HELLO Hello and welcome to the latest edition of City News. When every day moves so quickly and there is always something to be getting on with, it can be difficult to find a moment to stop and reflect on the past. With next year marking the 125th anniversary of the Northampton Institute’s founding stone being laid, City News takes the opportunity to look back at the University’s history and how the site developed. Speaking of significant occasions, the NHS reached its 70th anniversary this year. To mark the milestone, on page 16 we look at a selection of the research that City academics are working on in relation to the organisation, from the future of long term care, through the impact of exposure to low oxygen environments, to instances where the organisation could implement efficiency improvements. In other health related research, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Dr Elliot Freeman’s study demonstrates how moving images shared online, that some people can hear, are actually an example of a phenomenon known as synaesthesia. Turning attention to housing, on page 8 Dr Mark Andrew addresses whether current government policy is likely to impact the shortage, and why the number of people renting privately is only likely to increase. Looking outside the UK, Professor in Technology and Innovation, Professor Feng Li illustrates why Western-owned digital firms such as Uber have failed to get a foothold in the Chinese market, with home grown firms tending to be more successful, on page 10. Associate Professor in Comparative Politics, Dr Iosif Kovras shares his research on page 20, looking into individuals who went missing during wartime and whose fate is now unknown, something that continues to cause distress to families and communities as the fate of “the disappeared” is unknown. In this issue’s diversity spotlight, City News highlights five groups working to ensure that City is an environment that supports all staff. Professor Chris Greer, Dean of the School of Arts & Social Sciences, discusses his career and priorities for the new academic year. ‘Meet the Team’ focuses on the Properties and Facilities team to find out about the department’s recent restructure, and a one-off feature helps to explain the basics of the new GDPR legislation. Our recommended reading from City Short Courses should provide a few pointers for your next fiction fix. This issue’s piece from The Conversation is something a little different, as it celebrates five years of the UK edition, coinciding with the news that articles written by City academics have been read five million times. Congratulations to everyone who has contributed to this particular success story.
Simon Watts Head of Communications and Events
Marking 125 years of education and research
Research focus: Listening with your eyes
Academic Comment: Generation Rent
Research focus: Why have Western-owned digital firms failed in China?
12 A word with Chris Greer, Dean of the School of Arts & Social Sciences 14 Diverse-City 16
70 years of the NHS
18 Meet the team: Property and Facilities 20 Featured book release: How families of the disappeared force countries to revisit their brutal pasts
Novel ideas from City alumni
24 GDPR: what it means for City and for you
The Conversation UK celebrates its fifth anniversary
From the Archive: Medieval manuscript
IT’S YOUR MAGAZINE Comments and feedback are always welcome, as are suggestions for future editions such as exciting new research outputs or a new project. Please contact the Editor. Marketing & Communications reserves the right to edit submissions. ABOUT CITY NEWS City News is published by the Marketing & Communications department at City, University of London. Back issues: https://issuu.com/cityuniversitylondon Editor: Graham Hancock Email: firstname.lastname@example.org THANK YOU... …to all of this issue’s contributors: Dr Mark Andrew, Jon Appleyard, Dean Beeden, Jason Clarke, Sophie Cubbin, Professor Sir Paul Curran, Dr Graham Daborn, Hannah Evans, Dr Elliot Freeman, Kevin Gibbons, Professor Chris Greer, Ed Grover, Tracey Hughes, Kyla Jardine, Edward Kevin, Danielle Kirjalainen, Dr Iosif Kovras, Dr Mauro Laudicella, Professor Feng Li, Matthew Little, Professor Julienne Meyer, Stefan Moretta, Professor Stanton Newman, Claire Priestley, Amy Ripley, John Stevenson, Professor Alan Simpson, George Wigmore and Jessica Wykes.
CITY COMMUNITY AND THE WINNER IS… City staff were celebrated for their outstanding work at the fifth instalment of The President’s Awards this summer. This year’s Awards saw a large number of high quality nominations from staff and students to acknowledge the hard work and achievements of their colleagues. Each nomination was analysed by a panel of judges who whittled them down to a shortlist of 51. Honours at the celebrations included The Team of the Year Award, which went to the International Student Team (Visa Advice) for its commitment to welcoming international students and helping them adapt in their new settings. The Athena SWAN Award for Equality and Diversity was met with a collective cheer when it went to The Transgender, Intersex and Gender Non-Conforming Working Group (TIGNC), which collaborated with staff and students on a new policy. Jenny Aster, Co-Chair of the TIGNC, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised for our efforts to create an inclusive policy for staff and students. “Winning this award will give us the
momentum we need to ensure that we have safe spaces across our facilities for all our people and to ensure that all staff are awareness trained and understand the challenges that some may face.” William Power was recognised in the Outstanding Service in Support of Students category, for his CityBuddies programme, which matches current undergraduates with new undergraduates to help them settle in to their first few months at City. “CityBuddies is a key part of City’s work to enhance student progression and ensure that undergraduates are supported on their journeys into Higher Education,” said William. “Winning a President’s Award will raise awareness for the CityBuddies programme and encourage more students to join the 450 mentors who will go on to support 1,800 new undergraduates next year. “I am sure that they are as proud of themselves as I am of them for their efforts in strengthening the community and academic excellence at City.” During the awards ceremony, members of staff were celebrated for their 25 and 40 years of service, achievements which will also be highlighted at the Long Servers Awards.
CITY STAFF RECOGNISED IN THE QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS City’s world-leading academics were recognised for their contributions and expertise in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Professor Jennifer Temkin, from The City Law School, was awarded a CBE for services to Criminal Justice. Jennifer has contributed expert opinion to national reviews on the law relating to sexual offences, including authoring a number of highly regarded books. Throughout her academic career, Jennifer has contributed expert opinion to national reviews on the law relating to sexual offences and on the treatment of victims of rape and sexual assault by the legal system. Professor Ken Grattan and Professor Tong Sun from the Department of Engineering were awarded OBEs for their contributions to the science of measurement and to engineering, respectively. Ken has provided outstanding service to City for nearly 35 years. He is the Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair, the George Daniels Chair and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. For the past five years, he has been Dean of City’s Graduate School, championing the cause of postgraduate research students at City. He has supervised over 60 PhD students to completion. Tong was City’s first female Professor of Engineering and holds the Royal Academy of Engineering and Faiveley Brecknell Willis Research Chair. During more than 20 years, she has been a role model in research and education for both female and ethnic minority STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) staff and students. One of City’s most cited academics, Tong’s research is of great practical value to the UK economy. Among many other projects she has engaged with industry in her research
on instrumenting railway electrification pantographs to minimise disruption and enhance safety; with marine engineering companies to monitor propeller performance and enhance propulsion efficiency; and with an overseas water company in prize-winning work to install instruments in sewers to reduce maintenance costs and maximise service life. Professor Jane Marshall, a speech and language therapist, was awarded an OBE for services to aphasia, a condition which can lead to communication difficulties and the loss of speech following a stroke. Jane is a world authority on aphasia. She is the author of over seventy journal articles, sixteen book chapters and the co-editor of two books. The work Jane has led at City features in standard academic textbooks and is known around the world by students and clinical practitioners in the field. Alongside City colleagues and with funding from the Stroke Association, she developed EVA Park, a virtual world in which people with aphasia can meet on the internet to receive therapy, practice conversation or receive social support. EVA Park won the 2015 Tech4Good award and has received further funding both from the Stroke Association and The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia. Professor Sir Paul Curran commented: “On behalf of City, University of London, I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to Jennifer, Ken, Tong and Jane for this special and very well-deserved recognition of their achievements. They have each shown great commitment to advancing their fields of research and to using their expertise and knowledge to educate thousands of students during their time at City.”
