Monday 15th December 2014
ENV Social Area
ResNet held a festive social with drinks and nibbles, giving everyone that attended the chance to network and discuss a productive year.
Tuesday 18th November 2014
Thomas Paine Study Centre room 2.04
To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014, ResNet invited Katherine Kennedy, Founder and Managing Director of Blue Ltd to share her experience in launching an environmental management consultancy (www.bluconsulting.co.uk). Blue Ltd is a management consultancy that operates globally and offers a range of services across the aquatic environment. Katherine graduated from UEA in Environmental Sciences in 1989 and has been working in environmental management ever since.
Katherine delivered an honest, engaging and inspirational presentation sharing the challenges she faced, and opportunities she embraced, along her journey to realising Blue Ltd about a year ago. Katherine's 25 year journey to Blue Ltd spanned the public and private sectors, and previous roles include Director of Cefas Strategic Development Programme, establishing the Thames Estuary Partnership, whilst at English Nature and later with Cefas, leading the design and development of the UK Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership. Katherine also held a couple of Ministerial appointments on Flood Management and was a Visitor to Birkbeck College, London where she taught Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Environmental Conflict Resolution. In her presentation to ResNet she discussed the importance and relevance of expertise, professional experience and networks in creating a ‘boutique consultancy Spin In' rather than a standard ‘Spin Off' and challenged us to consider the commercial viability of non-commercial values in business, and the management of work-life balance in the business model of a growth oriented enterprise.
Wednesday 8th October 2014
Julian Study Centre 3.02
At this event co-hosted with community group, Day of the Girl Norwich, we heard from two women that encounter girls facing harm in their professions. The talks spanned two broad areas, harm being done to girls by themselves, and harm being done to girls by others. The talk opened with Hau Yee Lam a Community Diversity Liaison Officer at Norfolk Constabulary who discussed her experiences of domestic violence and honour based violence in the community. She exemplified that domestic abuse can have far reaching effects in young people’s lives, impacting on their ability to study at school as well as impacting their self-esteem. The second talk of the evening came from Rachel Welch, director of self harm.co.uk. Rachel discussed how we need to provide bespoke self-harm policies for young people, as well as to provide consistent care and access to appropriate services within a reasonable time frame. Questions were then taken from the engaged audience to both speakers, before the conversations continued over a wine reception.
Wednesday 23rd July 2014
This very well attended event was set up in collaboration with the MED SEESAW (Supporting Excellence, Equality and Satisfaction for All those at Work) group to provide information and a platform for wider discussions about the dilemma on when to start a family.
Anne Marie Minihane chaired the event and gave an introduction to the MED SEESAW committee and was delighted to present the departments new Athena Swan bronze award to all those attending.
Imogen Churchman, a Norwich based GP, with an Obstetrics and Gynecology background, gave an excellent talk about the biological issues surrounding starting a family. She highlighted the reproductive changes that occur to both women and men as we age and how this can impact on conceiving, development and birth. Imogen was keen to stress that a number of the studies used as a basis for relating age to reproduction rates were based on very old data (in some cases 300 years old!) and that some newer studies gave a far more positive outlook to this important issue. At the end of the talk, Imogen also gave the group an insight into her personal journey and the decisions/choices she made when starting her family.
The session also included contributions from two members of MED, Aedin Cassidy and Sian Coker. Both Aedin and Sian gave their personal perspectives about their experiences of starting families in an academic environment. Both talked about planning, initial decisions, pregnancy, maternity, coming back to work and childcare. This part of the session discussed some negative issues and the difficulties faced during this time, but both Aiden and Sian also promoted the positives and how current policies should lead to a more equal platform when thinking about starting a family.
The overall take home message from all the speakers was to not think about it too much as you can plan but then everything changes!
All the talks were well received and there were many follow up questions/discussions during the networking lunch on the important points raised.
There were leaflets provided at the event which contained some of the key information relating to HR policies across the NRP with regards to maternity, part-time working etc. Many of the attendees indicated how useful they thought the whole session was.
