Exeter

Exeter University Liaison

PROJECT TEAM: Bertram Brockington, Carol McCullough, Trudi Learmouth.
Administrator: Helen Cleasby
We have a member on the Exeter Animal Welfare & Ethical Review Group (Olwen Goodall)

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.

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 RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

For PUBLIC EVENTS at the University please see University Events

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NEW OPPORTUNITY (as of the 28th March):

RESEARCH INTO THE LAW GOVERNING WEDDINGS

- An invitation from Professor Rebecca Probert, University of Exeter Law School

I was due to give a talk to the U3A about my work on the law governing weddings in May and was hoping to engage members in my research. While the talk has obviously had to be postponed, my research into the subject is continuing, and I would be very interested in working with any members of the U3A who would like to be involved. I am in the process of submitting an application for ethical approval to the University Ethics Committee but if you would potentially be interested in designing or completing a survey on weddings (past and present), then please do contact me at R.J.Probert@exeter.ac.uk.

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ANOTHER NEW OPPORTUNITY (as of the 3rd April):

The Exeter U3A University Liaison Team has been requested to share the following information with our mailing list.

ZOOM LECTURES from EXETER UNIVERSITY

Hi everyone! We've got something to educate and inspire you!
We're running a series of free online public talks delivered by some of the world's finest scientists!
Our first "Conversation" is on April 22nd 3pm UK with Professor Stafford Lightman (Fellow of the Royal Society) who will talk to us about rhythms, hormones, stress and twitter!

Sign up is easy and here: https://bit.ly/3bBP2dh

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VSIMULATORS: CUTTING-EDGE FACILITIES FOR HUMAN FACTORS RESEARCH
A talk by Alex Pavic, Professor of Vibration Engineering, 7th February

Do you remember the Wobbly Bridge? Have you ever had ‘good vibrations’? Or bad ones?
In this talk on Vibration Simulators, you will learn about the ground-breaking research into Vibration Engineering and the effect vibrations have on us and our bodies and our daily lives and well-being. This talk is for not just for those interested in science but will be equally fascinating for or non-scientists too, as we are all affected by these powerful but invisible forces in ways which we are mostly unaware of.
Alex Pavic’s research into Human Factors aims to understand the interaction of humans with the world around them, providing the opportunity to influence the design of the built environment. This research draws on our academic expertise from a range of disciplines including psychology, the medical profession, physiologists, bio-mechanics, architecture and structural experts.

The VSimulators facility at the Universities of Exeter and Bath (the Exeter one will open in May at Exeter Science Park), will provide transformative simulation capability that is unique and far beyond anything available in the world, to address critical issues of human engagement with the built environment.

N.B.The visit to the VSimulators facility at the Science Park on 16th April has been postponed

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THE MAGIC OF SOCIAL LIFE
An interactive seminar with Professor Brian Rappert
Department of Sociology, Philosophy, and Anthropology
N.B. THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Tuesday, 17th March 11.00 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.
Amory B218, Streatham Campus

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

12 places available (further sessions can be arranged later if there is sufficient demand)

Join with me in a highly interactive performance of trickery and illusion. This seminar will mix the undertaking of magic with discussion related to themes in sociology, philosophy, criminology and elsewhere. We will use the play of secrecy, disclosure and deception in magic to discuss the role of secrecy, disclosure and deception in art, science, war, and daily life. I hope to promote a renewed spirit of curiosity and wonder about how we manage to live together today...
I am currently undertaking a project to document how individuals learn to perform magic and deception. In order to reflect on our interactions, I would like audio record the sessions in order to use the recordings as research data. I will send around an information sheet in advance, but there is no compulsion to participate and any reference to our discussion would be anonymized and used solely for the purposes of research. For more information, see https://brianrappert.net/magic.

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

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THOMAS HARDY AND HIS CORRESPONDENTS: LOVE, LITERATURE AND POLITICS
A talk by Angelique Richardson, Professor of English, University of Exeter, with readings by Paul McGann, TV, film and theatre actor
N.B.THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Thursday, 26th March, 11.30 a.m.
Newman Collaborative Lecture Theatre (C/D)
Streatham Campus.