SUCCESSFUL THIRD DEVELOP@CITY DELIVERED The annual staff development and wellbeing extravaganza, Develop@City returned for a third year on Thursday 26th July. The day provided staff with opportunities to develop their skills, network with colleagues and learn more about the wide range of initiatives and groups which make up City’s community. With over 16 stalls and 38 activities scheduled, there was plenty for staff to get involved with. A variety of development sessions offered staff the opportunity to build skills that could help them take the next career step or improve general wellbeing. Sessions ranged from advice on getting people to listen, dealing with resistance, improving influencing skills and introductory lessons about blogging.
Staff also took the opportunity to join the Carrot Runners and the City Choir. The Carrot Runners offered a taster session, with members of the group offering a run that started at Northampton Square. The City Choir shared the group’s talent, encouraging new members to join and have a regular singing session. The myth-busting mental health session informed staff about the signs and symptoms that might signify a change in mental wellbeing, offering tips to stay mentally well with useful tips to cope when feeling down. Almost 500 members of staff attended the Develop@City day, taking the opportunity to develop their skills and network with colleagues.
THE FIRST PRINCIPAL OF THE NORTHAMPTON INSTITUTE
DR ROBERT MULLINEUX WALMSLEY (1854 TO 1924)
1894 – 2019
MARKING 125 YEARS OF EDUCATION AND RESEARCH NEXT YEAR, CITY CELEBRATES 125 YEARS SINCE THE FOUNDING STONE OF THE NORTHAMPTON INSTITUTE WAS LAID. CITY NEWS TAKES A LOOK BACK AT THOSE EARLY DAYS
Dr Robert Mullineux Walmsley became the first Principal of the Northampton Institute in 1896. Previously, he was a teacher at Finsbury Technical College before becoming Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics at Heriot-Watt College in Edinburgh. Dr Walmsley’s experience at Finsbury Technical College influenced his early leadership of the Northampton Institute. During his time at the helm, he expanded the engineering areas of the institution to include subjects such as aeronautical engineering. The Principal laid foundations for the links between the Institute, business and the professions that are still important today. In 1903, following a visit to technical educational institutions in America, Dr Walmsley introduced the sandwich course where students spent time at a firm, while maintaining a degree of academic supervision. Committed to enhancing the prospects of the Institution’s graduates, Dr Walmsley took personal responsibility for finding work placements for students. He remained in post until his death on Friday 13th June 1924, two days after he was knocked down by a car. In 2016, Dr Walmsley’s great grandchildren returned to City to donate his academic gowns, including his Doctor of Science (DSc) academic robe and cap.
If you have spent time enjoying the summer sunshine in Northampton Square gardens, you might have pondered on how the Square got its name, the history of the surrounding buildings and of City itself. It is the 4th Marquess of Northampton and his son Earl Compton that we have to thank for the name; and for the generous donation of the one-and-a-quarter acre site, to allow for the construction of both the Northampton Institute and the gardens. The site had been a former home of the Comptons, the Clerkenwell Manor House, subsequently a school and then an asylum, later becoming a school once more. The garden in Northampton Square was originally part of a botanical garden. The Institute was founded with the objective of ‘promoting the industrial skill, general knowledge, health and wellbeing of young men and women belonging to the poorer classes’. The courses the Institute offered reflected the trades in Clerkenwell at the time. The first departments established were Mechanical Engineering and Metal Trades, Artistic Crafts for Industry, Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering, Horology, Electrochemistry and Domestic Economy.
C R E AT I N G A R O U N D E D STUDENT EXPERIENCE As well as a practical approach to technical education, the Institute’s Governing Body requested that there be healthy sports and social provision and cultural activities including music and entertainment. This saw the construction of the swimming baths, gymnasium and the Great Hall. Membership of the Institute was limited to the poorer classes between the ages of 16 and 25. The registration fee was one shilling, which entitled members to the following privileges: • free admission to the library, museum, reading rooms and common rooms • reduced-fee admission to special courses of lectures, evening classes, gymnasium, drill and playing grounds and swimming baths • facilities for the formation and meeting of clubs or societies. The first annual report in 1897 lists clubs devoted to cricket, cycling, debating, physical development, chess, swimming (separate clubs for men and women), water polo and life-saving. A choir and orchestra were also established.
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E A R LY F O U N D AT I O N S The building was designed in open competition by Edward Mountford, architect of the Old Bailey and was described by art historian Nikolaus Pevsner as using the ‘free French renaissance’ style. This eclectic style incorporates other movements such as Arts and Crafts and the Queen Anne revival style, as well as some classical influences. They can be seen in the impressive frieze above the College Building entrance, which was designed by PR Montford. Charles Dorman, Chairman of the Governing Body, laid the College Building foundation stone on 9th July, 1894. The subsequent construction was led by the builder W. Wallis of Balham and the costs spiralled somewhat, going almost £40,000 over the architect’s original estimate of £49,511. The Lord Mayor of London formally opened the Northampton Institute on 18th March 1898 and praised the building as a 'Palace of Technical Education'.
