Festival exhibits Lancaster academics’ big ideas


The third Lancaster University Ideas Festival was held on Thursday, Week 22. The event, which happens every two years, featured presentations by recently-appointed professors on their latest research.

The 13 presentations of the day ran from 10am until 3.45pm, and ranged from ‘Getting out of a “sticky situation” – how the Leishmaia parasite is transmitted’ by Professor Paul Bates of the Department of Biomedical and Life Sciences, to ‘A license to Kill?’ by Professor Aristotle Kallis of the Department of European Languages and Cultures.

Professor Paul Wellings, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said of the event: “We’d seen Dundee try this idea and it worked so decided to have a showcase of ideas and research in much smaller doses.”

“It allows colleagues to hear excerpts of senior members of staff’s work and maybe could lead to new research as often topics crossover. It also shows students a range of what’s going on and shifts ways in which new ideas come out,” he continued.

Professor John Quinton from the Lancaster Environment Centre gave an interesting presentation entitled, ‘A manifesto for soil’ which discussed how soil is most important for clean water, food supply and tackling climate change, and how saving soil could help solve hunger and stop malnutrition in under privileged countries. Sectretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband was in the audience for Prof Quinton’s lecture.

Professor Steven Jones of the Health Research Faculty gave a presentation on ‘Psychosocial perspectives on the understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder.’ It gave information on research being conducted in order to help people who are bipolar, including researching the positives of being bipolar.

Film footage of the Ideas Festival for anyone interested in finding out more or watching any of the presentations can be found at: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/ideasfestival/

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