Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Monday, 7 June 2021

8 June 2021, 2pm, FREE - Open seminar on a QMUL / EPSRC project (Pambayesian) that blends computer science, Bayesian networks and medicine - with a bit of #scicomm

TL;DR: FREE seminar tomorrow from 14:00 BST on "intelligent medical decision support systems and the underlying technology" with a bit of chat at 4.30pm about outreach which may be of interest for science communicators / public engagement with science folk.

--------------------------

Tomorrow there's an afternoon seminar to talk about, and to close, the EPSRC-funded Pambayesian project which has recently ended. The project looked at ways of helping doctors and patients make treatment decisions about particular health conditions (the examples under investigation included diabetes in pregnancy (aka gestational diabetes) and rhematoid arthritis) using computer science (specifically Bayesian Networks) to 'weigh' different pieces of ('risk') information. As you can see from the agenda below Bayesian Networks can be used in all sorts of health-decision-making scenarios.

I was involved in helping to produce an issue of our computing magazine for schools (CS4FN, Computer Science For Fun) which talked about Smart Health and included several articles on the Pambayesian project. I wrote a couple of articles myself. It was rather nice to be able to write about diabetes again, as in a previous life I was one of the Science Information Officers at Diabetes UK and wrote nothing but stuff about diabetes back then :-)

My boss Prof Paul Curzon will be speaking about outreach at 4.30pm and you can read the Pambayesian issue of CS4FN as a PDF here (free print copies are already on their way to subscribing UK schools, if you're a teacher please use the purple form here to sign up or invite your child's teacher to sign up). You can also explore the magazine's articles individually on the CS4FN blog.

 

PAMBAYESIAN Project final open seminar: 8 June 2021

When: Tuesday, June 8, 2021, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Where: Zoom

The PAMBAYESIAN (PAtient Managed decision-support using Bayesian networks) is an EPSRC funded project to develop a new generation of intelligent medical decision support systems to help both patients suffering chronic conditions and clinicians treating them.

  Join on 8 June

The project ends on 30 June 2021 and there will be a final project open Seminar that will take place on Zoom on 8th of June 2021 from 14:00 to 17:00. 

You can join the seminar using the following link: https://qmul-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/85147764196

The event will include presentations on the development of intelligent medical decision support systems and the underlying technology. There will be time for discussion of both the technical issues and future exploitation.

Agenda

2.00-2.10: Prof Norman Fenton: Introduction and overview of the PAMBAYESIAN project

2.10-2.20 Dr William Marsh: Overview of the Bayesian Network (BN) clinical models

2.20 – 3.10 PAMBAYESIAN rheumatoid arthritis application

2.20-2.30 Dr Amy MacBrayne: The clinical perspective

2.30-2.40 Dr Hamit Soyel: User interaction

2.40 –2.50 Ali Fahmi: The BN model

2.50- 3.00 Chris Robson (Living With): Integrating the model into a commercial platform

3.00-3.10 Discussion

3.20- 3.50 PAMBAYESIAN diabetes in pregnancy application

3.20-3.30 Prof Graham Hitman: The clinical perspective

3.30-3.40 Mariana Raniere Neves: The BN model

3.40-3.50 Discussion

3.50 – 4.10 Extensions of PAMBAYESIAN

3.50-4.00 Dr Scott McLachlan: The caremap approach

4.00-4.10 Morghan Hartmann: PAMBAYESIAN additional cases studies - Multiple Sclerosis and Pelvic Floor Syndrome

4.10-4.30 PAMBAYESIAN BN technology

4.10-4.20 Dr Maggie Wang: The dynamic BN modelling challenge

4.20-4.30 Dr Eugene Dementiev: The BN deployment challenge

4.30-4.40 Prof Paul Curzon: PAMBAYESIAN impact and outreach

4.40-5.00 Discussion

More details on PAMBAYESIAN: https://pambayesian.org/

 

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

A second ASA adjudication in two weeks against misleading marketing from Homeopathy UK

Summary: Homeopathy UK, formerly the British Homeopathic Association (BHA) has had its second (in two weeks) Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) adjudication upheld against its marketing.

Edit 20 May 2021: Les Rose has submitted a Serious Concern to the Association's Trustees about the failure to meet the public benefit requirement of the Charities Act (the Association is registered as a charity). I've also re-arranged bits of the post below and added a Table of Contents for clarity.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Table of Contents
1. Preamble
2. My ASA complaint
3. Further reading
4. Screenshots (that go with (2))

1. Preamble
On 5 May 2021 I spotted that the ASA had published its rulings including one about Homeopathy UK. As I also had a complaint about Homeopathy UK's website in the pipeline I was a bit puzzled and initially assumed it was mine (until I read and discovered that the complaint was made by the Good Thinking Society) and that mine was next in the queue. 

