Funding opportunity: Early Career Researcher Workshop- The Lived Environment

Funding opportunity: Early Career Researcher Workshop- The Lived Environment

The AHRC Science in Culture Theme is holding an inter-disciplinary research development workshop bringing together early career researchers from the arts and humanities and the science on the theme of ‘The Lived Environment’. It will be held on Tuesday 19th May (evening reception), Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st May 2015 at The Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London.

The aim of this ECR Workshop is to bring together early career researchers to explore opportunities for reciprocal research collaborations across the arts and humanities and sciences around the broad theme of ‘The Lived Environment’.

Following the workshop attendees will have the opportunity to apply for collaborative research innovation awards to take forward some of the inter-disciplinary research ideas which emerge.

Expressions of interest applications (EoI) are invited from early career researchers from across a wide range of the arts and humanities and early career researchers from across a wide range of the sciences to attend the workshop. Applications will be assessed by a peer review panel.

The closing date for Expressions of Interest (EoIs) is 4pm on Friday 10th April 2015.

Further information about this opportunity is available on the website Funding pages.

Project calls on the public to reveal Victorian natural history

Project calls on the public to reveal Victorian natural history

An AHRC-funded project is looking for members of the public to contribute to efforts to gather detailed information on the rich treasure trove of illustrated material, illustrators and authors, currently locked away in Victorian Natural History publications.

Zooniverse, the premier citizen science platform, has today launched Science Gossip– a new crowd sourcing platform to investigate the use of illustrations in scientific publications. This is based on a unique collaboration between Zooniverse, the Biodiversity Heritage Library and the AHRC’s Science in Culture theme large grant project Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st Centuries.

It is hoped that members of the public will be able to help identify and tag illustrations currently in the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s online database. Once a page has been identified as containing an illustration, citizen scientists will then be asked to add relevant information from the image itself. This information will create essential data for historians to understand Victorian illustrating practices at a crucial moment in scientific history when Darwin was developing his theories of evolution.

In participating in this digital project, the ‘citizen scientists’ will also be helping academics to better understand the 19th century origins of the citizen science movement itself. Visitors to Science Gossip will be uncovering the names and characters of people who contributed to the growing visual culture of science publications.

Professor Sally Shuttleworth, Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford and the Principal Investigator for the Constructing Scientific Communities project, said:

“This is the first time Zooniverse, or any of the project partners, have tried to use today’s citizen scientists to help map the contributions to science made by ‘citizens’ in the past. The public really can help to make a difference to our understanding of the culture of these nineteenth-century publications. I would very much like to harness the huge popular interest in natural history to further our research into this crucial area of modern scientific advancement.”

AHRC at the Being Human Festival

AHRC at the Being Human Festival

A short film revisiting the 2014 Being Human Festival of the Humanities has been released. The film features researchers from two AHRC Science in Culture Theme Large Grants ‘Rethinking the Senses: Uniting the Philosophy and Neuroscience of Perception’ and ‘Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human Chicken Interactions’.

As part of the Festival, Rethinking the Senses organized a day of experiments and live demonstrations at the Science Museum Dana Centre to explore the way that the senses work together (footage from 1.27) while the Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human Chicken Interactions team invited the public to join them at Vindolanda, Roman Museum to find out more about the origins and domestication of chickens (footage from 3.29).

Being Human is the UK’s only national festival dedicated to demonstrating the breadth, diversity and vitality of the humanities. During the inaugural festival in 2014 over 60 universities and cultural organisations organised over 160 free events sharing the best and most challenging thinking in the humanities with audiences across the country. Events included hackathons, wiki-edits, pop-up talks in pubs and cafes, fashion shows, art installations, exhibitions and more.

This short film revisits 2014 Being Human Festival events giving insights into innovative research taking place across the humanities and the UK.
Researchers and the public will again be invited to take part in the Being Human festival in 2015. Further information is available on the Being Human Festival website.

Call for proposals to present events at the Cheltenham Science festival

Call for proposals to present events at the Cheltenham Science festival

Cheltenham Festival LogoAHRC-lg3




To mark its tenth anniversary in 2015, the AHRC is looking to extend its partnership with Cheltenham Festivals by inviting applications from researchers to present their research at one of a series of four engaging public events at the Times Cheltenham Science Festival and the Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2015. One event will run at the Science Festival, and three at the Literature Festival.

Cheltenham Festivals is the charitable organisation behind the town’s internationally acclaimed Jazz, Science, Music and Literature Festivals. Through cutting edge and creative programming, Cheltenham’s four festivals have provided a platform for debate and commentary from writers, performers, scientists, musicians and scholars across the world.

Up to twenty successful applicants will have a chance to develop their event ideas with experienced Cheltenham Festival producers and members of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement team at a dedicated workshop. Of these, up to four will have the chance to hold their event at one of the Festivals.