LISTENING WITH YOUR EYES DR ELLIOT FREEMAN EXPLORES THE WAY IN WHICH ONLINE ILLUSIONS ARE REVEALING MORE ABOUT THE BRAIN AND HOW WE PROCESS SIGHT AND SOUND
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It’s not often that a meme – an image that is shared online – provokes deep scientific questions, but in the past few years the rise of ‘noisy gifs’ (small moving images often shared on Twitter) and other illusions have seen the internet (and the world) talking, while revealing some interesting things about our brains and how they process the world around us. It was in December 2017 that the internet first awoke to the ‘bouncing pylon gif’ spreading across the globe. The silent moving image of a pylon appearing to bounce up and down had emerged from Reddit in 2011 and had been created by someone known as HappyToast. While it attracted comments at the time, with several people commenting on how they heard a thudding noise, it wasn’t until Dr Lisa DeBruine, a psychologist at the University of Glasgow, tweeted the animation, asking “does anyone in visual perception know why you can hear this gif?” that it went viral. The answer to that question is an effect known as ‘visually-evoked auditory response’ or vEAR, and unknown to the internet, in the Psychology department at City, Dr Elliot Freeman had been investigating the same phenomenon, which he had first noticed as a PhD student at Bristol in the 1990s. “It was night and I was watching the flashing light on the top of old Cabot Tower, spelling out the word Bristol in Morse code from the bottom of Brandon Hill,” said Elliot. “That was when I realised that it not only flashed, but buzzed in my head. I knew my Cabot Tower experience was odd and unfortunately that was confirmed when I asked others if they heard the similar things and received quizzical
looks. So I stopped asking people. But occasionally I still noticed sounds with other things, like car indicator lights and shop neon displays.” Having found a research paper years later by Saenz and Koch, reporting similar experiences in a handful of people, Elliot researched the phenomenon further. “I realised there may be other people out there like me. I immediately got started on my research, as much out of self-interest as scientific curiosity.” When Elliot and PhD student Chris Fassnidge started investigating the effect in their first study, published in 2017, it was only the second paper on the phenomenon. The paper revealed that far more people than initially thought experience some form of sensory cross-wiring known as synaesthesia, which could explain the appeal of flashing musical baby toys and strobed lighting at raves. When analysing the data they noticed that around 20 per cent of people said that they heard flashes when shown Morse-code like signals of flashing lights, which was far higher than most types of synaesthesia, a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory pathway such as sight, leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory pathway, such as sound. While other typical synaesthesias are estimated to have an overall prevalence of 4.4 per cent, the vEAR effect was significantly more pervasive, perhaps due to the highly correlated nature of auditory and visual events in nature when compared to other types of synaesthesia associated with colour and visual forms. They then proceeded with a largescale online study with the research
“Ours was the first large-scale survey of this ability and we found that as many as 21% of people may experience forms of this phenomenon, which makes it considerably more prevalent than other synaesthesias”
published in Cortex (June 2018). 4,000 participants were recruited, who were shown two kinds of videos. Some showed identifiable objects making actions that you would expect to make a sound like a bounce or a crash. Others showed motion but no identifiable objects, or objects that are moving, but in a way that would not be expected to make a sound, such as flashing lights. Participants were asked to rank the vividness of the auditory effect, if they felt it. A surprisingly large proportion of people, around one in five, rated the first kind of video as prompting the experience of a sound, far more than other types of synaesthesia. A smaller number also had the effect with the second type. “Some people hear what they see. Car indicator lights, flashing neon shop signs and people’s movements as they walk may all trigger an auditory sensation. Ours was the first largescale survey of this ability and we found that as many as 21% of people may experience forms of this phenomenon, which makes it considerably more prevalent than other synaesthesias,” said Elliot. “We think that these sensations may sometimes reflect leakage of information from visual parts of the brain into areas that are more usually devoted to hearing. In extreme forms of this crosstalk, any abstract visual motion or flashing may be sufficient to trigger the sensation of hearing sounds.” The survival of this association may also explain other links between sound and vision, such as why we like to listen to music synchronised with flashing lights or dance, while also providing a good way to learn about what’s happening in the brain in people with synaesthesia.
GENERATION RENT Statistics from the Governmentâ€™s latest English Housing survey 63% of households are homeowners
17% of households are social housing
20% of households rent privately
CITY NEWS SPEAKS TO DR MARK ANDREW ABOUT THE RISING COST OF HOUSING AND THE IMPACT IT HAS HAD ON HOME OWNERSHIP FIND OUT MORE WWW.CASS.CITY.AC.UK/MARK-ANDREW
England is no longer a nation of homeowners. As house prices have risen, especially in London and the south east, many young and middle aged people have found it impossible to save for a deposit, meaning they are forced to rent, with homeownership a distant dream. According to the Government’s latest English Housing survey, only 63 per cent of households are homeowners, with 20 per cent renting privately and 17 per cent in social housing. The number of households renting privately has risen by 74 per cent over the last 10 years and there has been a particularly large rise in families with children in private rented accommodation, with a million more now than ten years ago.
Households renting privately 10 years ago
Households renting privately today (74% rise)
W H AT C A N B E D O N E T O S O LV E T H I S P R O B L E M ? According to Dr Mark Andrew, Lecturer in “The incentive to become a homeowner early Real Estate at Cass Business School, the rise on is still strong because of the implicit tax in house prices is a result of many different incentives. For example, the lack of capital factors, including Government policies, gains tax on house price appreciation when economic growth and the mortgage market. other financial investments are subject to “The reduction in public sector housebuilding, capital gains tax. There is also a lack of taxation which has not been matched by any increase on implicit rental income which means you in private sector housebuilding since the benefit from living in your own home.” mid-1970s, an inflexible planning system, Mark says the Government measures in place economic growth, rises in real incomes, to try to help people climb the ladder such as a liberalised and innovative mortgage market the “Help to Buy” scheme and the recent cut in and government policies which explicitly stamp duty do not address the issues behind promote homeownership have led to the housing crisis. sustained rises in real house prices. It is only “These policies do not address the underlying in the last couple of years that the Government issues such as the lack of housebuilding and has sought to promote the private rented sector the tax advantages of homeownership. The to achieve a more balanced distribution of equity loan part of Help to Buy and stamp housing stock.” duty relief will just benefit Mark says that rebalancing “Should young people more financially advantaged the market so more young people and will fuel an on relatively low and young people can “get on the ladder” increase in house prices.” insecure earnings isn’t as simple as it seems. However, don’t lose hope just “Should young people on with little savings be yet. According to Mark, shared relatively low and insecure encouraged to take out ownership, where you partearnings with little savings be rent and part-buy a property encouraged to take out a long- a long-term mortgage with a housing association, term mortgage commitment commitment to become may be suitable for some to become a homeowner? renters. He also says that new a homeowner?” This puts them at risk from policies which support private changes in the labour market, house prices renting, such as the Tenant Fees Bill which falling and interest rate rises. I would argue will soon go through a Second Reading in the that they should rent when they are young, Lords, may help some people. establish their careers to achieve a higher and “The shared ownership scheme does provide more secure income and accumulate savings limited help. The new policies, such as the before transitioning to home ownership.” Draft Tenant Fees Bill which bans letting fees, However, Mark warns that this is only likely could lead to more affordable homeownership provided there is good quality housing at some stage.” stock available to meet the needs of renters, something which isn’t always the case. He says there is still a strong incentive to buy your own home.