I didn't know that GTS had put in a complaint, and to be fair I don't think I'd mentioned mine to them either so they happened independently. I see from the statement** put out today by Homeopathy UK that they suspect we're all working together behind the scenes on these complaints but that wasn't the case in this particular instance - I'm not sure if they realise that several people keep an eye on homeopaths' (and homeopathy societies' and associations') websites.

The story has been picked up in The Times (including an opinion piece) and Mail Online. Prof Edzard Ernst has also written about it and it's also in the BMJ (see 3. Further Reading).

Below is my original complaint, I've not included the follow up discussions though as you can read the final output in the adjudication. My complaint didn't mention depression but it's not that unusual that the ASA might add in another concern after looking at the information for themselves. I did mention a page about cancer which has also been taken down - normally that would be referred to Trading Standards but presumably no need for that now it's been removed.

I've deliberately mangled the links that no longer work in the text below - if you want to visit them (all links now point to the main 'conditions' landing page anyway) you'd need to paste them into a browser address bar and delete the ^^.

2. My ASA complaint: relevant screenshots are at the end
Why is the British Homeopathic Association (now known as Homeopathy UK) allowed to have a page on its website listing almost 50 conditions "where homeopathy can help"? https://homeopathy-uk.org/homeopathy/how-homeopathy-helps/conditions 

None of that is true and several of the conditions are quite serious (allergies, asthma, cancer (!), circulatory problems, Crohn's etc). Each of these pages is written by a single author, drawing on their experiences of treating people who have the relevant condition. Of the 4 pages I've viewed in more depth (below) no evidence is offered beyond purely anecdotal. 

I was amazed to see cancer included (https://home^^opathy-uk.or^^g/homeopathy/how-homeopathy-helps/conditions/cancer), given the Cancer Act 1939, but on clicking through the claims are at least a bit softer (not claiming that homeopathy can help directly with cancer) though I think this phrase is concerning "A preparation of Mistletoe would be an example of a complementary medicine which has been shown to stimulate the immune system and when given alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy can reduce fatigue and improve quality of life" as I don't think that homeopathic levels of mistletoe can do anything. 

Later on that page the author references this rather theatrical example "Along with Mistletoe injections, I also prescribed X-ray 30c on the morning of radiotherapy, along with Belladonna in the afternoon, both of which have been shown in one placebo-controlled trial to reduce the inflam­mation of the skin and deeper tissues that is caused with radiotherapy" - I can only wonder how diluted X-rays are prepared, or what they might be supposed to do. 

The diabetes page (https://home^^opathy-uk.or^^g/homeopathy/how-homeopathy-helps/conditions/diabetes) is also misleading - implying that numbness arising from nerve damage can be 'helped' with hemlock and (hopefully very diluted) lead. This is unlikely to be true. Worse, there is mention of 'helping' infected (leg / foot) ulcers by the application of calendula lotion, or 'helping renal function' with other remedies. 

The page on infertility (https://home^^opathy-uk.or^^g/homeopathy/how-homeopathy-helps/conditions/infertility) seems cruel, implying that homeopathy can help in any way in having a healthy pregnancy. The phrase "I prescribed Tub bov 10M, three tablets in one day, and two months later she missed her period" implies a causal relationship between the remedy and the pregnancy which is probably unwarranted. 

The page on psoriasis (https://home^^opathy-uk.or^^g/homeopathy/how-homeopathy-helps/conditions/psoriasis) suggests that conventional treatment can temporarily suppress the effects of the condition and includes the line that "Some patients are, therefore, looking for a more permanent “cure” for their condition", implying that homeopathy might offer that. I think that's incredibly unlikely and misleading, and I’m not sure that putting ‘cure’ in quotes minimises that. 

Jo

 

3. Further reading

  1. Homeopathy site banned from discussing depression (19 May 2021) The Times, Kat Lay
  2. Clamp down on bogus science of homeopathy (19 May 2021) The Times, Oliver Kamm
  3. Homeopathy charity is hit by ad ban after claiming the treatment can be used for depression, diabetes and infertility (19 May 2021) Mail Online, Isabella Nikolic
  4. Clamp down on the bogus science of homeopathy (19 May 2021) Edzard Ernst's blog  
  5. Homeopathy UK told to take down articles saying remedies can help depression and asthma (20 May 2021) BMJ, Clare Dyer 
  6. Re: Homeopathy UK told to take down articles saying remedies can help depression and asthma (21 May 2021) BMJ: Rapid Response, Jo Brodie (me!)
  7. ASA to charity: Remove claims homeopathy helps diabetes and asthma (21 May 2021) C+D (Chemist + Druggist), Grace Lewis