A workshop held on 23rd February 2015 will focus on the Science and Literature festivals. The selected researchers will benefit from a unique opportunity to work closely with the Cheltenham Festival producers to create interactive and engaging events, invite high profile speakers, where relevant, and ultimately share their research with a public audience.

We welcome applications from individual researchers or project teams with one lead applicant, working in all areas of the arts and humanities. The topics of the proposed events should fall within one of the disciplines within the AHRC’s remit.

The Times Cheltenham Science Festival

The Times Cheltenham Science Festival will be held from 2 June to 7 June 2015. The Science Festival is a celebration of science, engineering, technology and maths, promoting dialogue about the latest ideas and cutting edge research. It has become recognised as one of the most important platforms for science communication and engagement with the public, and includes a thriving schools programme and weekend activities for all the family. With hands-on interactive experiences and lively events, it showcases science from Britain and around the globe in a unique festival format.

Past AHRC events at the festival have focussed on what science and the arts and humanities can learn from each other. Descriptions of these events can be found on the AHRC website (opens in a new window). The remit of this year’s science festival is very broad, and applications are invited on all relevant topics from researchers across the arts and humanities.

A copy of the call document is available to download here: Cheltenham Festival call document 2015

The deadline for applications is Monday 9th February 2015 (23.59pm).

Please visit the AHRC website to find out more about the application procedure 

[Photo credit:]

Call for Papers: Working with Nineteenth Century Medical and Health Periodicals

Call for Papers: Working with Nineteenth Century Medical and Health Periodicals

Working with Nineteenth Century Medical and Health Periodicals
St Anne’s College, Oxford
30 May 2015

The nineteenth century saw an explosion in the number of medical periodicals available to the interested reader. Publications such as the Lancet and British Medical Journal are familiar names to many of us, still published and widely read today. The period also saw a huge range of smaller journals appearing, as practitioners increasingly organised themselves into more discrete medical ‘specialisms’ towards the end of the century. The Asylum Journal, later Journal of Mental Science, for example, sought to bring together the knowledge of those working in the expanding field of psychiatry, whilst The Homoeopathic World provided a forum for discussion for those practicing homoeopathic medicine, and was read both by medical professionals and laypeople.

As digitization projects advance, an increasing number of these medical periodicals are becoming available to researchers. We are interested in learning more about the nature and methodologies of current research projects that involve working with these journals, as well as broader issues surrounding this kind of research: digitizing material, locating journals (particularly obscure ones), and using and searching collections. We will be asking questions about how to read periodicals, how to situate these materials within a broader historical medical context, and how to construct narratives based on periodical research. In the longer term we would like to build up a network of people working closely on or with medical and health periodicals.

We welcome proposals from researchers working on medical periodicals across the world. If you would like to give a short (c.10 mins) presentation on your work in this area, please email by 13 February 2015, including an abstract of not more than 250 words and a short biography. If you would like to attend the workshop without giving a paper, please register your interest by emailing us at the address above.

This workshop is being co-hosted by the ERC-funded ‘Diseases of Modern Life’ and AHRC-funded ‘Constructing Scientific Communities’ projects at the University of Oxford.

AHRC/ BBC New Generation Thinkers 2015- Call closing soon

AHRC/ BBC New Generation Thinkers 2015- Call closing soon

The Arts & Humanities Research Council, BBC Radio 3, and BBC Arts are looking for the UK’s next intellectual broadcasters in the arts and humanities.

The New Generation Thinkers scheme is seeking innovative programme ideas, talent, and expertise from early career researchers who are passionate about communicating their research across the airwaves.

The scheme, led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with BBC Radio 3, will invite up to sixty early career researchers to BBC-run workshops to develop their programme ideas alongside experienced BBC producers. From these sixty, the ten resident New Generation Thinkers for 2015 will be selected, and will go on to develop their ideas for BBC Radio 3 in a year-long partnership. .

The scheme is partnered with BBC Arts to provide opportunities for the New Generation Thinkers to develop their ideas for television and have the opportunity to make a short taster film of their idea to be shown on the BBC arts website – . Past New Generation Thinkers have appeared on radio, on television, in print, and at cultural festivals.

Applications are invited via an online form until Monday 15 December 2014.


In conversation: exploring arts and science collaborations: new film

In conversation: exploring arts and science collaborations: new film

A new film has been launched by the Arts and Humanities Research Council which examines the mutual benefits that can occur when researchers from the arts and humanities collaborate with researchers from the sciences.

Featuring Professor Barry C Smith, Director, Institute of Philosophy, University of London and Leadership Fellow for the Science in Culture Theme and Professor Geoffrey Crossick, Director of the Cultural Value Project, the film looks at how these collaborations can happen, and the positive impact they can make for society.

