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AHC Researchers In the Media (August / September 2022)

AHC Research

Many arts and humanities researchers at the University of Leeds are active in public discussions about their work.

Below we include selected publications and appearances from August and September 2022, including reflections on topics including ‘what ethical standards should we hold politicians to’, ‘Progressing Gender Representation In UK Dance Music’ and how an AHC researcher has developed anti-ageing skin cream from an antioxidant from grape skins.

Number of nurses dying from work related suicide is rising (Healthcare Digital • 27 Sep, 2022) –  Professor Sarah Waters (Languages, Cultures and Societies) is interviewed. She advocates for authorities to record work-related suicides and explains why suicide is not just a mental health problem.

Waterloo Investigation into missing bodies (Sciences et Avenir • 22 Sep, 2022 • Print) – In French. Dr Kevin Linch (History) contributes to a feature about what happened to the bodies of thousands of soldiers and animals killed at the Battle of Waterloo. Dr Linch said that there were good reasons to conclude that the bones of the dead were exhumed to be used as fertiliser. PDF available. 

Free thinking: What language did Columbus speak? (BBC Radio 3 • 20 Sep, 2022) – Dr John Gallagher (History) and guests explore language in the 15th-century Age of Exploration. 

What do Britain’s tears for Queen Elizabeth mean? (The Conversation • 20 Sep, 2022) – Professor Stephen Coleman (Media and Communication) writes this piece, arguing that “Grieving crowds have had to engage with a narrative that has meaning to them, and that narrative has had to be produced, disseminated and refined over time to make it affectively resonant.” 

Professor Coleman also commented on the Queen’s funeral on LBC Radio.  Also in Australian Herald.

Boohoo appears to have wrongly labelled hundreds of items as sustainable, against own guidelines (The I • 17 Sep, 2022 • Print) – Dr Mark Sumner (Design) comments on Boohoo’s mislabeling. “It is really quite common when firms are starting on the journey of sustainability that they have problems with marketing and stuff on the web,” he tells i. “I don’t think they are trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. They are just not very good at sorting their website out.”

Should you correct your pupils’ speech? ( • 13 Sep, 2022) – Policing non-standard English when pupils talk might seem to be a good way to standardise how they write, but the practice could do more harm than good, new research co-authored by Dr Julia Snell (English) suggests. Behind a paywall. PDF available.

Did Gregor Mendel Fabricate His Gene Data? (Discover Magazine • 12 Sep, 2022) – Questions about bias and skewed experiments have circulated for more than 100 years regarding Mendel’s famous research on pea genes. Professor Gregory Radick (PRHS): “Mendel’s data are improbably close to what his theory predicted… the idea that Mendel just made them up, out of thin air, is preposterous.”

I’ve left it pretty much to the proud grandmother (Daily Express • 27 Aug, 2022 • Print) – Dr Rachael Gillibrand (English) is mentioned in reference to their Telegraph article about the history of caesareans.

World Suicide Prevention Day: 10% of UK suicides could be work-related research suggests (HR • 24 Aug, 2022)  – Further coverage. Professor Sarah Waters (Languages, Cultures and Societies), who is researching work-related suicides, comments: “By not recording how many suicides each year are work-related, and by instead treating them as an individual mental health problem with no connection to the workplace, the UK fails in a duty of suicide prevention.”

Food Unwrapped (Channel 4 • 25 Aug, 2022 • Broadcast) – Professor Richard Blackburn (Design) is interviewed at Nexus about his work with waste products from red wine production. He demonstrates how he extracts an antioxidant from grape skins to create an anti-ageing skin cream.  Clip starts 19:40.

Around 10% of UK suicides could be work-related, research shows (Metro • 23 Aug, 2022)  – Professor Sarah Waters (Languages, Cultures and Societies), who is researching work-related suicides, told Virtual College: “By not recording how many suicides each year are work-related, and by instead treating them as an individual mental health problem with no connection to the workplace, the UK fails in a duty of suicide prevention.”

How accurate was House of the Dragon’s birth scene? (The Daily Telegraph • 23 Aug, 2022) – The Game of Thrones prequel has shocked TV audiences with graphic depictions of an unplanned caesarean delivery. Dr Rachael Gillibrand (History) writes this piece about the historical accuracy of the scene. University login required; PDF available.

Real Housewives got me through a terrible month – science says bingeing reality TV can be the antidote (The i • 12 Aug, 2022) - Professor Bethany Klein (Media and Communication): “There’s something about the comfort of being able to watch real people without having to participate… If you’re very tired or grieving or shy or anxious, a show like this could be quite a comfort."

Trans rights and political backlash: five key moments in history The Conversation • 11 Aug, 2022) – Dr Jay Prosser (English) writes this piece about the history of anti-trans views and political backlashes.

“Progressing Gender Representation In UK Dance Music”: A Look Into the Jaguar Foundation’s Report ( • 10 Aug, 2022) – Piece about a report, “Progressing Gender Representation in UK Dance Music,” which aims to better understand the gender balance among dance music artists and what can be done to improve it. Professor Alice O’Grady (Performance and Cultural Industries) provides a comment. 

What ethical standards should we hold politicians to? A philosopher explains two different approaches (The Scotsman • 9 Aug, 2022 ) – Further coverage of a Conversation piece written by Dr Joshua Hobbs (Humanities): “Politicians who are unethical in their personal life but not in office are rare. Bad ethical character can get in the way of competence, and politicians are no more able than the rest of us to turn their character traits on and off at work.”

University of Leeds: Leeds academics recognised for outstanding contribution to student experience (India Education Diary • 5 Aug, 2022) – Professor Bee Bond (Language Centre) and Professor Karen Burland (Music) have both been awarded National Teaching Fellowships (NTF) for their work at Leeds. University news.

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