ASA Adjudications against Homeopathy UK aka British Homeopathic Association 

**Homeopathy UK have shared their "A message from our Chief Executive" statement several times on Twitter (though apparently not on Facebook) and the quote tweets for several of them are rather more critical. If you've been blocked and need to view the tweets in a private window while logged out you won't be able to see them via the Quote Tweet button (it requires login). Ignore that and just paste each link below into the search bar or visit https://twitter.com/explore - this, in essence, shows you mentions of that tweet (logically identical to the quote tweet format).

https://twitter.com/bhahomeopathy/status/1395005017741041671
https://twitter.com/bhahomeopathy/status/1395046861581455362
https://twitter.com/bhahomeopathy/status/1395281901116608515
https://twitter.com/bhahomeopathy/status/1395402698388873226
https://twitter.com/bhahomeopathy/status/1395674487429996546
https://twitter.com/bhahomeopathy/status/1396460917001494532

4. Screenshots (these were attached to my original ASA complaint): 

Homeopathy UK 01 - list of conditions

Homeopathy UK 02 - list of conditions


Homeopathy UK 03 - cancer and diabetes


 Homeopathy UK 04 - infertility and psoriasis






 

Wonder what happened to the blogger Lucky Jimm, courier / Mayfair squatter - say hi if you know him :)

On a Sunday in January 2009 a friend and I went to see Kind Hearts & Coronets in a squat at 39A Clarges Mews, Mayfair. It was part of a week long series of events and classes under the 'Temporary School of Thought' banner. As it was so close to Burns' night we took some veggie haggis from Fortnums around the corner. There were lots of people there admiring the incredible property and the ornate wallpaper etc and I got chatting to some of the squatters. One of them - Lucky Jimm / luckyjim - was hosting the film screening and I later came across his blog, which was an amazing read. Here's what I said about it in 2011.

"In an equivalent of discovering a book that you just can't put down, since coming across his blog I've been hooked, beguiled, ensorcelled (feel free to throw the thesaurus at this, as one word won't do) by the writing and can only hope he gets a shift on and writes a book. I usually read blogs because I'm interested in the topic and nice writing is a pleasant bonus. In this case the topics (squatting, gambling, cycling and drinking) aren't of particular interest to me but the (often poignant) mix of humour, angst, frankness and occasional whimsy has meant that I've found the blog electronically unputdownable." 

Sadly a few years later his blog, outlining his 'degenerate lifestyle', had entirely disappeared and none of it is available on the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine either though a few of his guest posts on other people's blogs are still extant, along with a Reddit AMA he did a few years ago. 

He moved his blog to a poker site so I signed up to read them there. Literally never played a poker game in my life but I enjoyed his writing that much. At some point that site went down ('gutshot', doesn't sound very comfortable) but I chatted to him several years later on another poker site, wishing him well and hoping he'd write a book. I will have to see if I can find the site, log in and say hello* ;) I vaguely remember something about a Hendon mob and various poker-playing groups but it's not my world so I've not kept up with any of it.

I'm hoping he's still alive and well and has a life that gives him pleasure, but I also hope he's written a book or two, or that he has a career writing something. If you know him don't tell me who he is (Lucky Jimm is obviously an assumed name!) but do tell him some random from 2009 and the internet hopes he's doing well :)

Lucky Jimm's guest posts on Harry's Place blog

A Trip To The Ocean (20 May 2009) - about the Ocean Estate which, weirdly, is the bus stop I sometimes alight at when going to work, at Queen Mary University of London.

Free (4 February 2010) - writing about Katharine Hibbert's book (she was a journalist who squatted to write about it, later lost her job and started to squat in earnest)

Outside Alexander McQueen's Flat, 5pm, Thursday (15 February 2010) - as a courier Jimm had collected packages from McQueen's offices.

I squatted mansions in Mayfair, London. AMA! (29 January 2010, date of archive capture) - Reddit

Temporary School of Thought (13 January 2009) - Londonist's visit.

*I created an account on the '2+2' poker forum but I can't work out how to send a message to anyone and am very much out of my depth haha so I will probably leave it for now.





Sunday, 11 April 2021

Vaguely Celtic 'bunting' for Buntingmas made from acetate OHP sheets and glass paints

Happy #Buntingmas everyone!

I've painted some patterns onto acetate sheet panels and will let them dry overnight before constructing the panels into bunting. Each one of these is about 2.5 inches long I think (estimate!).

  1.  The Bunting
  2.  About the bunting: How I made it
  3.  The underlying designs
  4.  About #Buntingmas
1. The Bunting

Six panels painted and cut from acetate sheet, sitting on a white sheet.


One panel held up to bright sunlight

Edit: 24 April 2021

  The finished bunting, against sunlight.


