Exeter

Exeter University Liaison

PROJECT TEAM: Bertram Brockington, Carol McCullough, Trudi Learmouth.
Administrator: Helen Cleasby
We have members on the Exeter Animal Welfare & Ethical Review Group (Olwen Goodall) and the Social Sciences and International Studies Ethics Committee (Peter Cleasby).

The University Liaison Project Team is not a 'group' like the many groups in Exeter U3A: we are a team working to make a mutually beneficial link between Exeter U3A and 'our' University of Exeter.
We arrange talks by top academics, presentations by research students and help develop research opportunities for U3A members.

These events are open to all Exeter U3A members.
Please note we expect confirmation of bookings to be sent out at the latest a fortnight before the event.

bertram.brockington@btinternet.com
caromccleery@yahoo.co.uk
trudilearmouth123@btinternet.com

On the 3rd of March 2016, Exeter U3A signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Exeter.
A History of our Project can be found in
Links

FUTURE EVENTS and OPPORTUNITIES

For PUBLIC EVENTS at the University please see University Events

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THE FAMILY CLASS CONVERSATION CAFES
The classes scheduled for this summer term are all on Wednesday afternoons, from 3.00pm to 4.30pm.
9th May, 23rd May, 6th June, 20th June
Room 1.03 INTO Building, opposite the Forum and close to the bus stop on North Park Road, Streatham Campus

(See Streatham Campus map: click on area A and print)

It will be a chance to meet international students from around the world and perhaps to find out how ‘The Third Age’ is viewed in other cultures! The students love meeting Exeter people and getting a chance to talk about everyday life. The sessions they’ve had with Exeter U3A members have been a great success over the last three years. Why not join them?
Please note – you will not have to do any teaching and tea and biscuits will be provided.
The Family Class is a free English language course offered by the University for spouses/partners of international students studying at Exeter University. The content is intended to develop English skills.
Additionally, it will give students more knowledge about the UK, increasing their confidence in dealing with life here and helping them to obtain greater benefit from their time in this country.
To book a place on this event please email us at exe.u3a.uni.liaison@gmail.com stating full name, membership number and a contact email address.
It would be helpful if you include the date of the event in the subject line of your email.

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FOOD AND NUTRITION IN GREEK & ROMAN ART
A talk by John Wilkins, Professor of Greek Culture
Thursday 28th June 2018
2.00pm to 4.00pm
Matrix Lecture Theatre
Business School Building One
Streatham Campus

(See Streatham Campus map: click on area A and print)

The talk will consider what sort of art we expect to find food in, still lives and mosaics for example, or Dutch market scenes. Professor Wilkins will focus on the Greeks and Romans but range widely. He will go on to ask at a more basic level what 'food' is and what 'art' is and show that 'food' is found in world class 'art' like the Parthenon, Caravaggio's Supper at Emmaus, and Andy Warhol's soup cans; in sculpture (the Spear-Bearer of Polyclitus); and in Greek vases such as the famous Exekias cup of Dionysus in Munich.

To book a place on this event please email us at exe.u3a.uni.liaison@gmail.com stating full name, membership number and a contact email address.
It would be helpful if you include the date of the event in the subject line of your email.

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RESEARCH INTO AGEING
A talk by Professor Lorna Harries and Dr Eva Latorre
Monday 23rd July 2018
10am for a 10.30am start, finish at 12pm
Room 202 Baring Court
St Lukes Campus

(See St Luke\'s Campus map)
Refreshments provided

Researchers at the University of Exeter are conducting an exciting research project that aims to create a mathematical model to help understand how cells age, and how to predict how old a cell is. The project would contribute hugely to ageing research, and could lead to further research investigating the effectiveness of anti-ageing therapies.

Senescence is the process of ageing. Senescent cells are old cells and are a good model to study how we age. This project aims to create a mathematical model to help us to understand how cells age. Cells have markers that tell us how old they are. However, none of those markers are unique and specific to senescence. Our plan is to work with different aged cells and measure to common senescence markers. With this data, we will build a mathematical model that will tell us how these markers are related and should be combined to create an index. This index could predict how old a cell is. The project would contribute hugely to ageing research. Giving an easy new way to quantify the level of senescence, we could compare the effectiveness of anti-ageing therapies.