WHY HAVE WESTERN-OWNED DIGITAL FIRMS FAILED IN CHINA? P R O F E SS O R F E N G L I H A S F O U N D T H AT G OV E R N M E N T C E N S O R S H I P A N D C U LT U R A L D I F F E R E N C E S A R E N O T T H E O N LY R E A S O N S F O R D I G I T A L O R G A N I SAT I O N S S U C H A S A M A ZO N , G O O G L E A N D U B E R F A I L I N G I N C H I N A
Professor Feng Li
“International business theory could not fully explain why the perceived competitive advantages for western multinational firms failed to translate into sustainable operational success in China” FIND OUT MORE WWW.CASS.CITY.AC.UK/FENG-LI
A new study from Cass Business School, published in the Harvard Business Review (August, 2018), examines the failures of Western Internet Firms (WIFs) in China and why this phenomenon is singularly prevalent in China. “Government censorship and control, plus cultural differences are often cited as the main reasons for such failures,” says Professor Feng Li, Chair of Information Management and the study’s author. “But similar conditions existed in other countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Saudi Arabia and did not prevent western internet firms such as Google from dominating 90 per cent of the search market.” W H AT I S A W E S T E R N INTERNET FIRM? By definition Western Internet Firms (WIFs), also known as digital firms, are organisations that focus on digital services enabled by the internet and related technologies including mobile. These firms were ‘born digital’, particularly the so-called dot.com and e-commerce firms, such as search engines, online content providers and retail platforms. SIX REASONS WHY DIGITAL FIRMS FAIL IN CHINA The reasons for the systematic failures are complex and international business theory could not fully explain why the perceived competitive advantages for western multinational firms failed to translate into sustainable operational success in China. In answer to this, Professor Li took a different approach by using phenomenon-based research considering a broad spectrum of participants such as senior executives from WIFs and their Chinese competitors; and a large number of business, political and professional groups with a deep knowledge of China. 1. P erceptions of aggressive competition Most WIFs entered China to dominate its market. However, competition is relative. What is considered aggressive by western standards is often seen as mild in China. Due to the sheer number of internet firms and the huge size of the Chinese market,
competition is often extremely fierce and to survive, all Chinese Internet Firms (CIFs) have to compete with a far greater pool of local competitors than any WIFs have ever encountered. Professor Li said “this is known as the ‘huge crowd strategy’, which gives CIFs an implicit advantage. If western behemoths such as Amazon and Google succeeded in the US by beating hundreds of competitors, then Alibaba and Baidu would have to beat tens of thousands of competitors in China to get where they are.” 2. Failure to follow cultural strategies CIFs have, explicitly and implicitly, drawn inspiration from ancient Chinese military strategies and tactics to change the nature of competition. Such strategies, taken from texts like the The Art of War to The Thirty Six Stratagems are deeply ingrained in Chinese history and culture and widely used in everyday language, which enables more effective strategy making and communication by CIFs. 3. Beaten by more determined competitors All WIFs acquired, or made attempts to acquire the market leaders in China. However, in subsequent competitions, CIFs simply showed stronger determination to survive at any cost. When Uber entered China, the local ride sharing company Didi already had a head start. Despite the perceived competitive advantages for Uber, Didi was simply more determined, with more cash reserves than Uber for a prolonged price war. Both firms have the resources and long term visions to capture market share before making profits. In the end, Uber blinked first and lost. 4. New digital rules: differences between internet and traditional businesses Some fundamental differences between internet and traditional businesses contributed to the failure of WIFs in China. Internet services usually have a much shorter lifecycle compared with traditional industries; and WIFs only have 2 to 3 years rather than decades to finetune their business models.
Unlike aerospace or pharmaceuticals, most internet firms do not rely on cutting edge technologies so entry barriers are relatively low. Production processes and supply chains in traditional industries also serve as major entry barriers. As a result, WIFs have fewer competitive advantages and face far more competitors than in other sectors. 5. Failing to be embedded in China All of the WIFs studied showed a lack of deep understanding of the Chinese market. They found it difficult to compete with native entrepreneurs. This was not only reflected in understanding users and customers, but also internally within the firms. Senior expatriates sent from the western head office often lacked cultural sensitivity, thus damaging relations without realising it. 6. Innovating by experimenting Unlike WIFs, which have established procedures for developing and implementing innovations, CIFs are often more result-oriented and more prepared to innovate by experimenting. “If a new idea works, then scale it up rapidly; if not, move onto other ideas,” Feng explains. Chinese consumers are generally more tolerant of such product development processes than in the West, which enable CIFs to test and refine many new ideas quickly, at low cost and with significant cumulative effects. SUCCESS IN THE FUTURE? WIFs have underperformed compared to their Chinese competitors in nearly every aspect in China, but their disadvantages are not insurmountable. To succeed in China, WIFs need to bring genuine technological and other advantages in order to overcome, or compensate for, their disadvantages. Feng concludes, “As CIFs grow bigger and more confident, they are actively pursuing new opportunities in other markets, from India, South East Asia, Africa to the USA and Europe, so the clashes between digital firms in each market are likely to escalate both in China and internationally.”
A word with Chris Greer, Dean of the School of Arts & Social Sciences Professor Chris Greer was appointed Dean of the School of Arts & Social Sciences in December 2017. He has been part of the Department of Sociology since 2005 and was instrumental in developing Cityâ€™s research and education in Criminology. City News sat down with Chris to discuss his journey to the role of Dean
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CN: What was your journey to City? CG: First of all I went to art college, because I wanted to be an artist. I nearly went to Central St Martins to do Fine Art and Sculpture, but I decided that wasn’t for me. So I went to Queen’s University Belfast and did a BSc. After that I was part of the first cohort to do a Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice. In 2001, I became the first person to graduate with a PhD in Criminology from Queen’s. I taught at Northumbria University for a few years and came to City in 2005. CN: Have you always wanted to be in education? CG: I had a very musical upbringing and for a period aspired to be a professional musician. While I was at university, I had a residency at a bar in Belfast, playing every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. But playing gigs in bars and making a solid living as a professional are not the same thing. Very fortunately, I discovered Criminology, after a first degree in Psychology. And that was it, I just took to it. CN: What was it about Criminology that really appealed to you? CG: Understanding how we define crime and identify and deal with our criminals tells us so much about how society works. The ‘problems’ of crime, control and social order have occupied key social thinkers for thousands of years because they are fundamental to our understanding of ourselves. CN: What are you investigating at the moment? CG: I am doing two things. One line of research concerns institutional scandal. That focus comes out of almost two decades of interest in the changing relationship between the media, citizens, institutional power and the state. We see the Jimmy Savile scandal, Operation Yewtree, the #MeToo campaign, the latest developments of the Weinstein scandal… The rate at which the powerful are falling for historic offences amidst a blaze of media coverage would have been unheard of 20 or 30 years ago. Their ability to deny and discredit allegations against them has changed and the visibility of crime and corruption is changing. And that tells us something really interesting about how society is changing.
With the other line of research, all of the Criminologists here at City are working alongside Islington Council and the Metropolitan Police to help address youth crime in Islington. City is part of this community and it struck us that we probably don’t do enough in our local area. This project is examining the practices in Islington which are targeted at youth violence, how effective they are, and how they might be improved. CN: Why does scandal fascinate you? CG: Try and name a British institution that hasn’t been affected by scandal in the last ten years. It can affect public and private institutions, as well as the charitable sector and individuals. What is interesting is the rapid amplification of scandals from the individual to the institutional level. For the Jimmy Savile scandal, the focus quickly shifted from that individual to the BBC, then the health sector, then education, then policing and justice; and it has amplified into an institutional crisis across British society. The speed at which scandals now escalate on a global stage is staggering and the ability of institutions to resist is, it seems, on the decline. Times are changing and it’s a very interesting Criminological question to ask “why now?” and “to what impact on society, politics and governance?” CN: What motivates you as an academic? CG: I am interested in providing a clearer understanding of issues of social and political importance. I’m also increasingly occupied by the “so what?” question. I write with a colleague here at City, Professor Eugene McLaughlin, and I’m constantly saying “yes, but who cares? So what?” Ideas will always be the building blocks of social (dis)order and social change. In addition to testing those ideas with peers in academic journals it’s vitally important to demonstrate their use in everyday life. Particularly with the work on youth crime in Islington, I’m motivated by developing ideas and conducting research that can have an impact beyond the academic community. CN: How do you like to spend your free time? CG: I still play guitar now and then, but I have a young son now. He is my constant joy and family is my free time. And this job being Dean is very busy. There isn’t really much down time.