2. About the bunting: How I made it
It's quite a few years (pre-2000) since I did glass painting as a hobby but I always enjoyed it when I did. Friends and I even used to sell stuff, in a local shop in Camberwell and we had an occasional stall in Camden (Stables Market) in the days when you could rock up at 6am at the weekend and get a pitch for a few pounds. It was not exactly a money-making venture but we'd sell enough to break even. 

Anyway, I have made some glass-painted bunting for this year's Buntingmas and making use of a pack of OHP (Overhead Projector) transparent acetate sheets that I still have from the times of yore when these were how we made presentation slides. They're great to paint on as they behave like glass with respect to the paint and like paper with respect to a pair of scissors, so very easy to cut into shape. 

I think they look rather pretty, though as the first ones I've done in years I expect if you compare them closely with 'my earlier work' they're probably not as neat, but I enjoyed doing them and that is always the most important thing in any endeavour :)

The process involves firstly creating the designs / patterns (see below) then producing a neat copy and 'tracing' the pattern by putting an acetate sheet above it (blue tack helps) and outlining it with relief liner paste (see pic below). Once that's dried you apply the paint. It's more like floating/flooding the paint into the reservoirs created by the raised relief paste, so perhaps a bit more like enamelling. Everything is touch-dry after a couple of hours but properly dry overnight.

A needle and thread strings them together with a loop on either end for attaching (to be honest I just used a bit of blue tack to stick them on the window to take the photo).

3. The underlying designs
The Celtic knotwork patterns are pretty easy to create from scratch if you have a book like George Bain's Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction (eg see page 29 [p28 of 162] to get a quick overview). They involve a simple grid, then scaffolding lines and finally the pattern, erasing the scaffolding. I previously screen-printed a bag using a Celtic (actully Pictish) knotwork pattern which I made from scratch with a simple grid, you can see the stages of production in the post linked.

Or you can visit these other online places, or see example YouTube video at the end:

How to draw Celtic knotwork:
http://www.clanbadge.com/tutorial.htm
https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Draw-Celtic-Knotwork/


One acetate sheet filled with several panels and a pattern drawn on.

The original drawings which were traced onto the acetate sheet, using the paste in the tube (Pebeo liner) shown above, which comes out like a bit like toothpaste.







The 60s swirl pattern (below) was just drawn from a series of circles made with a compass and curves intersecting at various points, then taking a rectangular shape and overlaying it on the middle.

Swirly pattern, excerpt used in art project above


A Rennie Mackintosh-inspired painting I made 30 years ago!

A short video tutorial showing how to create a Celtic knot from scratch

 

 

Celtic knotwork doodles made by me following Bain's methods

4. About #Buntingmas
It's just a silly festival I invented at the end of 2019 because I like bunting. It runs from 11 April (which was my mother's birthday) to 11 September (which was my father's) and is basically a Spring and Summer full of cheerful little flags - this is the 2nd annual Buntingmas and so far it's just me celebrating it with my friends indulging me ;) You can read more about it here and click on the Buntingmas category to see more bunting-related posts. There are quite a few to be honest.

 

 

 

Friday, 9 April 2021

QM Conversations - free culture / science / arts talks from Queen Mary University of London - 9-16 April 2021

Full details are here https://conversations.qmul.ac.uk/conversations-week/
and I've copied plain-text version of the blurbs at the end. Click on the link above to see them in their full glory, with names of people hyperlinked to their website and so on. The landing page for all the events on Eventbrite is
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/queen-mary-arts-and-culture-32813317547


Friday 9 April - But first... Some Housekeeping

But first… Some Housekeeping: A Conversation On Housework And Magic
18:00-19:30pm BST



Monday 12 April - Art, Craft and the Value of Conversation

QMUL Network: A Conversation on Sustaining Craft Practice in the Digital Era
14:00–15:30pm BST

On Conversation: A Conversation on Conversation
18:00-19:30 BST

On the Verse in Conversation: Poetry and the State of the Nation
19:30-21:00 BST



Tuesday 13 April - Sounding Out Ideas

See me, feel me, touch me, heal me: On the Multimodal Experience of Sound
13:00-14:30 BST

On Deafness and ‘Hearing’ Music: A Conversation
18:30-19:50 BST



Wednesday 14 April - Futures, Histories, Life and Death

On the Future of Trust: A Conversation on Vaccine Hesitancy
16:00-17:15 BST

On Imagining the Future of Mobility: Putting the Civic in Engineering
17:00-18:15 BST

On Remembering Bangladesh: A Conversation on the War of Independence
18:00-19:15 BST

On the Undead: A Conversation on the Politics and Performances of Zombies
19:30-20:45 BST

 

