Category Archives: Podcasts

Researching Drug Cultures

Hilary Pilkington is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. In this podcast Mark Carrigan talks to her about two research projects she led on drug use in Russia, as well about researching drug cultures more generally. The interview encompasses the findings of the research in Russia, as well as wider theoretical and methodological issues which drugs cultures pose for social researchers.

The Future of the University

In this podcast Mark Carrigan discusses the future of the university system with Steve Fuller. At a time of crisis in the university, the discussion explores how academia has arrived at its present juncture and where it might go from here. It contextualises the present predicament in terms of the wider intellectual, cultural, political and economic factors which underlay these seismic shifts in academic life.

Campaigning for the Public University

In this podcast Mark Carrigan talks to Gurminder K. Bhambra about her experiences as an initiator of the Campaign for the Public University. They discuss the crisis in the university system and the aims of the campaign, as well as wider issues relating to impact and engagement.

MSc Science, Media and Public Policy

In this podcast Dr Eric Jensen talks about the new MSc Science, Media and Public Policy which he is leading in the 2011/2012 academic year along with Professor Steve Fuller.

This course is designed to equip students with the theoretical and practical skills needed for understanding and managing the complexity of science, media and policy relations. It is based around two core modules (detailed below) alongside the wide range of other MA modules on offer at Warwick. There is also a bursary available for students on the module.

Contact Eric for more information about this or anything else relating to the MSc.

Term One: Understanding Science, Media and Public Policy (delivered by Steve Fuller)

Drawing on resources from history, philosophy and social studies of science, as well as recent social theory, this module will survey and critique various frameworks for conceptualising the relationship between science, media and public policy. Among the topics covered include: science’s public accountability, the role of peer review in authorising scientific knowledge, the comparative demands of scientific and journalistic inquiry, the role of public relations in science, the idea of science as a cultural product, media’s duty to educate, inform and entertain the public about science, scientists as political advisors, actors and advocates, the idea of the citizen-scientist, the role of new media as both information resource and research site for science. Emphasis will be placed on the two-way influence of theory and practice, as well as the challenges posed by the representation of specific types of scientific knowledge in specific media.

Term Two: Researching Science, Media and Public Policy in the 21st Century (delivered by Eric Jensen)

Across many domains of social and professional life, the sciences seek to influence publics through entertainment and news media, education, dialogue and debate. This module will identify the ways in which such attempts to influence or engage public perceptions of the sciences can be investigated through specific case studies. There have been particular flashpoints at the nexus of science, media and public policy in recent years. Controversies over human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, genetically modified crops, alternative medicine, the bioethics of zoos and the climate change agenda each hold important lessons for understanding the role of mass media, stakeholders and citizens in shaping public policy. These cases show how knowledge, power and legitimacy are marshalled in struggles for dominance and consensus over science in the public realm. A sociological account of these cases will be developed to critically assess the processes of public understanding and engagement with science, media coverage and science policy consultation.

Making New Spaces for Learning

In this podcast Mark Carrigan talks to Kate Arnold, a 1st year student in Sociology, about Left Overs, a project setup by undergraduates across a range of departments which is trying to break down the boundaries between speaker and audience, between organisers and attendees, so as to create a new space for intellectual dailogue and discussion outside of the pressures and pitfalls of formal institutional structures. As well as being fascinating and worthwhile in its own right, projects like this represent an opportunity for academics to practice public engagement within the university.

INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE STUDIES WITH KAREN BARAD, MYRA HIRD AND ELIZABETH WILSON

With the support of the Institute of Advanced Studies, at the end of last academic year Sociology@Warwick hosted Karen Barad, Myra Hird and Elizabeth Wilson in a landmark intellectual event. Each of these scholars have considerable reputations in the field of interdisciplinary science studies. In their distinctive ways, Professors Barad, Hird and Wilson are providing new theoretical approaches which have their roots in feminism and which challenge conventional wisdoms of ontology and epistemology in the study of the social and natural through which they draw upon, inter alia, quantum physics, bacteria and artificial intelligence.

Swimming the Channel

As part of her research into channel swimmers, Dr Karen Throsby recently swam the English channel herself. As Karen put it on her research Blog, ““I will just say that it was an extraordinary, brutal, intoxicating, frustrating, exciting, painful, exhilarating, exhausting day that I will never forget.”

In this podcast she talks about the experience itself as well as the wider research project which this auto-ethnography was part of.

Researching Drug Cultures

Hilary Pilkington is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. In this podcast Mark Carrigan talks to her about two research projects she led on drug use in Russia, as well about researching drug cultures more generally. The interview encompasses the findings of the research in Russia, as well as wider theoretical and methodological issues which drugs cultures pose for social researchers.

The Impact Agenda in the Arts and Humanities

In this podcast Mark Carrigan talks to Dr Nadine Lewycky, Arts Impact Officer at the University of Warwick about what her work involves and broader issues relating to the impact agenda for the arts and humanities. For more information about her work see here.

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