CN: How much time do you get to do research? CG: I have to fight, and do fight, to protect my research space. My identity as an effective leader is shaped largely by how well the School functions as a collective of seven very diverse departments. My identity as an academic is probably shaped primarily by my research. It’s hard to fit it in but I have to do it – it’s who I am. I’m getting more ruthless with my time management to ensure that I have time to continue to write, apply for grants and be a jobbing academic. I find that it is absolutely fundamental to being a credible Dean in a research-intensive university. CN: What attracted you to the role of Dean? CG: It was a logical next step for me after being Head of the Department of Sociology since 2014. I co-founded an international journal in 2003, just after I got my PhD and edited it for ten years, so I’ve always liked organising, managing and shaping processes. I also took the Department of Sociology through the last Research Excellence Framework in 2014, which was incredibly difficult but was a very satisfying experience because we did very well. When the Interim Dean role came up, the decision was whether I wanted to focus on research and leadership or just focus on the research. I am very happy with the choice I have made.
“We have very strong departmental identities but I would like to enhance the sense of a SASS community” CN: What are your priorities for the 2018/19 academic year? CG: Strengthening and consolidating the School, with the seven departments that we have, supporting the growth of new areas and building a stronger sense of collective identity. We have very strong departmental identities but I would like to enhance the sense of a SASS community. SASS is a magnificent School. It is by far the most diverse in the university and in that sense a collective identity is something of a challenge but it can be done and will be done. I want everyone to feel part of it.
City, University of London is an institution which prides itself on diversity and celebrates equality through an inclusive staff and student community In recognition of City’s commitment to diversity, City News highlights five self-organised groups that create an environment where all staff can flourish and provide peer support, in forums which promote social interaction and raise awareness of equality and inclusion. Claire Priestley, Director of Information Technology and outgoing Chair of the Equality Committee, said: “Equality, diversity and inclusion is something I’m passionate about, so being invited to chair the Equality Committee, even in an interim capacity this year, was a real pleasure. Over the coming 12 months we will agree a clear vision which will inform the development of our new Equality Strategy. Also planned is a full day’s Equality Conference, providing an opportunity to explore complex issues in detail; and celebrate the successes and achievements of the past year.” The Chair of the Equality Committee moving forward will be Professor Zoe Radnor Vice President (Strategy and Planning). The five networks are open for any staff member to join at any time of their career, and they have made great strides with a wide range of events over the past year.
BAME NETWORK The BAME Network meets once per term and allows staff to come together to share information and raise the visibility of BAME staff at City. Throughout the past year, the BAME Network has held a number of activities to recognise key dates including Black History Month, where City launched its commitment to applying for a Race Equality Charter Award. This is a national charter that aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education. The Network is currently working collaboratively with a number of bodies across City to establish an approach for a Race Equality Charter Award. In April 2018, the network organised a one day training session for BAME staff through Maze Training and Consultancy. The course, Navigating the Maze, aims to support and empower BAME staff, enabling individuals to capitalise on opportunities and deal with challenges at work.
DISABILITY NETWORK The Disability Network is a forum available to all staff whether they are disabled, with a long term health condition, provide care for disabled dependents or interested in issues around disability. Members are provided with a space to exchange information and ideas while raising awareness about disability issues including environmental, behavioural and institutional barriers. In May 2018, Dr Elizabeth Cotton was invited to speak at City and gave a talk titled Surviving Work, which focussed on managing mental health in the workplace. The disability network held a re-launch event in June 2018, which focused on deciding priorities and focus areas for the network going forward.
COLLABORATIVE In May 2018, City’s affinity networks hosted the event ‘Celebrating Diversity at City’, which promotes all aspects of diversity and inclusion. It included a panel discussion where the guest speakers discussed their personal experiences of diversity and inclusion, as well as how we can celebrate diversity and affect change. This was followed by a networking session in which attendees could ask questions and learn more about equality and diversity, while also sampling international foods. Celebrating Diversity at City is now set to be a permanent event in the calendar. Claire Priestley, Director of Information Technology and outgoing Chair of the Equality Committee, said: “Equality, diversity and inclusion is something I’m passionate about, so being invited to chair the Equality Committee, even in an interim capacity this year, was a real pleasure. “Over the coming 12 months we will agree a clear vision which will inform the development of our new Equality Strategy. Also planned is a full day’s Equality Conference, providing an opportunity to explore complex issues in detail, and celebrate the successes and achievements of the past year.”
CITYUNIWOMEN With around 150 members, CityUniWomen provides a forum where staff can share their experiences, realise their potential and celebrate the success of their colleagues. The group has showcased senior female staff to the rest of the University through Women in Leadership Panels, inviting them to discuss their careers and encourage other women to reach their potential. CityUniWomen acts as a representative voice for women at City through consultation on University policies working with the Athena SWAN Implementation Group. A highlight of the past year was the Men Behaving Badly event on International Women’s Day 2018, which discussed the allegations against President Trump, Harvey Weinstein and how the media report claims of sexual harassment against women within organisations. The event sold out a month before its opening and boasted a panel of Professor Heather Brooke, investigative Journalist who helped expose the 2009 MP expenses scandal, Professor Chris Greer, Criminologist and Madison Marriage, the Financial Times reporter who went undercover at the infamous Presidents Club event in January.
LGBT+ NETWORK The LGBT+ Network recognises and raises the visibility of the LGBT+ community at City through events and peer support groups, ensuring that all policies are inclusive in language and diversity. Earlier this year, the network supported Trans Day of Remembrance, an event which celebrates the memory of trans people who have been murdered or have taken their own lives. The event is recognised every year and staff are invited to light candles for those who have been lost. The group also celebrated LGBT+ History Month by hosting a range of movie nights. In May 2018, the network held a panel discussion and a bake off competition for International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. Launched in October 2017, the LGBT+ Network has also led in the creation of the Transgender, Intersex, Gender Non-Conforming policy for staff and students. The policy incorporates everything from communication and training, to changes to facilities and sports provision. At the time of its launch, it was the only HE policy to include intersex and gender non-confirming people.
RELIGION AND BELIEF The Multi-Faith Chaplaincy team functions as the Religion and Belief network, working with both students and staff to provide general spiritual, pastoral and faith specific support. In November 2017 the team organised Inter-Faith Week, an event dedicated to conversation around religion and belief, and included activities such as Chat up a Chaplain, where staff were invited to ask questions of the chaplains. For the next Inter-Faith Week, the chaplaincy are planning a panel event titled Prayers, Politics and Public Life. The Chaplaincy has also responded to world events by offering vigil space for prayer and reflection and has an open door policy for anyone who wishes to talk, regardless of their faith or belief.