Thursday 15 April - Bodies in Motion

On the Art of Teeth: A Conversation
~~11:00 BST - time tbc

On Data in Motion: A Conversation
18:00-19:15 BST

On the Art of Boxing in the East End: A Conversation
19:30-20:45 BST

 

Friday 16 April - Flourishing

I'm Thirsty: On Reclaiming Water and the Arts as Universal Common Goods
15:30-17:00 BST

On Storytelling, the Child and Public Health: A Conversation
18:00-19:15 BST

On Promoting Wellbeing Through Music: A Conversation
19:00 BST


Blurbs for each of the talks

Friday 9 April - But first... Some Housekeeping

Friday 9 April - 18:00

But first… Some Housekeeping: A Conversation On Housework And Magic
18:00-19:30pm BST

What are the histories of tidying up?  What are the geographies of household rituals?  How do students navigate their first experiences of doing housework in their own flats?  What if brooms had a mind of their own?  And how can being housebound set us free?

This conversation investigates the histories, rituals and art of housework. We celebrate the commissioned conversation between Stacy Makishi, a performance artist who offers audiences transformational and sacred rituals using the most mundane household objects, and Dr Rhodri Hayward (QMUL Reader in History) who writes on the histories of magic and tidying up.  They are joined by a member of QMUL’s Residential Cleaning team, and by Dr Laura Humphreys, Curatorial & Collections Engagement Project Manager at the Science Museum, and author of the forthcoming Globalising Housework: Domestic Labour in Middle-class London Homes,1850-1914. The panel will think about the histories, geographies and practices of household rituals and the conversation will be followed by a twenty-minute household ritual performed by Stacy Makishi, which will prepare us for the week of conversations to come.


Monday 12 April - Art, Craft and the Value of Conversation

Monday 12 April - 14:00

QMUL Network: A Conversation on Sustaining Craft Practice in the Digital Era
14:00–15:30pm BST

This promises to be a vibrant conversation that will draw on international perspectives to explore contemporary craft practice and economy. Facilitated by feminist craftivist practitioner and researcher Dr Katja May (Goldsmiths), the panel will consider the role of communities of belonging and how craft’s quality of hand-made, intimate connection is maintained across digital, development and diversity divides. Panellists include Professor Nick Bryan-Kinns (QMUL), who will discuss his AHRC funded project, 'Digital platforms for craft' undertaken in collaboration with Hunan Uni, China; Dr Karen Patel (Birmingham City University), who will discuss her AHRC project 'Craft Expertise' or 'Supporting diversity and expertise development in the contemporary craft economy'; craft practitioner Yemi Awosile, who is active in the development of digital craft economies in Africa; and Suzanna Petot, who is a curator, writer and co-organiser of the interdisciplinary project Decorating Dissidence.

This event is organised by QMUL Network, a centre for the creative and cultural economy, directed by Professor Morag Shiach in the School of English and Drama. Network works to facilitate knowledge exchange and collaboration between the creative industries and research interests at QMUL, towards building a resilient, sustainable and socially inclusive sector.


Monday 12 April - 18:00

On Conversation: A Conversation on Conversation
18:00-19:30 BST

In the last year, conversation has been more important than ever. Celebrating our commissioned exchanges between artists and academics at QMUL, this event launches our week of events by hosting a conversation on the topic of conversation. We ask: How have communications technologies altered the way that we converse with each other? Who is speaking, and who is listening, when we engage in conversation with ourselves? What politics of identity and exchange enter into the conversation, and how can we press forms of conversation into experimental modes? Join us for a wide-ranging and exploratory panel on the modes of cognition, experiences of power, and formal aesthetics that inform conversations as they happen in our daily lives. In this Conversation on Conversation, Queen Mary academics and artists discuss how processes of conversation support, transgress and radicalise encounters of embodied discourse. Professor of Human Interaction Patrick Healey will discuss how conversations make us feel; Professor of Humanities Barbara Taylor discusses philosophies and representations of voice in solitude; and Lecturer in Experimental Cognitive Psychology Magda Osman will speak on how conversations are brokered. Throughout this panel, Professor of Contemporary Performance, artist and activist of conversation Lois Weaver will infuse her work designing and facilitating new forms and protocols for conversation.  


Monday 12 April - 19:30

On the Verse in Conversation: Poetry and the State of the Nation
19:30-21:00 BST

‘Listen closely, the one language speaks in scattered tongues’, writes poet Nisha Ramayya in States of the Body Produced by Love (Ignota, 2019). As a gathering of scattered tongues, this panel of poets from the UK and US asks: what is the role of poetry in the national conversation? How can poetry help us to take personal and collective action in times of crisis? Nisha Ramayya (QMUL Lecturer in Creative Writing) is joined by Meera Dasgupta, 2020 Youth Poet Laureate of the United States; Asia Khatun, poet and editor of Thawra; Kashif Sharma-Patel, who as a writer and editor at 87 Press, focuses on queer and racialised experimental work; and Kay Rufai, poet, photographer and filmmaker. Together they will put verse into the national conversation, exploring the power of poetry to create solidarity, to offer a place of dissent, and to challenge state-fuelled crises.