To book a place on this event please email us at exe.u3a.uni.liaison@gmail.com stating full name, membership number and a contact email address.
It would be helpful if you include the date of the event in the subject line of your email.

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SUPPORTING RESEARCH IN AGEING AND COGNITIVE HEALTH

The Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH), recently relocated to the University of Exeter,conducts research focused on three main themes: supporting family care, maintaining cognitive health in later life, and living well with cognitive impairment and dementia. Our work extends beyond these key themes to look more widely at improving experiencesof retirement and later life. This research would not be possible without the members of the public that inform and participate in the research.
REACH aims to involve members of the public in all stages of its research: in formulating appropriate research questions and designing robust studies, as participants in research, and as advisors during the course of studies and when deciding how best to share findings. REACH would also like to provide opportunities for individuals to learn more about the centre’s research findings and share news of relevant talks and events open to the public.
To keep uptodate with opportunities to be involved in REACH research, and to hear about other relevant activities and events, please join our contacts list by visiting ‘Get involved’ [https://psychology.exeter.ac.uk/reach/getinvolved/]
Those not using the internet can sign up to the contacts list by sending their contact details (title, full name, address, DOB, and gender) to Dr Ruth Lamont ( Address: REACH, Washington Singer Building, Perry Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG)

By providing your contact details, you are consenting to being contacted by staff members from the Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH) about opportunities to be involved in research, and about related activities and events. The information that you provide will only be used for the purposes stated, and personal details will be treated in the strictest confidence. You may inform us at any point if you no longer wish to be part of our contacts list.

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REJUVENATE TRAINING STUDY

Researchers at the University of Exeter are interested in trying to understand how and why we lose muscle mass as we get older. This is an important research topic because smaller and weaker muscles cause reduced mobility and reduce quality of life in older people. Currently, we are recruiting males aged 65-75 years to take part in a research study which is investigating the effects of a supplement containing a drug called acipimox (which is already prescribed by the GP to reduce blood cholesterol since 1984). Scientists believe that the way it works in the body may also help to maintain muscle function and this could be used to help older people to stay fit and active for longer.

Please contact Dr Colleen Deane: c.s.deane@exeter.ac.uk Telephone: 01392 722882

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RESEARCH STUDY ON DAILY EXPERIENCE OF MEMORY AND EMOTION

Researchers from the University of Exeter are conducting a study to try to understand the factors that influence whether people experience worry or distress when they have memory lapses. It is hoped that the results will help us to identify possible interventions to help those who may be very worried by changes in their memory in the absence of diagnosable memory impairment (i.e. people who are worried, but ‘well’). We are currently looking for participants aged 60 years or older who have some personal experience of memory lapses (however infrequent). The study was developed in liaison with members of the U3A and their input and support has been greatly appreciated.

If this sounds interesting, we would love to hear from you. For more information about the study and what participation would involve, please contact Harriet Toop (Trainee Clinical Psychologist) by e-mail at hjt210@exeter.ac.uk or telephone on 07986 939738.

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RECENT REPORTS

THE LABORATORY OF SANTORIO: WHEN SCIENCE BECAME HISTORY, 17th January 2018

Dr Fabrizio Bigotti of Exeter University's Centre for Medical History gave a fascinating presentation of his research project to a meeting of some 50 members of Exeter U3A.
Santorio Santorius (1561-1636) was a Venetian physiologist and physician who introduced accurate, standardised measurement into medicine. For example, recognising it wasn't good enough to describe a patient as "cold" or "hot", he devised the first thermometers. He also built weighing scales, hygrometers, accessorised beds, anemometers, even bag-ice for anaesthesia.
Dr Bigotti's project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is to build some of Santorio's instruments from existing drawings and so re-create a Santorio's laboratory. To see precisely how he pioneered the science of measurement will provide an important link between the practice of the Ancients and modern methods.
Martin Sorrell

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CONVERSATION CAFE – An extension of the Family Class
Wednesdays, 7th February, 21st February, 7th March, 21st March

