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Lincoln MP Karen Lee to Hold Staff and Student Surgery at the University of Lincoln

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On Friday 13th October, the University will welcome the MP for Lincoln Karen Lee to the Brayford Pool campus as part of her constituency surgery.

The visit is an opportunity for both staff and students to meet and engage with Karen Lee, and discuss with her the issues that matter to them.

She will be on campus from 1pm until 4pm, however, meetings are by appointment only. To book your slot, email helena.mair@parliament.uk or calling 01522 420067.

Early booking is advisable as places are limited.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Professor Duncan French on Alternate Realities: Brexit and Pokémon

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As with many households across the globe – regardless of the age (or existence!) of children – my children became obsessed by the “Pokémon-Go” euphoria that captured mobile apps and social media in July and August this year. To be truthful, I didn’t want to show my naivety as to what I plainly did not understand so I played along as my children ran around searching for these curious-looking Pokémons (or is it Pokémoni?). It was a frenetic period that I did not quite grasp and decided that it was a fad that would soon die down and fade away. On reflection, I was perhaps too traditional in my view that a game so premised upon such an ephemeral proposition would not last. Despite cerebrally knowing what technology could now do, I was perhaps loathed to accept what is simply a further step in how the virtual and my physical existence now interact.

At the same time, many of us were coming to terms with the EU referendum result, seeking to compute the enormity of what had happened on the 23 June, and to reconcile ourselves to the consequences. For many, membership of the EU is as instinctive and fundamental to the UK’s global identity as its membership of NATO, or of the UN. So, just as my head and heart were in tension in understanding Pokémon-Go, I now wonder whether the same was true as regards the European referendum? My head knew that the referendum would be tight, that the campaign had been badly fought and that many in the UK still saw the EU as the institutional zenith of the “other” telling us what to do. “Take back control” was a myth but it was also a very powerful – a very emotive – catchphrase, which (whether we like it or not) resonated with a sizeable proportion of the electorate. Notwithstanding this, my heart hoped for the best… we surely wouldn’t throw it all away? Surely not.

And this tension between head and heart seems to have also clouded how many of us, as environmental lawyers, have prioritised the environment in discussions on Brexit. To do so ignores, however, an invariable fact; namely that the environment has barely mattered. Or, more accurately, that for most who voted Leave (and indeed for many who voted Remain) the environment is a long way down the Brexit agenda. It had scant impact on the campaign, and its relevance in the aftermath remains equally unclear. For sure, some tried to raise the issue of what the EU had done for the environment, but there was an almost inverse relationship between the sincerity and earnestness of the arguments presented, and the likely effect this had on the wider population. There was also the prospective debate as to whether the EU would be able to continue to play a leading role in such critical matters as climate change – and to meet its commitments – without the continuing membership of the UK. Again, valid questions but hardly persuasive in the popular consciousness.

So, just as my head and heart were in tension in understanding Pokémon-Go, I now wonder whether the same was true as regards the European referendum?

Within any discourse on Brexit, there is, of course, a particular paradox; the ecological and economic interdependence facing any State, be it part of a regional grouping or otherwise. Indeed, since the referendum result, the first official steps towards recognising the Anthropocene as the next geological epoch have been taken. And within the UK, the nature and extent of such global interdependence has also become apparent, perhaps most acutely in terms of the UK’s future energy policy. The decision in September to continue with the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor in conjunction with EDF, a French contractor, and the Chinese government reflects not only the inability of most States to fund themselves such huge energy projects, but also that such endeavours now reflect a synergy – however much in tension – between disparate priorities of energy security, domestic supply, the provision of sustainable energy, and other commercial realities, both for the consumer and the investor. And while the ongoing case brought by Austria and others before the CJEU against the UK for unlawful state aid is very much predicated on EU law, one should not ignore the parallel intergovernmental discussions before the Implementation Committee of the Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context on the inadequacy of British consultation over environmental concerns. As a convention under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, membership will persist post-Brexit, as will many other international treaties. The UK has yet to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and has regrettably not been in the vanguard of early ratifications. Nevertheless, there is every expectation that the UK will ratify by the end of this calendar year. As a matter of international law, the UK remains within a network of legal rules and processes – in the environmental field as in many others – that reveals the false premise in any absolutism in “tak[ing] back control”.