Tuesday 13 April - Sounding Out Ideas

Tuesday 13 April - 13:00

See me, feel me, touch me, heal me: On the Multimodal Experience of Sound
13:00-14:30 BST

This panel will examine how people associate colour, shape, and touch to sound, how human sensory experience varies across individuals, and how associations between the senses support uniquely human forms of communication like language and music. The online event will begin with streaming audio and video recordings from Xenia Pestova Bennett’s (University of Nottingham) semi-improvised work Glowing Radioactive Elements (2018, 25’), which consists of five interwoven movements, each exploring different timbral techniques for the Magnetic Resonator Piano. The MRP is an innovative instrument designed by Andrew McPherson (QMUL Augmented Instruments Lab). Electromagnets are suspended above the piano strings without coming into contact with the mechanism, allowing resonance to be “shaped” from the keyboard while retaining the use of the original action. The five pieces include continuous control of the resonance, pitch bends, harmonic glissandi, envelope shaping and a unique “stutter” of the MRP mechanism, an unintentional scanner by-product. Each movement is associated with a radioactive element and its “colour” signature. To examine how these quasi-synaesthetic poetic associations encourage interplay between artistic expression and listener perception, the panel will initiate a conversation with audience members, recording their perceptions of sound-colour and other crossmodal associations evoked during the performance. Following the streaming, Xenia Pestova Bennett and Andrew McPherson will be joined in conversation by timbre researcher Charalampos Saitis (QMUL Centre for Digital Music; panel coordinator), cognitive linguist Christine Cuskley (Newcastle University), artist-performer and researcher Camille Baker (University for the Creative Arts), sound-led performance artist Julie Rose Bower (QMUL Drama), and artist-researcher Sebastian Löbbers (QMUL Media & Arts Technology).

 

Tuesday 13 April - 18:30

On Deafness and ‘Hearing’ Music: A Conversation
18:30-19:50 BST

Although it is often presumed that you need good hearing to appreciate music, the act of hearing extends across multiple senses. Tonight we explore how we literally ‘hear’ music. What faculties might compensate if our hearing is impaired? Does hearing loss change the way we ‘feel’ music? Chaired by Queen Mary's Director of Music Paul Edlin, this panel will explore hearing from the perspectives of musicians and physicians. We are joined by the internationally celebrated percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, who is the first person in history to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist. Growing up on a farm in the north east of Scotland, Evelyn became drawn to percussion as her hearing declined because she could ‘feel the sound’. Former QMUL Music Society President and London Chamber Orchestra Music Scholar Atalanta Hersey will reflect on her experiences of performing as an oboist with severe deafness; they are joined by the renowned fortepiano recitalist Professor John Irving (Guildhall School of Music and Drama). President of the British Otology Society and one of the world’s leading ENT hearing specialists, Mr Chris Aldren, contributes insights as a consultant endoscopic ear surgeon with particular interest in hearing restoration. 


Wednesday 14 April - Futures, Histories, Life and Death


Wednesday 14 April - 16:00

On the Future of Trust: A Conversation on Vaccine Hesitancy
16:00-17:15 BST

After all the clapping, does vaccine scepticism point to an erosion of trust in doctors, scientists and the NHS? Who will we trust in the future?  How has trust changed during the pandemic? Trust is a necessary prerequisite for the functioning of public health systems like vaccination programmes. But trust must extend far beyond the medical system in order to ensure that vaccine uptake succeeds. Trust in government, in expertise, in the state, in science, in community, in technology all play a crucial role in how confidence and trust in vaccinations can thrive – or not. Building confidence in the Covid-19 vaccination programme therefore requires a multidisciplinary approach that goes beyond the medical, taking account of perspectives drawn from politics, law, social science, finance and the arts. This conversation includes academics from six disciplines across Queen Mary to think about the future of trust. Conversationalists will include Valsamis Mitsilegas, Professor of European Criminal Law and Global Security; David McCoy, Professor of Global Public Health; Stella Ladi, Senior Lecturer in Business Management; Mario Slugan, Lecturer in Film Studies; Sarah Wolff, Reader in European Politics and International Politics; and Gülnur Muradoğlu, Professor of Finance.