The Conversation Cafes got off to a great start on the 7th February. 18-20 students turned up, with a range of ages from early 20s to 50, and a good mix of male and female. There were 4 U3A members and we had 4/5 students each. At my table I had 4 young men – from China, Japan, Turkey and Kazakhstan – and there were people from lots of other nations and cultures there. A truly global gathering! People were chatting about a wide variety of topics – there wasn’t a preset theme. We ranged from historical features of Exeter, different architectural styles, why the British go swimming in the sea on Christmas Day/New Year’s Day, would we like to go back in time and see how the rich and kings lived, which led on to good National Trust properties to visit in the area! All the students seemed to really enjoy it and there was a general cry of disappointment when Jo announced at 4.30 that it was time to finish! They all said they would return in a fortnight.
Trudi Learmouth

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SCIENCE, POLITICS OR THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING?
ON THE ROLE OF PHILOSOPHY IN THE ANCIENT WORLD, 20th February 2018

A talk by Dr Gabriele Galluzzo, Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy.

Forty-six U3A members attended and Dr Galluzzo began by asking, ‘What is philosophy today?’ Our members suggested a rational academic discipline, disconnected from life. Dr Galluzzo agreed and suggested also intense specialisation across a diversified research field and, perhaps, a contribution to public debate.
By contrast, he said, ancient Greek Philosophy (c. 600 BC to 200 AD) was a search for wisdom in the big questions of life. Pre-Socratic philosophers sought a rational and natural explanation of the universe, minus gods and myths. Fifth century Sophists were professional educators charging fees: the art of rhetoric, regardless of truth, was a useful tool in early democracies.

Socrates pursued wisdom and truth about fellow humans through endless disputations, enlightening some and enfuriating others. In a way, the manner of his death granted him non-divine immortality. For Plato and Aristotle, philosophy was a universal science, the theory of everything. Plato used the method of Socratic dialogue and is best known now for his metaphysical and epistemological ideas, while Aristotle is famous for his logic.
Epicurus and the Stoics used philosophy as therapy. Epicurus believed in free will without fear of retribution from the gods. Stoics preached acceptance of misfortune as divine providence.
So, without gods, superstitions, myths, fate, or transmigrating souls, does modern western society find these ancient philosophies attractive? For U3A members, stoicism perhaps?
Elizabeth Franceschini

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PRAYERS, PIGS AND PHALLIC VEGETABLES: MEDIEVAL AIDS TO FERTILITY, 18th April 2018
A talk by Dr Catherine Rider, Senior Lecturer in History.

Twenty U3A members gathered in the Business School on the Streatham University Campus to hear this talk about medieval attitudes to infertility. Infertility was a great cause for concern in medieval times for if there were no children from a marriage, there would be no one to inherit and no one to support the parents in old age. We had a chance to read and discuss two texts, one probably and unusually written by a woman. Many believed that the cause of infertility was a judgment of God or perhaps witchcraft, but there were other theories, some of which seem very up-to-date and others quite fanciful: diet, life-style and anatomical abnormalities might be a contributing factor but also it was proposed that glow-worms could cause infertility in men and bees in women! We also read about many remedies, often involving the reproductive organs of pigs and hares as well as herbs, spices and wine. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and instructive talk which we could have happily continued for another hour or so.
Joyce Burgess

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WHAT DOES OPENNESS IN ANIMAL RESEARCH MEAN TO YOU? 25th May 2018

Dr Gail Davies and Dr Rich Gorman gave a polished presentation to our members and the main part of the session was an interactive exercise that seemed to be part of a large programme - the Animal Research Nexus. This seeks to engage patients, public and practitioners in exploring how to optimise the use of animals that are used in medical research.

I expected an emphasis on justifying the use of animals in medical research but learnt that the project seeks to minimise negative perceptions of research involving live animals by engaging in an open dialogue. The main part of the session was a brainstorm of ideas on how to achieve greater openness. We were all fully engaged with this exercise, which was skilfully handled by a professional facilitator brought in for the occasion (they must have been warned how unruly U3A members can be). In that regard I felt that the project team had extended a considerable degree of 'openness' on this occasion. It was only after the event that I felt that perhaps I had been duped. There was not a single mention or hint during the event of the fear, pain and suffering that animals such as rabbits, mice, rats, monkeys, cats and dogs suffer in the name of medical progress. Nor was there any mention of the various alternatives to animal testing that exist or their advantages and disadvantages. This lack of awareness was reflected in one or two comments from attendees who felt that a single life saved justifies the use of animals in research, whatever it involves. While everyone seemed to be engaged with the presentation, I felt that the session, and we, therefore failed in these important aspects of openness.
Jonathan Peat