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

In her presentation Angelique Richardson will introduce Exeter’s Hardy's Correspondents project, a digital humanities collaboration with Dorset Museum, and look at ways in which the letters Hardy wrote, received, and responded to, shed light on his many-sidedness, his relationships, including with other writers such as A.E. Housman, Siegfried Sassoon and Virginia Woolf, and his political activism on behalf of the oppressed, notably his support for women's suffrage, world peace, and animal rights. Hardy received thousands of letters from all round the world, including from Australia, Chile, China, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Syria, from actors (e.g. Henry Irving, Ellen Terry, Sybil Thorndike, Irene Vanbrugh), artists (von Herkomer, George Du Maurier, Helen Paterson), musicians (e.g. Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Holst), fans and other members of the public. The presentation will also illuminate the social practice of letter writing and consider how, even after he acquired a telephone, it remained the letter that best served Hardy. There will be readings by Paul McGann who has been supporting the project. Paul’s diverse acting career includes the following appearances: film - Withnail and I and Alien 3; TV - The Monocled Mutineer, Luther and Holby City; theatre – Mourning Becomes Electra and The Seagull.

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

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FAKE FOUNDERS AND COUNTERFEIT CLAIMS: FORGING THE PAST IN MEDIEVAL EXETER
A talk by Dr Levi Roach
Associate Professor of Medieval History
N.B.THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Tuesday 28th April, 2.30pm - 4pm
Pearson Teaching Room in Building One
Streatham Campus.

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

We all know that Exeter was an important religious centre in the Middle Ages. And some of us are aware of the part played by Exeter’s first bishop, Leofric (1046/50-1072), in establishing the see’s prominence. Far less famous, however, is another element of Leofric’s episcopate: the numerous forged documents produced under his oversight. This talk examines these texts, asking what Leofric hoped to achieve by forgery and how he might have justified his actions. It also places these documents their British and European context, showing that they were part of a wider set of developments in the eleventh century.

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

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'GETTING MARRIED: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE?'
A talk by Professor Rebecca Probert
N.B.THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Wednesday 20th May, 2pm - 4pm
Room 209, Harrison Building
Streatham Campus.

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

Professor Probert is the leading authority on English marriage laws and practices. Based upon years of painstaking primary research, including studies of thousands of couples, this talk explains how, when and where people in past centuries married. Those who are interested in tracing the lives of their ancestors will be able to draw on this material to better understand their ancestors’ motivations in this most personal and universal of areas, and whether their choices made them exceptional or normal for their day.

She will also discuss how this historical legacy has shaped our current laws, and what the options for the future might be. For those who are interested in getting engaged in academic research, she will also be discussing how to co-create a research project exploring individuals’ experiences of the law in the recent past.

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

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Join the DEMON Network Patient Public Involvement (PPI) Group

We are the national network for the application of data science to dementia research
Dementia is a complex and devastating condition. There is no single accurate test for dementia, and clinical trials have so far been unsuccessful. The DEMON Network connects talented scientists and clinicians to use data science and artificial intelligence to improve dementia research and healthcare.
Our vision is to revolutionise dementia research and healthcare by bringing innovators together

Patient Public Involvement Group

 Would you like to know more about what research is going on in dementia?
 Do you want to actively participate in new research projects and initiatives?
 Would you be happy to be contacted with opportunities to be involved?

What is the Patient Public Involvement Group?

We believe it is important for patients and members of the public to be involved in research, especially during the initial stages of developing new research ideas.
The DEMON Network PPI Group includes people living with dementia, family and carers of people living with dementia, as well as those who are generally interested in advances in dementia research.
PPI members can be invited by researchers with opportunities to be involved in new research projects. This involvement may be face-to-face, or by email or phone.

How do I get involved?
Register your interest to join the PPI Group here https://mailchi.mp/cbf4f2171a91/demonppi

If you have further questions, please email the DEMON Network Coordinator Janice Ranson j.ranson@exeter.ac.uk

Follow us on Twitter
@DemonNetworkUK

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We have been asked by Vike Plock (who gave a talk about the BBC broadcasts to Nazi Germany last month) to help publicise the following postgraduate research opportunity:

PhD Project in Collaboration with the Northcott Theatre

In January 2020 the Exeter Northcott Theatre (ENT) received Heritage Lottery Funding to engage the local community in a new project to explore its archive. Since 1967, the Northcott has created a rich history of producing and creating theatre, launching the careers of many famous faces from stage and screen. During the 1970s and 1980s, stars such as Celia Imrie, John Nettles, Imelda Staunton, Robert Lindsay and David Suchet all trod the boards as part of the repertory company. A unique collection including photographs, posters, programmes, stage plans, press cuttings and scripts has been gathered, stored and recently catalogued.
This is an exciting opportunity for theatre enthusiasts to pursue a PhD on the history of the Northcott Theatre. For this self-funded project you would be working closely with ENT colleagues, with academics and, of course, the Northcott archive housed in the Special Collections at the University of Exeter.