 
Wednesday 14 April - 17:00

On Imagining the Future of Mobility: Putting the Civic in Engineering
17:00-18:15 BST

How will transport engineers contribute to rebuilding London after lockdown?  What is the relationship between transport and access to public space and how might this relationship be reimagined in the future? How was the future of transport imagined by Londoners in the past?  What is the relationship between mobility and social mobility in the engineering profession?  This panel will explore the civic value of transport engineering by asking what the future of mobility in London might be. Natalie Cheung, a civil engineer and STEM ambassador will talk about women’s access to public space and the role of social mobility in the engineering profession. Dr Jun Chen, QMUL Senior Lecturer in Engineering Science, will investigate how passenger flow in public transport shapes our experience of cities, and Louise Webb will reflect on her experiences as a Passenger Handling Project Manager for Thameslink Rail. Recently celebrated by the Women in Engineering Society as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering 2020, QMUL Lecturer in Functional Materials Dr Petra Ágota Szilágyi will discuss her focus on energy and sustainability, and opportunities to address global challenges in a multidisciplinary way.


Wednesday 14 April - 18:00

On Remembering Bangladesh: A Conversation on the War of Independence
18:00-19:15 BST

We often think of history books as the official place where major events, conflicts and independence movements are recorded. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s War of Independence, this panel explores how art and cultural practices can also help us to remember. We ask how photography, dance, cookery and film can keep memories of independence movements alive, and how art can also help us to mediate the meanings of those memories. The panel will include Shahidul Alam (named one of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year in 2018), whose photography has captured major events in contemporary Bangladeshi history, Showmi Das, a Kathak dancer (who will perform a commissioned work in response to the anniversary), and Asma Khan, the chef and owner of Darjeeling Express restaurant and star of Netflix's Emmy nominated Chef's Table, who will discuss how food can keep memories alive. Dr Clelia Clini, Research Associate with the Migrant Memory and the Postcolonial Imagination research project at Loughborough University, will discuss the ways in which the memories of the war circulate within migrant communities. The panel will be chaired by Dr Ashvin Devasundaram, Senior Lecturer in Film at QMUL.  This panel has been commissioned in collaboration with Tower Hamlets Council.


Wednesday 14 April - 19:30

On the Undead: A Conversation on the Politics and Performances of Zombies
19:30-20:45 BST

Born with cystic fibrosis, QMUL’s Dr Martin O’Brien (Lecturer in Drama, Theatre and Performance) has recently surpassed his life expectancy – as such, the artist is now living in what he terms ‘zombie time’. This conversation, chaired by Martin, explores how performance practices can reveal the politics and possibilities of the zombie by laying bare the experience of living with – and past – life limiting chronic illness.  Martin is joined by the South African writer, theatre-maker, and poet, Genna Gardini, whose doctoral work explores Multiple Sclerosis, gender, queerness, and performance, and curator Dr Jane Wildgoose, Keeper of the Wildgoose Memorial Library, who will discuss what it means to work with museum objects that are neither alive nor fully dead – human remains, skulls, and a single hair from Lord Nelson’s head, along with her costume work inspired by Bob Flanagan for the film Hellraiser.

 

Thursday 15 April - Bodies in Motion

Thursday 15 April - 11:00 (tbc)

On the Art of Teeth: A Conversation
~~11:00 BST - time tbc

While they are inside our mouths, teeth shift, decay and fragment; yet once outside of the mouth, they become almost indestructible remnants of who we are, and were. This conversation explores the practices of dentistry and the histories of teeth and asks: what has art got to do with it? In this conversation, QMUL historian Colin Jones, author of The Smile Revolution in Eighteenth Century Paris, offers a history of teeth and smiling, while sculptor Janetka Platun and David Mills of Queen Mary’s Institute of Dentistry discuss the exploratory art of scanning and depicting teeth through – among other means – microtomography, Pringles cans, and heritage techniques. They are joined by Professor of Applied Performance Practice Ali Campbell (QMUL Drama) and Head of Paediatric Dentistry Ferranti Wong (QMUL), who will discuss their collaboration on the child-led research project The Dental Detectives to explore dental anxiety and possible solutions in paediatric dentistry.


Thursday 15 April - 18:00

How does data move, and how does motion create data? What counts as predictable or unpredictable motion, and how does it move us emotionally?  These are questions that dancers, sports scientists, mathematicians, data scientists and choreographers all grapple with. This conversation will explore the overlaps between the work of data scientists and mathematicians in using data to predict motion, and the ways in which dancers and sports scientists map movement.  Starting with the commissioned conversation between the choreographer Alexander Whitley and QMUL Professor of Mathematics Thomas Prellberg, the panel will also include Professor Dylan Morrissey, Consultant Physiotherapist and Professor of Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at Bart's and the London NHS Trust in conversation with Andy Reynolds, Medical Director at the English National Ballet, Professor of Computer Vision and Human Sensing Ioannis Patras of the QMUL School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, and Dr Elisabetta Versace (QMUL School of Biological and Chemical Sciences), who will explore how digital technologies can support dancers’ learning, including the potential for Artificial Intelligence to help dancers gain additional skills from home during the pandemic. The panel will be chaired by Dr Martin Welton, Reader in Theatre and Performance.