So as the UK moves towards trying to discern which model of Brexit is to be preferred, I would argue against fatalism; that as academics and as participants in the political process, we do not simply hark back to what is going to recede gradually from us, namely our membership of the EU and our contribution to EU environmental policy. But that we re-engage (perhaps for the first time) with other regional and international processes and institutions that reflect such ecological interdependence. I may not have understood the allure of capturing Pokémon – I now think the singular is also the plural – but I hope I am not so trenchant as to run around in the hope of spotting something even rarer; UK membership of the EU as it existed prior to 23 June 2016. That truly is becoming an alternate reality.

By Professor Duncan French, Head of Lincoln Law School, Professor of International Law and Co-Director of the Lincoln Centre for Environmental Law and Justice.

Featured image credit: Pokémon planet. CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

University of Lincoln Receives Funding from Research Councils UK (RCUK)

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The University of Lincoln is among just 12 institutions awarded funding to enhance and embed support for public engagement with research within UK higher education institutes.

The University has been awarded the funding by Research Councils UK (RCUK) through its new Strategic Support to Expedite Embedding Public Engagement with Research (SEE-PER) grants following a competitive bidding process.

The money will be used to fund the PEARL (Public Engagement for All with research at Lincoln) project which aims to bring the organisation, visibility and impact of Public Engagement with Research (PER) at the University of Lincoln up to a consistently excellent standard, building on its already strong track record in public engagement.

The project will be led by Professor Carenza Lewis,  from the School of History and Heritage, and Professor Timothy Hodgson, from the School of Psychology, from October 2017 to March 2018 with activity thereafter supported by the University.

Professor Carenza Lewis, Professor for the Public Understanding of Research, said: “I am delighted we have been successful in securing this grant as one of the things which attracted me to the University of Lincoln was its commitment to wider communities and the PEARL SEEPER grant will enable us to make the experience of engaging with university research even better for members of the public, staff and students.”

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Sports Science MSc Student Video

Stuart Kirk is studying for a Sports Science MSc here at Lincoln. As part of his course he is working as a Research Assistant helping to develop a new iHealth app, which will be available on the Apple iWatch. We wish Stuart the best of luck with this and in his future career.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Educational Research PhD Student Video

Theresa Marriott is an Educational Research PhD student here at the University of Lincoln and she is currently writing up her final thesis, which focuses on the perceptions and identities of FE teachers. Theresa also delivers PGCE classes to teacher training students. A big thank you to Theresa for taking time out of her busy schedule to record this snapshot video for us and we wish her every success in her career.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Lincoln Law Professor, Matthew Hall on the Sentencing of Oxford University Student, Lavinia Woodward

Teacher Training Information Drop-in Event

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The School of Education, in partnership with the Lincolnshire Teaching School Alliance (LTSA) and St George’s Academy Partnership are hosting a Teacher Training information drop-in event for any students interested in primary and/or secondary teaching on Wednesday 4th October from 16.30 -18.00 in the Atrium, Minerva Building (MB) at the University of Lincoln.

Teaching Information Event flyer 4th October 2017 4.30-6.00

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Macmillan Cake Sale

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Staff from the College of Social Science have managed to raise £74.26 for Macmillan Cancer Care from the cake sale held in Bridge House on Wednesday 27th September. There was a variety of delights including sponge cake, scones and cheese straws. A huge thank you to everyone who baked, bought and contributed to this fantastic cause.

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If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

New Study Shows That People Who Attend Concerts Are More Likely To Give To Charity

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A new study conducted by the University of Lincoln and the University of Kent indicates that those who attend cultural events, including concerts are more likely to participate in charity campaigns through either donating or volunteering, regardless of social background and income.

Dr. Julie Van de Vyver, the author of the study, stated that the statistical strength of their findings surprised them. She added that the role of the arts and its influence in society was significant enough to develop prosocial behavior.

She also added that if the arts has the power to influence and promote prosocial behaviour in people, its contribution to society should be recognised.

According to Dr. Van de Vyver, one of the probable causes of this prosocial behaviour is the shared meaning created by art among people involved in artistic events and activities. This shared meaning is able then to develop into compassion and empathy for others.

According to the co-author of the research Professor Dominic Abrams from the University of Kent, this shared meaning and experience is easy to accomplish because anyone can engage in artistic activities, regardless of where they are in the world, either directly or by observing the works of others.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Lincoln Graduation September 2017

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As our new students are arriving it has been wonderful to reflect on how far our graduates have come and all that they have achieved in their time with us. We hope that everyone had a magical and truly memorable graduation day and that you all stay in touch and keep us up to date with your progress.