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70 Y E A R S O F T H E N H S WITH THE NHS COMMEMORATING 70 YEARS SINCE FOUNDATION, CITY NEWS CELEBRATES THE UNIVERSITY’S RESEARCH IN HEALTH SCIENCES
On 5th July the NHS celebrated its 70th birthday, marking seven decades of free and universal access to healthcare. From the cradle to the grave, the NHS is a huge presence in all our lives. With an annual budget of £125 billion, employing 1.7 million and dealing with over 1 million patients every 36 hours, the NHS has one of the largest global workforces.
“Ranging from nurses, midwives and optometrists to speech and language therapists and health psychologists and economists, the School covers virtually every facet of the NHS”
NHS AND CITY For over 120 years, City, University of London, through the School of Health Sciences, has historic links with the schools of St Bartholomew’s Hospital and the Royal London Hospital. Merged in 1994 to become the St Bartholomew School of Nursing & Midwifery, in 1995 the new School was incorporated into City. Based in Myddelton Street Building, the School continues to play a vital role in the education of healthcare professionals. Ranging from nurses, midwives and optometrists to speech and language therapists and health psychologists and economists, the School covers virtually every facet of the NHS.
THE SCHOOL TODAY The School of Health Sciences is a leader in the field of healthcare education and health policy, ranked 1st in London and 2nd in the UK for Health Professions (Guardian University Guide 2018). It has strategic partnerships with NHS London, NHS Trusts and associated professional bodies, allowing students to go on placements with leading healthcare professionals. Five divisions make up the School: Division of Health Services Research and Management Division of Language and Communication Science Division of Midwifery and Radiography Division of Nursing Division of Optometry and Visual Sciences Training within the School is supported by the facilities available, including the Clinical Skills Centre, Optometry laboratories, Virtual Environment of a Radiotherapy Treatment and fully-equipped X-ray suite. As part of the School of Health Sciences, City Health is an innovative social enterprise that delivers short courses, study days and specialist training to practitioners working in the NHS, private and care sectors. EVEREST EXPERIMENTS It’s not always obvious how taking people up Everest can help us learn about surgery, but in a landmark experiment carried out by Professor Stanton Newman and colleagues it was seen that exposure to low oxygen environments, or hypoxia, can have significant consequences for our brain and body. “By taking otherwise healthy individuals to Everest Base Camp our study provided insight into how low oxygen environments impact on the human brain and body,” said Professor Newman. “We found that in particular, such environments lead to significant cognitive decline, with recovery taking longer with age.” As a result the study, which is the largest to investigate the impacts of environmental hypoxia on cognitive ability, could have significant implications for healthcare, as such hypoxic states are seen following surgery or due to particular health conditions. NHS EFFICIENCIES In the Division for Health Services Research and Management, health economist Dr Mauro Laudicella focuses on the English National Health System and health reforms. “The key issue with the NHS will be to be able to satisfy an ever increasing demand for health services within the allocated government budget. NHS hospital trusts, for instance, have agreed to deliver an ambitious programme of efficiency savings and to reinvest saving into delivery of more services to patients,” says Mauro. Recent studies by Mauro and colleagues have shown how inefficiencies continue to cause
issues. Their paper published in BMC Cancer found that over 1,400 lives could be saved every year, four more every day, if more cancers were diagnosed through GP referral instead of emergency hospital admissions. Mauro’s research into hospital survival rates and readmissions also captured the attention of the NHS at a senior level, with the CEO of NHS England, Simon Stevens, referencing evidence from the work during a speech to care providers in Birmingham towards the end of 2017. LONG TERM CARE When it was first created, the biggest strain on the system came from single episodes of infectious diseases. Now, the stresses placed on the NHS are very different with the ageing population and long-term chronic health conditions putting significant pressure on already stretched resources. In the Division of Nursing, Professor Julienne Meyer CBE leads Research and Development in Care for Older People. As an Executive Director of My Home Life Programme (MHL) a UK-wide initiative to promote quality of life for those living, dying, visiting and working in care homes for older people, Professor Meyer has been at the forefront of research and implementation in the area and was involved in The Commission on Residential Care in 2015 with the Rt Hon Paul Burstow MP and Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP. “We all need to accept that the health and social care system is in crisis and the needs of frail older people are not being adequately addressed,” says Julienne. “The population in the UK is rapidly ageing and the situation FIND OUT MORE WWW.CITY.AC.UK/HEALTH
can only get worse. Sadly, the public seems to take notice only when affected personally. Usually this is when it is too late for them to do anything about it. We are all going to get old, so if we don’t take action now, we will pay the cost later.” MENTAL HEALTH Across the School much work has focused on mental health, ranging from work by Professor Alan Simpson and colleagues which revealed the positive, safe and compassionate mental healthcare provision in acute inpatient settings in England and Wales, to research by Professor Susan Ayers which focuses on women’s psychological wellbeing and mental health during pregnancy and after birth. Depression and anxiety affect nearly one in five women during pregnancy and after birth, with potentially very serious consequences for mothers, babies and families, but research by City academics has had a significant impact and helped raise awareness of women’s mental health before, during and after pregnancy. In 2015, Susan contributed to the All-Party Parliamentary Group 1,001 Critical Days’ report, Building Great Britons. The report highlighted the importance of the first 1,001 days of a child’s life from conception to age two, with authors warning of the potentially enormous economic cost of cycles of deprivation unless tackling them was made a priority for our politicians and health and social care professionals. The All-Party Parliamentary report contributed to the Government committing £290 million in funding for perinatal mental health services in 2016.
MEET THE TEAM
PROPERTY AND FACILITIES
Pictured left to right: Stefan Moretta, Dean Beeden, Hannah Evans, Kevin Gibbons and Edward Kevin
The physical environment at City may be easy to take for granted, but it requires constant maintenance by the Property and Facilities (PaF) team. PaF is responsible for everything involving the physical environment, from timetabling to catering, from security to capital projects, impacting everyone who spends time at the University..
Recently, the PaF team was restructured to improve the way the department operates. “Although it had been improved over the years, the organisational diagram was still quite vertical,” explains Kevin Gibbons, Director of Property and Facilities. “It’s a fact that between myself and some of the frontline troops there were up to six layers, creating lines of communication that were a little too long. I didn’t feel close enough to the people who mainly interface with the people we serve.” This led to a desire to create a flatter structure. “Now I have six Heads of Service reporting to me rather than a single deputy. Over the years people had taken on different roles – it had become unclear who you would go to if there was an issue or problem, so the new structure provides clarity.
FIND OUT MORE STAFFHUB.CITY.AC.UK/PAF-SERVICE-DESK
“The senior management team is myself and the six team leaders. We consider ourselves ‘the Magnificent Seven’. Now, customers needing to
“The senior management team at PaF is myself and the six team leaders. We consider ourselves ‘the Magnificent Seven’.” contact PaF will know who to contact when they have an issue, or can be easily redirected via the Service Desk.” Keeping an increasingly busy environment clean and appealing is one of the main challenges that Kevin’s team faces. “The estate, strategically and deliberately, has shrunk in size even though student numbers
S continue to increase. The intensity of use, particularly at our main campus, is growing. It’s great because I think it provides a more dynamic community environment, but it does give us challenges because the buildings suffer progressively more wear and tear. The evidence is that students are spending longer on site both socialising and learning. So in order to support our expensive new facilities, we are trying to keep everywhere looking fresh and cared for.” “I would like to extend my thanks to everyone in PaF who have shouldered the burden of reorganisation. I have been so impressed this year because they have taken the change on board really well. I am also grateful to our students, staff and visitors for all their support and positive feedback.”