 

Thursday 15 April - 19:30

The celebrated East End prize-fighter Daniel Mendoza revolutionised boxing in the late 18th and early 19th century. As a Jewish boxer, Mendoza experienced and challenged antisemitism throughout his life. Mendoza’s body was buried in the Novo Jewish Cemetery at Queen Mary, which still contains a plaque commemorating his life. Following a series of workshops with QMUL students on autobiography and boxing, this conversation gets into the ring with Mendoza to consider the arts and histories of boxing in the East End. Chaired by QMUL’s Dominic Johnson, Professor of Performance and Visual Culture, the conversation will include Professor of Urban Literature Nadia Valman (QMUL), who will explore the Jewish histories of Mendoza’s East London, while the artist Jake Boston will discuss his autobiographical show Bare Knuckle, along with other guests from the boxing world, TBC. They are joined by sports scientist and Upper Limb injury specialist Ian Gatt of the English Institute of Sport, who is Head of Performance Support for GB Boxing.

 

Friday 16 April - Flourishing

Friday 16 April - 15:30

I'm Thirsty: On Reclaiming Water and the Arts as Universal Common Goods
15:30-17:00 BST

What does water have in common with the arts? This conversation starts from the premise that as much as water is indispensable to our survival, so are the arts. And yet, both are dangerously devalued in our society. To start the conversation social anthropologist Megan Clinch (Blizard Institute, QMUL) and artist Ruth Levene will introduce their research exploring the impact of flooding on the communities that live in the Calder Catchment, Yorkshire. This will include reflections on how communities are re-connecting with water in response to climate change. After this, the co-directors of the MSc Creative Arts and Mental Health, Bridget Escolme (Professor of Theatre and Performance, QMUL) and psychiatrist and theatre scholar Maria Grazia Turri (Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, QMUL), will reflect on the value of the arts for mental health and social justice. Join us for this conversation on the common challenges and opportunities faced by those who believe that both water and the arts should be reclaimed as universal common goods, accessible to all.


Friday 16 April - 18:00

On Storytelling, the Child and Public Health: A Conversation
18:00-19:15 BST

This panel will explore the critical work of storytelling in communicating public health messages to children or about children. Professor Tina Chowdhury (QMUL Engineering) will talk about her work using immersive tech to visualise foetuses in the womb – a practice that both treats foetal illness, and inspires women to experience agency around preventative health measures during their pregnancies. Professor Fran Balkwill of Queen Mary’s Centre of the Cell and Barts Cancer Institute, a pioneer in the field of communicating biomedical science to children, will reflect on her experience in publishing children's literature around biomedicine and public health. Roz Paul, Artistic Director of Scene & Heard children’s theatre charity, will discuss the company’s twenty-two year history of using playwriting as a mentoring technique with children in Camden, including some of the remarkable plays involving illness and health written by nine-year-olds. Dr Lucie Glasheen and Dr Rachel Bryant Davies will share insights from their ongoing British Academy-funded project exploring how storytelling can help children understand COVID-19 and mitigate its effects. The panel will be chaired by Professor Kiera Vaclavik, co-founder and Director of the Centre for Childhood Cultures at Queen Mary.


Friday 16 April - 19:00

On Promoting Wellbeing Through Music: A Conversation
19:00 BST

This conversation delves into the incredible power of music to support wellbeing in social and educational settings. Hattie Rayfield of the London Chamber Orchestra introduces the LCO’s Music Junction programme, which works with children and young people from a wide range of backgrounds to provide them with opportunities to develop artistic and social skills through shared music making. Kerstin-Gertrud Kärblane joins the panel to discuss her work with Music Junction as a mental health practitioner through Queen Mary’s MSc in Creative Arts and Mental Health. Professor Paul Heritage of Queen Mary’s People’s Palace Projects will speak on his collaborations with María Claudia Parias Durán, Director of the Fundación Nacional Batuta in Colombia, who make music with 40,000 young people each year - many of them displaced by the civil war. Director of Music Paul Edlin (QMUL), who has created an online space for student musicians at Queen Mary to share their experiences and music throughout lockdown, chairs the panel. With the power of music as a catalyst for conversations today and in the future, the evening will close with a performance by young LCO Music Junction musicians, sharing with us their experience of the richness of music to increase wellbeing in us all.