We are grateful for the engaged response from Jonathan Peat to this event. The talk was run by three members of the Animal Research Nexus team, who are researching changing social contexts around animal research. One of the changes over the last 5 years is that facilities that do animal research are trying to be more open about the work they do. The aim of our talk was to explore what these moves to openness around animal research, which we illustrated with some case studies, might be mean for members of U3A. As Jonathan’s report demonstrates, this is a complex issue. Questions often intensify as openness increases.

We should emphasise that the aim of our work on the Animal Research Nexus is not seeking to ‘minimise negative perceptions of research involving live animals by engaging in an open dialogue.’ This may be one motivation for openness, but our work is interested in what different people expect openness to achieve, alongside other changes in science and society, rather than promoting a particular view. We also wanted to acknowledge the rich contributions from other U3A members who did talk about the lived experience of animals and the need to explore alternatives.

We will be posting the short report with the full set of U3A members’ responses on how they think it would be possible to improve openness in animal research on our website shortly (https://www.animalresearchnexus.org/). We look forward to continuing debate about what people think openness about animal research is for and how best to achieve it.
Prof Gail Davies

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THE GLOBAL FASHION REVOLUTION: WHO MADE MY CLOTHES? 4th June 2018

This question was the basis of the talk by Professor Ian Cook to twenty-six Exeter U3A members. Ian is a Professor of Cultural Geography and he has been working with Fashion Revolution, a global movement that started after the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, that resulted in appalling loss of life among the factory workers. Fashion Revolution is aiming for transparency and safe, fair working conditions in the garment industry, with the question ‘Who made my clothes’ now being asked of brands and retailers by thousands of social media users. Activists have used some innovative means to spread their message, such as slipping notes in the pockets of garments on the racks of retail outlets and, in Brazil, placing giant tee shirts emblazoned with ‘Who made my clothes?’ on statues. Ian’s talk was thought provoking but also entertaining, prompting plenty of questions from the U3A members present.

Ian will be running a free on-line Futurelearn course (MOOC*), Who Made My Clothes? for three weeks from the 25th June for the University of Exeter, which lifts the lid on the global fashion industry. See https://www.futurelearn.com/ courses/who-made-my-clothes.
Maeve Kolitz

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PUBLISHED REPORTS

The BBSRC have published a report on Bioenergy based on eleven public dialogue events. Members of our U3A took part in one of these on 30th August 2013.
See Bioenergy in LINKS

BLUEBERRY SUPPLEMENTATION STUDY
Dr Jo Bowtell and her team have now published the results of the blueberry supplementation study: http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/apnm-2016-0550?journalCode=apnm#.WL7rHNSLTs0 in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. The report also had some good coverage in the media and the team would like to thank everyone who took part for their help.
See Blueberry study in LINKS

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More Group Pages
21st Century Biology Anthropology
Birdwatching Bridge
Canoeing Centrepoint
Choir Cinema
Circle Dance Classical Music
Computer Mentoring Convenors
Crosswords Current Affairs
Cycling Discussion
Discussion Circle Drawing for Pleasure
Drawing Techniques Exercise
Exeter University Liaison Food Matters
French at the Lodge French Issues and Topics
Gardening Geology
German Conversation Hearty Hikers
History History on the Move
Italian Italian 2
Language Local History
Mah Jong Mathematical Pastimes
Out and About Parlons Francais avec Marie-Claude
Patchwork and Craft Patchwork, Applique & Quilting
Philosophy Photography
Play Reading Poetry
Quizzes Reading Group III
Reading Group IV Reading Group V
Reading Group VI Reading Group VII
Room 101 Science +
Scrabble Short Weekly Walks
Spanish : First Course Stride Out information
Subtitles Supper Club
Tennis Topsham Discussion Group
Travel Ukulele
Understanding the Weather Walkie Talkies
Walking Group Workshop Singers
Writing for Pleasure