You should have at least a 2:1 Honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent, in one the following subjects: English Literature, Heritage Studies, History, Drama and Performance Studies, and expect to achieve at least a merit (or equivalent) in a taught Masters degree. Experience with working in a heritage institution is desirable.

For more information please see the link https://www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/funding/award/?id=3853 and/or get in touch with Professor Vike Martina Plock (v.plock@exeter.ac.uk).

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RECENT REPORTS

TALK ON THE BBC GERMAN SERVICE DURING THE 2nd WORLD WAR: BROADCASTING TO THE ENEMY

On 10th January,Vike Plok, Associate Professor of English, gave a most interesting talk about the BBC’s broadcasts to Germany in German during the Second World War. A packed room of about 40 U3A members heard about the different broadcasts to Nazi Germany, starting from a brief 5 minutes in 1938, when war was clearly becoming a possibility. We listened to the introduction to the broadcast: Big Ben striking the hour, then the famous phrase from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony which, in Morse Code, spells the letter V for victory while the Roman numeral V also is the number 5 of the Fifth Symphony. From these early beginnings the broadcasts developed and lengthened, cleverly targeting individual sections of the population (army, navy, women, workers, religious groups), rather than aiming at a mass audience. We learnt how it was most important for the BBC to gain the trust of the German audience and so the news relayed in German very closely reflected the British news, even if this meant admitting that things were not going too well for Britain. There were, however, a few well-placed ‘nuggets of propoganda’, for example the Germans were told how food prices in London had fallen since the start of the war, which must have been demoralising to the Germans who were subject to rationing. We also heard a little about the German broadcasters, including the famous writer Thomas Mann, who had left Nazi Germany and was living in the United States. Comedy and satire played a part as well: an Austrian actor, Martin Miller, was celebrated for his impersonations of Hitler and Martin Esslin imagined a dialogue between 2 Hitlers to point out all the contradictions in the Führer’s recorded speeches. More seriously we were reminded that the penalties for listening to the BBC German broadcasts were severe.
Very many thanks to the University Liaison Team for giving us the opportunity to attend such an informative and entertaining talk.
Joyce Burgess

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VSIMULATORS

On 7 Feb 2020, 25 members of Exeter U3A attended a talk by Professor Aleksandar Pavic, Professor of Vibration Engineering, entitled 'Vsimulators – Human Factors Simulation for Building and Human Motion in the Built Environment.' Due to various time/operational constraints we were not able to visit the Structures Lab afterwards, as originally billed; however, Alex used the session to introduce the immense challenge of providing the built environment of the immediate future.