One of the featured collaborations examines a research partnership between to Stanford University academics. Professor Josef Parvizzi Associate Professor of Neurology, Stanford University Medical Centre, and Professor Chris Chafe Composer and Director of Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), Stanford University have been working together on a project which translates brain activity into sound waves. In this film we see how they have been using the new techniques to study the brain activity of epilepsy patients, with potentially lifesaving results.

The film is available to watch below:

Theme Leadership Fellow presents Philosophy of Good Taste, BBC Radio 4

Theme Leadership Fellow presents Philosophy of Good Taste, BBC Radio 4

Professor Barry C Smith, Leadership Fellow for the AHRC Science in Culture Theme has featured in a new BBC Radio 4 series ‘A History of Ideas’ with Melyvn Bragg. ‘A History of Ideas’ will address big questions from a variety of perspectives involving leading thinkers from Philosophy, Science, Theology and the Arts.

The first programme which asks ‘Why are things beautiful?’ features historian of science Simon Shaffer, mathematician Vicky Neale and philosophers Angie Hobbs and Barry Smith.

Barry Smith’s programme on the Philosophy of Good Taste will air at 12.04 on Tuesday 18th November. The programme is available here

AHRC at the Being Human Festival

AHRC Science in Culture Theme researchers to contribute in Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities 15- 23rd November 2014.

Researchers funded by the AHRC Science in Culture Theme will contribute to Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities which runs across the UK from 15th to 23rd November.

Being Human, the UK’s first national festival of the humanities aims to engage people across the UK with innovative research. Over 35 research institutions from across the UK will be participating in the festival, with activities being held in museums, galleries and cultural and community centres, and even caves. The full events listings can be found on the Being Human website (opens in a new window).

Science in Culture Theme contributions to the Festival programme include:


Chicken Nuggets: a history of the world in 100, Vindolanda Trust, Hexham,

Featuring researchers from the AHRC-funded Scientific and Cultural Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions project, this event highlights the centrality of animals in the human past and present, and how human-animal relationships have changed in recent history.

Taking over the Roman museum, research block, café and grounds of the Vindolanda Trust, researchers will present a day of activities exploring the place of chickens in human culture.

Talks, hands-on activities, and tasting sessions across the site will make clear the important role these creatures have for future human and animal health, well-being and environmental sustainability.


Conversations on Nature: Science and the Public in the Victorian Age and Now, University of Leicester, Leicester

This open, hands-on demonstration will recreate a Victorian ‘conversazione’: one of the most important forums in which the public engaged and contributed to science in the Victorian age.

In the Special Collections Centre of the David Wilson Library at the University of Leicester, the event will focus on scientific images that helped make new approaches to nature accessible to broad audiences, both in the nineteenth century and now.  Presented by researchers from the AHRC-funded Constructing Scientific Communities project, it will demonstrate both the range and often exquisite beauty of Victorian natural history illustrations, as well as the different formats in which nature was put on display in the nineteenth century.


People Power, Museum of the History of Science, Oxford

A ‘museum late’ at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford organised by AHRC funded Constructing Scientific Communities project: this event will showcase the dynamic world of citizen science.

Through short talks, quizzes and interactive sessions, visitors can discover how members of the public participate in science today, how they have done so in the past, and how citizen science is changing the humanities.


The Hidden Senses- the secrets of taste and smell, Science Museum Dana Centre, London

Experience a day of activities that will challenge your understanding of your senses of taste and smell.

Members of the AHRC funded Rethinking the Senses: Uniting the Philosophy and Neuroscience of Perception team will present examples of multisensory interactions such as the importance of the visual appearance of food, tasting without smell, and the sound of strawberries. This will give the public the opportunity to see, smell, and taste how philosophers and scientists are working together to better understand how these senses contribute to our daily lives.

Activities will include interactive experiments, talks and demonstrations, and ‘The Lab’, a separate testing area created to show how taste and smell are tested in the laboratory.


From the Dark Ages to Dark Matter, Durham Cathedral and Ushaw College, Durham University

Who are we? Why do we exist? What is the universe?

Join the Ordered Universe project team to explore these fundamental questions in an encounter between medieval and modern science, through the writings and imagination of the famous medival scientist Robert Grosseteste (c. 1170–1253). Enjoy a day-long workshop at Durham Cathedral with medieval specialists and modern scientists, and unlock the secrets of the medieval universe, the medieval ‘big bang’ and the medieval explanation for rainbows. This event will be chaired by popular science journalist Michael Brooks.


Find out more about the festival on the Being Human Festival website and follow the latest news about the festival on Twitter at @BeingHumanFest  (hashtag #BeingHuman14).