JASON CLARKE Head of Sustainability Jason leads a small team dedicated to embedding sustainability within all areas of University activity including curricular engagement, informal extracurricular engagements and campus sustainability. EDWARD KEVIN Head of Capital Projects Edward is responsible for the successful delivery of capital projects across the estate from inception through design, procurement, construction, to occupation. He works on the development of the forward estates strategy. STEFAN MORETTA Head of Facilities Services Stefan is responsible for provision of facilities services including PAF Service Desk, security, portering, post, cleaning, catering, landscaping and any other activities required to support the University’s operations across the estate, utilising both in-house and external contracts.
TRACEY HUGHES Head of Premises Management Tracey is responsible for the overall physical presentation of City’s premises, ensuring that items requiring attention are dealt with promptly. This includes Health and Safety compliance, physical presentation of the estate and capital project support. DEAN BEEDEN Head of Infrastructure Dean is responsible for all mechanical, electrical and building fabric repairs. In addition to this he is responsible for delivering the long term maintenance plan which focuses on lifecycle, performance and condition related projects. HANNAH EVANS Head of Timetabling and Space Management Hannah’s team is responsible for delivering the academic teaching timetable, working alongside colleagues in Schools to capture timetabling requirements. Space management is about ensuring that we are using our estate in the best possible way to facilitate service needs.
The Disappeared HOW FAMILIES OF THE DISAPPEARED FORCE COUNTRIES TO REVISIT THEIR BRUTAL PASTS When researching disappeared families, Dr Iosif Kovras of the Department of International Politics, discovered a personal connection to the findings that form the basis of his book, Grassroots Activism and the Evolution of Transitional Justice: The Families of the Disappeared In 1922, a man named Giorgos Zoulamoglou vanished as he and his family were forced to leave their homes in Turkey. They were among hundreds of thousands of Greek Orthodox Christians to be expelled from the country during the Greco-Turkish War. Giorgos was assumed dead. His family fled as refugees to the island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea and mourned their loss; a casualty of violence. One year later, Giorgos reappeared. He had been held captive in Turkey and conscripted into a forced-labour battalion, but he was alive. Decades later, Giorgos’ greatgrandson was stunned to learn of the story when he visited family in the United States. Dr Iosif Kovras, now Lecturer in Politics, was researching the ways in which countries deal with missing persons, but had never been told about his great-grandfather. As the details of the story emerged and his family’s attitudes to the ordeal became clear, Iosif encountered a puzzle. Why had his relatives seen his
great-grandfather as a casualty of war, rather than a victim of crime? In contrast to the families of disappeared people in more recent times, Iosif’s family had not searched for Giorgos. The discovery of this intriguing family history sparked a seven-year investigation into missing persons cases around the world, as Iosif sought to discover the remarkable lengths to which families are going as they defy powerful warlords or military organisations, search for missing loved ones and pursue justice. “Although he was later found alive, the position puzzled me,” he says about his great-grandfather’s story. “By the 1970s, the families of the missing in conflict in contexts like Cyprus or Chile saw their loved ones not as casualties but as victims of violence; a moral order was fractured, and they deemed themselves agents with legal rights.” Iosif’s research reveals the extraordinary impact that normal people have had on shaping modern human rights and the rapid changes that have occurred with grassroots
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activism. Across the globe, mothers in particular continue to lead often highly dangerous campaigns to locate their relatives’ remains and prosecute powerful figures. The findings provide a valuable insight into the human impact of practices that are all too prevalent today, from the persecution of Rohingya communities in Myanmar to the devastation of wars in Yemen and Syria. During the study, people from four countries, Lebanon, Chile, Cyprus and South Africa, told Iosif of their extraordinary efforts to learn the truth about their relatives and push governments to act. Their stories highlighted how more and more nations are starting to revisit their violent pasts and establish truth commissions, sometimes many years after wars have ended or authoritarian regimes have fallen. Iosif recently published his findings in a new book, Grassroots Activism and the Evolution of Transitional Justice: The Families
of the Disappeared. It includes a unique database of all countries with systematic disappearances between 1975 and 2009. Created by Iosif, the database is the most comprehensive of its type and the first to attempt to represent the breadth and geographical spread of missing people. A staggering 67 countries experienced systematic disappearances during the time period, with the practice persisting in some countries for many years. Iosif decided to represent this varying regional intensity by creating a world map, which showed that since 1975, the worst cases have been Colombia (27 years of systematic disappearances), Iraq (23 years) and Afghanistan (22). On seeing so many tragic cases side by side, a brutal reality became ever clearer to Iosif. Disappearances are used as a form of terror by tyrannical regimes, whose strategy is designed to inflict pain and suffering on families and communities as a means of control and suppression. As the academic found, the problem became endemic during political violence in numerous countries throughout the 1970s and 1980s. General Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship in Chile systematically abducted, tortured and killed thousands of people after taking control in 1973. A year later, 1,500 Greek Cypriots went missing as the Turkish army invaded the island of Cyprus. This came after 500 Turkish Cypriots had been abducted a decade earlier. Lebanon’s civil war, between 1975 and 1990, saw 17,000 people go missing. And in South Africa, 2,000 people disappeared during apartheid in the mid-1970s and 1980s. “The families of the missing are uniquely traumatised,” Iosif writes in his book. “Are their loved ones dead or alive? If they are dead, where are they buried? In the absence of conclusive evidence, the families remain in limbo.” Iosif discovered another common thread in his case studies. In all four countries, the families mobilised over long periods in efforts to uncover the truth, albeit with varying levels of success. “The movements were stubborn and persistent,” he writes, “often lasting for decades.” He found that any failures of activists were not for want of trying. But the varied triumphs of campaigns around the world raised a question: why are victims’ groups in some nations left without answers, while others
Dr Iosif Kovras is a Reader in Comparative Politics at the department of International Politics. His research interests include comparative politics, post-conflict transitional justice and human rights, broadly defined. His work has been published in Comparative Political Studies, West European Politics and Comparative Politics, among others.
