMH at Cardiff University is working to learn more about the causes of mental illness with the aim of improving diagnosis and treatment for the future. To do this it aims to recruit 6000 volunteers with mental health conditions for its research.

To find out more about HeadSpace or to take part in the NCMH research, visit www.ncmh.info/headspace.

Dr Adam Glen from the School of Dentistry has been chosen to participate in a unique pairing scheme run by the Royal Society, designed to bridge the divide between parliamentarians and the UK's top scientists.

A visit this week to the House of Commons will see Dr Glen shadowing Ms Jenny Willott MP as part of the 'Week in Westminster' scheme. The scheme is an opportunity for MPs to become better informed about science issues and for scientists to understand how they can influence science policy.

During his visit, Dr Glen will shadow Ms Willott MP and learn about her work and will later attend Prime Minister's Question Time. He will also meet with Professor David MacKay FRS, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The visit will provide Dr Glen with a behind-the-scenes insight into how science policy is formed as well as an understanding of the working life of an MP.

So far, over 200 pairs of scientists and MPs have taken part in the scheme since it was launched in 2001. Dr Glen spoke of the opportunities the partner scheme will bring: "Building links between MPs and research scientists will facilitate scientist's understanding of the challenges when forming governmental policy and give MPs a window into the scientific world. This scheme will be of benefit for both parties involved and ultimately facilitate good scientific policy, something which I am very exciting to be part of."

A Cardiff academic has been recognised for his major contribution to the field of sociolinguistics by the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Professor Nik Coupland of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy is considered to be one of the most influential shapers of sociolinguistics in the world.

His major contributions include work on dialect variations, Welsh language and culture, and the sociolinguistics of ageing. He co-founded theJournal of Sociolinguistics (Blackwell) in 1997 and currently co-edits the Oxford University Press book series Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics.

In recognition of his achievements, Professor Coupland - who also holds a post at the University of Technology Sydney - has been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, one of the highest honours available for achievement in the humanities in Australia.

The Australian Academy of the Humanities was established in 1969 to advance knowledge of, and the pursuit of excellence in, the humanities for the benefit of the nation. The Fellowship of the Academy comprises more than 550 distinguished individuals elected by their peers in recognition of the excellence and impact of their scholarship in fields including archaeology, art, Asian and European studies, classical and modern literature, cultural and communication studies, languages and linguistics, philosophy, musicology, history and religion

A flagship University-led Welsh development programme described as "game changing" and which harnesses the talent of top researchers in Wales to help tackle some of society's major challenges has secured a national accolade.

Judged to be an initiative which has delivered "game-changing impacts on attitudes and behaviours", the Welsh Crucible has beaten off competition from five other universities including the universities of Warwick and Sheffield, to win the Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development award at this year's Times Higher Education Awards.

Launched in 2011, the Welsh Crucible takes innovative approaches to develop future interdisciplinary, early and mid-career research leaders in Wales and is led by the University in partnership with the universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, South Wales and Swansea. It is supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

Over three months, the programme comprises three intensive, two-day residential workshops, or "skills labs" and participants are supported to develop collaborations beyond the programme to help make their ideas a reality. In addition, the programme allocates places to applicants from public, private and third-sector bodies as diverse as the NHS, Tata Steel and Barnardo's Cymru. Welsh Crucible has also introduced a research-themed study visit to Brussels, which promotes greater awareness of European policy and interdisciplinary funding opportunities.

To date, 90 researchers have been recruited on to the Welsh Programme with innovative research projects already underway such as using digital fiction to improve the body image of young girls, a 'smart pill' to help diagnose gastro-intestinal disorders and a digital app to tackle obesity.

Professor Peter Halligan, Chair of the Welsh Crucible Steering Group, said: "This award is excellent recognition of the Welsh Crucible's ability to develop the necessary skills of Wales' academic base to deliver innovations that have real world application.

