Amelia’s Miracle – getting treatment for a 3 year old with a brain tumour

Amelia’s Miracle website A research colleague in Reading, Zainul Leitch, made me aware of this story – a 3 year old girl in Reading called Amelia who has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Her parents are trying to raise money for treatment in the US, which seems the only hope. They need to raiseContinue reading “Amelia’s Miracle – getting treatment for a 3 year old with a brain tumour”

White Light, White Heat: A Social Experiment

Like the BBC’s flagship new drama series White Heat, I’m thinking just now about being young again. No, I’m not consulting Goldie Hawn‘s face doctor, I’m just doing a little job for the AQR. Having noticed that my youth has slammed the door on me, the AQR is involving me in a little initiative toContinue reading “White Light, White Heat: A Social Experiment”

Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film goes to … The Shore

Don’t worry, I’m not claiming credit for it. But great that a short film called The Shore, set and made in my native Northern Ireland, won an Oscar last night. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m of course heavily into shore metaphors and a sucker for anything Ulster-ish, so I expect at the veryContinue reading “Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film goes to … The Shore”

Motivating performance: Dan Pink and some thoughts on “bonus culture”

The debate about earnings, bonuses and fairness rumbles on and isn’t going to end soon. With the financial squeeze most of us are feeling, it is inevitable we look at the City in particular and wonder why they are still paying themselves so much, after all we now know about their endemic failures. Yet thereContinue reading “Motivating performance: Dan Pink and some thoughts on “bonus culture””

Katy Brand, John Gray and the folly of pinning all our hopes on science

Here’s a quote and a half – from the brilliant Straw Dogs by John Gray (Professor of European Thought at LSE), written ten years ago now: Modern humanism is the faith that through science humankind can know the truth – and so be free. But if Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true this isContinue reading “Katy Brand, John Gray and the folly of pinning all our hopes on science”

Capello: single-minded success, social awareness failure

  So Capello walks from the FA, in a serendipitous sequence of events in which Our ‘Arry, until a few hours earlier about to get banged up good and proper, rises majestically to become the people’s favourite to manage England to a glorious footballing summer expedition to the lands between the Baltic and Black Sea.Continue reading “Capello: single-minded success, social awareness failure”

Public image limited – and metrosexuals’ kindly uncles

Stuffed like a museum coypu with fieldwork last month, January was a vintage period for methodological learnings for me: new experiences and new twists on familiar ones in front of the Great British Public. Unlike the coypu, I’ll be living off the experiences for a while. The first one to muse on is this: howContinue reading “Public image limited – and metrosexuals’ kindly uncles”

Boiling it down should make you sweat

Diane Abbott‘s twitter controversy last week was something of a storm in a teacup (white or black tea, it certainly could have done with some more sweetener in it). But what interested me was her defence: that it was hard to capture the context – discourses about the legacy of colonialist thinking – in 140Continue reading “Boiling it down should make you sweat”

Happy Christmas from Shore

Saying Merry Christmas with a seasonal Shore image from my native Northern Ireland: the two mile beach at Portstewart. The gorgeous white sands could be Antigua, except they are actually snow. Even by Portstewart standards, this picture must have been taken in a cold year. 2011 was a funny old year, from manically busy periodsContinue reading “Happy Christmas from Shore”

A creative opener for discussion groups

Here’s a tip I’m happy to share with any other qual researchers reading this (and indeed anyone reading this, though others may not find it very useful). On my new project, which is a kind of qualitative segmentation exercise for a charity, we tried an opening exercise for a discussion group I hadn’t used beforeContinue reading “A creative opener for discussion groups”