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.
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
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.
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: email@example.com Telephone: 01392 722882
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 07986 939738.
CONVERSATION CAFE – An extension of the Family Class
Wednesdays, 7th February, 21st February, 7th March, 21st March 2018
3.10 p.m. – 4.30 p.m.
Peter Chalk building, Stocker Road, Streatham Campus
(See Streatham Campus map: click on area A and print)
This is a regular, informal social event which was started in 2017, for families of overseas students, and for some overseas students themselves, to chat to ‘real’ people – us! This helps improve their confidence and fluency in spoken English and allows a friendly and interesting cultural exchange. In addition, it also helps reduce the social isolation that is often a problem for family members who accompany their husbands, wives, etc. when they come to study in Exeter. Those of us who took part last year found it very rewarding and great fun.
The key factor is informality – there is no attendance list so you can come along when you want, and drop-in and stay as long as you like. There will be a theme for each session, just to provide a focus to help the students prepare for the conversations. As always with Family Class events, you don’t have to do any teaching – just chat! If you would like more information, please contact Trudi Learmouth (email@example.com)
THE GLOBAL FASHION REVOLUTION:WHO MADE MY CLOTHES?
Ian Cook, Professor of Cultural Geography
Tuesday 6th March 2018, 1.30pm - 3.30pm
Room 106, Harrison Building
(See Streatham Campus map: click on area A and print)
Ian Cook will talk about the global fashion revolution where consumers are now asking important questions about where their clothes are made, by whom and at what cost. He will also talk about the free on-line Futurelearn course, Who Made My Clothes (MOOC), which he will be running in June and July for the University of Exeter, which lifts the lid on the global fashion industry.
To book a place on this event please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
HUMAN RIGHTS: PRIORITY OR COMPROMISE? 29th November 2017
Eighteen members of Exeter U3A attended this workshop which was run by the University of Exeter Law School Human Rights and Democracy Forum and was in three parts:
Professor Stephen Skinner spoke on the right to life under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the State’s use of lethal force.
Questions posed included: How do we decide on priority and compromise? And how do we decide this in the context of democratic society?
Also, what are democratic values and standards?
Are rights and the rule of law vital parts of our identity, or fetters on the state’s ability to maintain security?
Dr Christine Bicknell spoke on the prohibition of torture and inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment under Article 3 of the ECHR.
For the purposes of this Convention, the term ‘torture’ means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind.
Dr Jess Duggan-Larkin spoke about the ways in which judicial review under the Human Rights Act 1998 (which brought the ECHR into UK law) has dealt with state powers in the area of foreign affairs, in terms of the tension between upholding strong standards of rights protection and being deferential to state interests.
Traditionally, some areas like the foreign affairs power or national security powers, are reserved for government – so the court cannot intervene. But this has changed since the Human Rights Act.
We were reminded that the European Court of Human Rights is not part of the European Union.
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.
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.
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?
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