"The Welsh Crucible has been designed to introduce new ways of thinking and working to researchers who are already excelling in their fields. The aim is to create long-term changes in attitude and working practice, as well as encouraging practical collaborations between participants. Now in its third year, the programme has demonstrated how it continues to addresses the needs of Welsh universities to collectively grow future research leaders through research-inspired innovation and cross-institutional collaboration."

The Times Higher Awards are higher education's 'Oscars' and recognise ground-breaking work undertaken by UK higher education institutions. The award is for Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development and is sponsored by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, and seeks to recognise and reward imaginative schemes that foster leadership development at any level of management.

Dr David Blaney, Chief Executive of HEFCW, said:

"This is a tremendous achievement and gives the Welsh Crucible the recognition it deserves as an exemplar for providing professional and leadership development for early to mid-career researchers. We are glad we were able to support this programme from its inception, and credit is due to the universities concerned who are delivering an initiative that is now recognised for its exceptional contribution to developing the research leaders of the future."

The Call for applications for the 2014 programme will open in January. Welsh Crucible is for talented early- to mid- career researchers, with at least three years' postdoctoral research experience, or equivalent, working in any discipline, including science, technology, engineering, medicine, arts, design, social and political science. Participants must work in Wales, either at a higher education institution, or in research and development in business, industry or the public sector. 

This is the second time Cardiff University has been recognised for award-winning leadership by the Times Higher Awards.

The Wales Migration Partnership (WMP) and Cardiff University today (November 28th) launched a new report at the Senedd investigating violence against women and girls from asylum-seeker, refugee and migrant communities in Wales.

Launched by the Minister for Local Government and Government Business, Lesley Griffiths AM, the 'Uncharted Territory' report identifies how women and girls facing extreme violence and exploitation are either too afraid to report the violence, cannot access a women's refuge because of their immigration status, or are unaware of what support is available to them.

The research highlights how women and girls within asylum-seeker, refugee and migrant communities continue to face levels of domestic violence which are likely to be comparable to, if not greater than, those affecting Welsh women.

The 'Uncharted Territory' report explores what factors cause violence, and the experiences of support services in Wales, with many participants identifying instances of domestic abuse, human trafficking, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

A key finding within the report is that many asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant women and girls face numerous barriers to accessing support, some of which stem from their communities and cultural pressures, but also because many migrant women do not have access to public funds and so face the stark choice of becoming destitute or staying with their abuser.

Report authors Dr Amanda Robinson and Joanne Payton from the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University and Anne Hubbard from Wales Strategic Migration Partnership, are now calling on the Welsh Government, Home Office, Police, Social Services and communities themselves to 'ask some of the difficult questions' as to why women and girls continue to face violence and what can be done to address the serious issues the report identifies.

Anne Hubbard, Director of the Wales Migration Partnership said:

"This report offers important evidence about the experiences of women from asylum-seeker, refugee and migrant communities in Wales on the level and nature of violence that they have experienced or are being threatened with. It demonstrates that while the Welsh Government is developing very progressive legislation and policy on domestic abuse, violence within these communities remains a taboo subject with the threat of severe consequences from family and community if victims report this crime to the necessary authorities.

"Many of the women involved in this research told us that they feel that services put their immigration status before their needs, and so this report makes several important recommendations that will not only help to improve how this crime is reported and prosecuted, but also how victims are supported and protected. We hope these recommendations will be acted upon by the wide variety of agencies involved in tackling this serious crime."

'Uncharted Territory' makes several recommendations for the Home Office in relation to interviewing women and girls who have experienced violence, including calling on a review of Home Office guidelines and training on conducting the asylum interview.

The report also calls for Welsh Government, in the context of its ground-breaking work on Domestic Abuse, to ensure that all women in Wales share the right to be safe by taking steps to extend the protections enjoyed by the majority of women to the most vulnerable women and girls in Wales.

The full report and Executive Summary can be downloaded from the Wales Migration Partnership website: www.wmp.org.uk