Focussing on the issue of vibration, particularly in very tall buildings, Alex put across technical concepts in an admirably accessible way. His presentation was laced with intriguing graphics, and rarely publicised, sometimes shocking, facts and figures. He invited interruptions for queries, which he clarified generously.
Alex explained that the unprecedented rise in global life expectancy which started in the 19th Century with improvements in sanitation, has led to huge population increase which will require 230 billion sq.m. more built space by 2030 – the equivalent of adding one 'Paris' to our planet every week. Humans spend 80-90% of their time indoors, and now demand sustainable constructions that support health and well-being. The most practical way forward will be to build 'upwards rather than outwards;' and although the very tallest buildings since 1990 have appeared in Asia, there will in London, for example, be 460 new structures higher than 50m by 2030, providing a combination of office and residential accommodation.
Promoting sustainability means not only saving 'operational' energy – heating, lighting, etc – but also 'embodied' energy – that which is required to produce materials such as concrete, steel, and machinery. Compared with aviation at 2%, currently 10% of world energy goes into producing cement. China builds 5000 bridges a year. 100 times more resources are put into saving operational energy, (leading to ever-increasing use of renewables), than embodied energy. Reducing embodied energy by replacing conventional materials will largely mean using timber.
Anxieties about wood swaying, shrinking and cracking must be addressed but these problems already happen with conventional materials. Wood can store vast quantities of CO2. It is strong enough to construct a tall building that fulfils the standards of temperature/humidity, light and noise control now expected. It can be fireproofed – wood tends to singe, not burn down – and insulated.
Alongside sustainability, the emphasis is now on quality of experience. Buildings should withstand traffic/industrial/agricultural pollutants, adverse weather and ozone, but must as far as possible allow moisture, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulates, etc to escape. Currently we encounter 1000 times more contaminants indoors than outside.
In addition to these complexities, future buildings, being made from reduced amounts of lighter, less massive materials, will be subject to greater movement, especially high up. Alex told us that vibration is now the feature dominating building design, and research papers in 'vibration serviceability' jumped from 394 (between 2005-10) to 830 (2010-15). A 2013 survey of exposure to tall (conventional) building motion in Wellington NZ, one of the world's windiest cities, resulted in 40% respondents – (who were allowed to report more than one effect) - citing difficulty in concentration. 20% nausea, 25% dizziness and 30% feeling 'weird.' (A lucky 25% reported no effects). The challenge now is to find acceptable levels of vibration according to planned usage; e.g. dance studios, offices and operating theatres in hospitals will all need to be designed differently.
By far the greatest cause of vibration in a building is human movement. At the end of this session, Alex introduced us to the 'VSimulator,' a cutting-edge research facility being built at Exeter and Bath. He described this as a ' low frequency, long stroke, biaxial motion and environmental chamber.' The Vsimulators use virtual reality to assist researchers with the effects of human behaviours and needs on the structures they use, with particular reference to motion/vibration issues.

In due course Alex will tell us more about the VSimulators and their applications, and ask us to move around (dance)? in the Exeter simulator, to help ensure that future buildings will be conducive to health and well-being.
Loran Waite

See LINKS for previous reports in the Archives.

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

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More Group Pages
Anthropology Art and Artists Birdwatching Book Salon
Bridge Canoeing Centrepoint Cinema
Circle Dance Classical Music Computer Mentoring Convenors Café
Craft Crosswords Cycling Discussion
Discussion Circle Discussion Circle 2 Drawing for Pleasure Exercise
Exeter University Liaison Food Matters French at the Lodge French Issues and Topics
Gardening Geology German Conversation Going Places
Hearty Hikers History History on the Move Italian
Italian 2 Italian 3 Italian Conversation Language
Local History Mah Jong Mah Jong 2 Mathematical Pastimes
Natural History Out and About Parlons Francais avec Marie-Claude Patchwork and Craft
Patchwork, Applique & Quilting Philosophy Philosophy 2 Photography
Poetry Quizzes Reading Group III Reading Group IV
Reading Group V Reading Group VI Reading Group VII Room 101
Science Scrabble Short Weekly Walks Singing for Fun
Spanish for Beginners Spanish Improvers Stride Out information Subtitles
Supper Club Table Tennis Tennis Topsham Discussion Group
Travel Ukulele Understanding the Weather Walkie Talkies
Walking Group Workshop Singers Writing for Pleasure
More Group Pages
Anthropology Art and Artists
Birdwatching Book Salon
Bridge Canoeing
Centrepoint Cinema
Circle Dance Classical Music
Computer Mentoring Convenors Café
Craft Crosswords
Cycling Discussion
Discussion Circle Discussion Circle 2
Drawing for Pleasure Exercise
Exeter University Liaison Food Matters
French at the Lodge French Issues and Topics
Gardening Geology
German Conversation Going Places
Hearty Hikers History
History on the Move Italian
Italian 2 Italian 3
Italian Conversation Language
Local History Mah Jong
Mah Jong 2 Mathematical Pastimes
Natural History Out and About
Parlons Francais avec Marie-Claude Patchwork and Craft
Patchwork, Applique & Quilting Philosophy
Philosophy 2 Photography
Poetry Quizzes
Reading Group III Reading Group IV
Reading Group V Reading Group VI
Reading Group VII Room 101
Science Scrabble
Short Weekly Walks Singing for Fun
Spanish for Beginners Spanish Improvers
Stride Out information Subtitles
Supper Club Table Tennis
Tennis Topsham Discussion Group
Travel Ukulele
Understanding the Weather Walkie Talkies
Walking Group Workshop Singers
Writing for Pleasure