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Suffrage Science Award for Lincoln Psychology Professor

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A psychology professor whose research on childhood development has helped to teach children safe behaviour with dogs has been recognised for her work with a Suffrage Women in Science Award.

Professor Kerstin Meints from the University of Lincoln’s School of Psychology specialises in the study of infant and child development and human-animal interaction. Her interdisciplinary work has seen the creation of language assessment tools as well as educational tools. The latter are designed to help children and parents behave safely with dogs and to recognise when a dog might be distressed, which can in turn lead to a reduction in dog bite incidents.

She has now been presented with the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (MRC LMS) Suffrage Women in Science Award which celebrates women in science for their scientific achievement, their ability to inspire others, and for encouraging women to enter scientific subjects and to stay in those fields.

The award itself is represented through a piece of specially-designed jewellery, a brooch which symbolises the Suffrage movement. The brooch comes in a box with ribbons depicting the three colours of the suffrage movement: green, white and purple. In the UK, those colours were worn by the Women’s Social and Political Union, led by Emmeline Pankhurst.

Professor Meints, who is the director of the Lincoln Infant and Child Development Lab, will keep the jewellery for the next two years before choosing her own nominee to pass it on to. The aim is to create a network of connected female scientists around the world who help to inspire others to enter science, and to stay.

Professor Meints said: “I feel very honoured to receive this award. I will do my very best to inspire, encourage and mentor women in science and to help them to speak up, be visible and reach their goals.

“For the next two years, and beyond, I will dedicate time to supporting colleagues and students through mentoring. I believe that encouragement and a belief that they can achieve what they aim for is vital to succeed.

“Handing on the Suffrage Science jewellery is a vote of confidence by one female scientist for another, and I look forward to nominating the next awardee in two years’ time.”

Professor Meints was one of twelve scientists to receive an award. They were presented on International Women’s Day 2017, to recognise their scientific achievements and ability to inspire others.

She was nominated by previous winner Professor Susan Condor, a social psychologist at Loughborough University whose work addresses identity and prejudice in England. Professor Condor said: “Professor Kerstin Meints’ BabyLab at Lincoln is pioneering innovative work which brings together research on infant and toddler communicative development with knowledge of animal behaviour. Her research on how young children misinterpret dogs’ facial expressions has led to the development of successful educational tools for dog bite prevention.”

The ceremony was hosted by science communicator Dr Kat Arney and took place at the Royal Society in London. It included a discussion which explored boundaries in science, be those by gender, by nationality or by scientific discipline, with three panellists.

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

Telders International Law Moot Court Competition

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Congratulations to Lincoln Law School’s Dr Christy Shucksmith who was invited to judge the UK national rounds of the 2017 Telders International Law Moot Court Competition at the University of Liverpool on the 11th March. I was an honour to be involved in such a fantastic competition, particularly as a previous participant in the 2008 national and international rounds.

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

Couples on the rocks find happiness by ‘sticking it out’

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Report findings show that over two thirds of parents who were unhappy following the arrival of their first born were content together 10 years on, going against the notion that people put up with unhappy relationships for the sake of their offspring.

Harry Benson of the Marriage Foundation and Steve McKay of the University of Lincoln looked at data from 10,000 parents who participated in the Millennium Cohort Study, and focused on parents who reported being unhappy not long after the birth of their first child during the period around the year 2000. The couples were asked about how they feel again 11 years later, with seven out of 10 still together and only one in 10 of the couples who were still together continuing to feel sadness. Furthermore, over a quarter of the parents who previously felt their relationship was in trouble at the beginning but stayed together later described themselves as “extremely happy”.

From the results, Benson and McKay noted that those pairs who cohabited and were on the brink of splitting up were over twice as likely as married couples to actually break-up. However, they stressed the rewards to come if parents stayed together through the difficult times.

“Contrary to popular belief, staying in an unhappy marriage could be the best thing you ever do,” Benson explained. “Most marriages have their unhappy moments, but apart from the fortunately extremely rare cases where the relationship involves abuse, most couples can work through the difficulties to be happy later on.”

Backing these findings was Marriage Foundation head Sir Paul Coleridge, who describes the results as “myth-busting” as it proves a couple going through a rocky time as they adjust to parenthood doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t make it through to the other end.

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

College of Social Science Charity Bake Sale

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College staff dusted off their aprons and baked a variety of homemade treats, including festive mince pies and vegan chocolate cakes for a charity bake sale, which was held in the college office on the 7th December. The sale raised £86.45, which will be donated to homeless charity Framework, who offer invaluable support to families and individuals in the East Midlands area who are homeless or at risk of becoming so. The charity aims to tackle the causes and con­sequences of homelessness by preventing it where possible, supporting those who already are homeless and by providing social housing and empowering people to live independently. We hope that our contribution can go some way in supporting this fantastic work.

We’d like to thank everyone for their hard work baking such a wonderful range of cakes and also to everyone who came down and bought them.

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

Welcome

LittleWorld-BrayfordCampus1Welcome to the College of Social Science blog, a project to create a space to share news and information with the staff and students from the college as well as the rest of the university.

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