Thursday 19th June 2014
Jeroen Stam worked on equality and diversity issues at the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC are tackling unconscious bias headlong with training for Peer Review College members.
Jeroen described some of the issues around bias in the workplace - and how it can impact discussion and decision-making. Training in Unconscious Bias is most useful if directed at a specific task, so for example it has worked well at the NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) when directed towards the Peer Review College (PRC). There the day of training acts to raise awareness of these issues and enables PRC members to conduct their reviews and discussions around research proposals conscious of these influences, and more mindful of the need to counteract them. It helps people check themselves for situations where 'groupthink' might develop, or to deflect thinking from leaning too heavily on stereotypes or first impressions.
The talk was extremely well attended and the discussion afterwards lively. It was particularly encouraging to see male members of staff present and representatives from the administrative side of UEA as well, demonstrating a strong culture of interest in this type of initiative across the Research Park. It is early days yet for the NERC with this type of training but it was refreshingly different to hear a tale of problems tackled with practical measures.
Thursday 5th June 2014
This workshop was designed and facilitated by accomplished authors Rebecca Stott and Jean McNeil (UEA School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing). Both shared their experience of what works in writing imaginatively. They emphasised the need to engage with telling good (true) stories. Rebecca and Jean shared the processes that they went through in order to write their own books: both works of fiction with a basis in science or involving scientists and ‘creative non-fiction' involving real scientists and science, written about imaginatively.
The group were able to explore some of the techniques and ideas used by ‘writers', as opposed to those writing scientific papers. In the second half of the day we split into two groups, one focussed on creative writing and the other on ‘creative non-fiction' Both explored the importance of personification, the use of figurative language and the need to make the language compelling. Scientists were urged to loosen their tight grip on literal language and absolute accuracy when sharing stories about scientific discovery.
The group thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to re-explore ‘even' scientific writing as a creative process and found many of the practical exercises extremely helpful. It was a wonderful experience to have such strong but gentle encouragement to re-think the writing process and get in touch with writing as a joyful and creative part of our ‘day jobs'.
We look forwards to more workshops!
Tuesday 6th May 2014
John Innes Conference Centre G34/35
A panel discussion on the Athena Swan Charter and The House of Commons Select Committee Report 'Women in Scientific Roles'.
Speakers: Tracey Chapman (UEA BIO/Athena Swan Chair), David Richardson (Deputy Vice Chancellor, UEA), Dale Sanders (JIC Director), Carole Thomas (JIC Athena Swan Chair)
Wednesday 30th April 2014
Julian Study Centre Room 2.03
How can social media help you to make the important connections you need to progress your career, assist in your teaching or your research.
Panel of experts - Nadine Muller 'The New Academic', Liverpool John Moores University and Helen Pallett, Public Participation in Science at UEA.
Friday 7th March 2014
A panel discussion to celebrate International Women's Day
Helen Warner, Tori Cann and Sarah Ralph reflected on their contributions to a new book on 'The Politics of being a Woman, Gender, Feminism & 20th Century Popular Culture'.
Thursday 27 February 2014
Council Chamber, UEA campus
This workshop was much enjoyed by everyone who attended. Sian Croose enjoyed it too and sent the following message on Friday with links for anyone interested in The Voice Project. I hope we might be able to find ways for ResNet to work with Sian again in future.
It was lovely to meet and sing with you today - if you are interested in The Voice Project we run workshops and projects and everything can be found on our website www.voiceproject.co.uk
All best wishes
Thursday 23rd January 2014
Rebecca Fraser's talk concerned the pitfalls and problems she encountered researching the lives of the Black Indian sculptor, Edmonia Lewis, (1844 - 1907) and African American quilt artist, Harriet Powers (1837 - 1910). The talk was to foreground the historical experiences of some of the least powerful in a patriarchal hierarchy where whiteness has assumed dominance. In the process the paper reflected on some of the creative means through which Black women could lay claim to their past. It also highlighted some of the problems experienced in securing funding for the project, posing the question of whether women's history remains a credible topic in the Academy.