successfully bring perpetrators This has allowed progress to be to account? made in identifying victims in Iosif believes he now has some Chile, with around 280, known as answers, thanks to the stories of “Desaparecidos”, returned to their victims’ families that informed his families. But the figure is less than ten research. With crucial developments per cent of those who were executed in forensic science, investigators have or disappeared. However, families’ become able to identify the deceased mobilisation helped around 800 from their remains. And this has individuals to be investigated, with facilitated the shift from the era of his some convicted. Similarly, victims’ great-grandfather’s disappearance in groups in South Africa have identified the 1920s. But families’ abilities to 89 missing people. But despite the find the information and individuals global visibility of the country’s truth they need to locate gravesites are commission, perpetrators have not still determined by factors outside been brought to justice. their control. Iosif argues the They are linked people behind the “The families of the to the nature of a crimes themselves missing are uniquely country’s particular play an important crisis and the traumatised. Are their role in the process. transition it goes loved ones dead or alive? They need to feel through to recover. secure enough to If they are dead, where come forward and Most importantly, are they buried? In the reveal where victims Iosif found levels of success hinged on absence of conclusive were buried. This whether the country evidence, the families is more difficult to had endured achieve immediately remain in limbo” conflict, on the one after conflict, but hand, or been in the possible following grip of an authoritarian regime. the fall of authoritarian regimes. Most families turn to forensic science “Consolidating the minimum level to satisfy their most pressing need, of security required to create the of finding their relatives’ gravesites. conditions for perpetrators to point For countries emerging from to gravesites… is determined by the conflict, this can often come at the conditions of the transition,” he says. end of a long process that is made As governments try to re-establish more difficult by a national priority law, order and a working economy, to establish economic stability. forensic science again can provide Issues caused by war can mean there a useful tool. It has meant that are “insurmountable obstacles” to authorities can satisfy activists without proper justice. disrupting peace, which could be at “In the early period after a negotiated risk if the priority were prosecuting transition, amnesty laws and concerns the guilty. Techniques that identify about security and stability inhibit human remains allow authorities to truth recovery initiatives,” writes separate the right for families to know Iosif, who says these conditions, amid what happened to their relatives, from fragile and newly won peace, can governments’ duty to prosecute. create “institutionalised silence”. As Iosif came to the end of his In Cyprus, activists have managed to investigation, he reached the firm unearth more than half of the 2,000 conclusion that families play the most wartime missing persons. After years vital role in the process, if they harness of struggle, families are finally able the repertoire of methods available. to bury and mourn their loved ones. This includes the deployment of In contrast, families in Lebanon have domestic and international legal tools, been unable to uncover remains or the formation of influential alliances bring perpetrators to justice. and the addition of the issue to the For nations that were under political agenda. authoritarian rule, exhumations “It is not an overstatement to claim can lead to broader criminal that the relatives of the missing and investigations as newly empowered disappeared have shaped human public institutions are prompted rights norms and transitional justice to act by pressure from victims’ institutions and practices,” he argues. relatives. A second phase of truth “Everyone will agree that truth recovery can follow. For example, in commissions have become a Chile authorities were able to reopen mainstream transitional justice hundreds of criminal cases because instrument, yet without the specific judicial authorities had continued to crime of disappearances and the be operational (to some extent) during families’ refusal to quit, we may not the dictatorship. have had truth commissions at all.”
NOVEL IDEAS FROM CITY ALUMNI Whether you are on spending a rainy weekend in or on the daily commute, City short courses has you covered for all your reading needs. With a wide variety of short writing courses available, City has seen a host of authors find success over the past few years. Here are some of the best reads that have emerged from City’s short course alumni.
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Imogen Hermes Gowar
Swim back in time with the mermaids that Imogen Hermes Gowar introduces into Georgian London. Her novel has already been named as a Sunday Times Best Seller, shortlisted for The Women’s Fiction Prize and longlisted for The Desmond Elliott Prize. John Hancock, a common merchant is spun out of his ordinary existence and catapulted through the doors of high society after one of his captains has seemingly sold his ship for a mermaid. As millions flock to see the wonder of the ocean, John revels in the financial reward and attracts attention from the irresistible doxy, Angelica Neal. However, as they grow closer, they are overcome with an unshakable sadness which cannot be explained – perhaps influenced by their marine associate. Imogen, who studied the Novel Writing and Longer Writing course before enrolling in the Writer’s Workshop at City, uses her museum career history to shrewdly analyse the Georgian underworld, coupling love and lust with independence and ownership. FIND OUT MORE WWW. CITY.AC.UK/NOVEL-STUDIO-ALUMNI
Photography credit: Duncan Phillips
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line Deepa Anappara
Deepa Anappara’s unpublished coming of age story, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, has already scooped The Deborah Rogers Award, The Lucy Cavendish Award and The Bridport First Novel Award. Ten year old Jai, a reality cop show addict, takes it upon himself to use his imitated detective skills to find the missing children from his slum settlement in fictional North India. Shrouded by the fog of winter, Jai and his friends set off on the Purple Line Metro to the City, facing dangers of human traffickers and encountering street kids who echo the bravery of Jai’s beloved TV figures. Deepa’s debut novel captures the tension of Hindu and Muslim cohesion in India and loosely echoes real events which took place in Delhi, where 30 children went missing between 2003 and 2006. In a gripping read, the narrative cleverly shifts between Jai and the missing children – illuminating their hopes, dreams and fears during their disappearance.
The Book of M
If you are looking for some love to fall with those Autumn leaves, then be sure to pick up Hannah Begbie’s debut romance novel, Mother, which was released in June. The Novel Studio alumna tells the story of Cath, a frightened mother, and Richard, an upbeat father, who both have children diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. After meeting at a charity support evening, their troubling situations push them into an intense affair which jeopardies everything – even the health of their children. Following a four-way auction prior to the novel’s release, Clerkenwell Films has secured TV rights for the novel. The studio which brought Misfits and Lovesick has also secured The Crown Screenwriter and Begbie’s husband, Tom Edge, to lead on materials for the televised adaptation.
Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Peng Shepherd enrolled on the Short Story Writing and Writers’ Workshop at City, and her debut novel, The Book of M is hot off the press after only being published in early June 2018. Peng’s sci-fi interpretation of a dystopian future clashes ordinary people with extraordinary circumstances in a nightmarish world that explores the power of memory. In an epidemic which begins with the disappearance of one’s shadow and concludes with complete memory loss, Peng throws Ory, a man who is determined to find his wife into an unrecognizable world of danger, war and fractured reality found in The Book of M is the perfect world to get lost in.
Harriet Tyce, Novel Studio alumna, has recently completed her debut thriller, Blood Orange, which will hit the stores in January 2019 after a pre-emptive six figure bid from publishing company Wildfire. Alison Wood, a criminal barrister may be relishing the roaring success of her career, however her personal life is collapsing right before her eyes. A passionate affair with another man turns psychologically dangerous, leading to an obsession that puts at risk everything she values.
GDPR: what it means for City and for you With the acronym GDPR becoming all too familiar over the past few months, City News looks at what the legislation means for City staff The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on Friday 25th May 2018, and colleagues across City have been working to ready us for this major change in the law. The new regulation, which applies to all member states of the European Union, defines three basic roles in data transactions: the data subject (the person the data are related to); the data controller (who dictates what is done with the data); and the data processor (who handles the data). A university plays the role of controller as it relates to its employees, students and associates. GDPR places emphasis on documenting which third parties have access to personal data and what they do with it. The GDPR also defines rights for data subjects, including the right of access to data, the right to erasure (also known as the right to be forgotten), and rights to restrictions on data processing. For instance, data subjects have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing.
The introduction of the GDPR has wide-ranging implications for the higher education sector and for City: • Where the University is not processing personal data on the basis of contractual or legal obligations it has to have consent from data subjects. • Individuals have the right to access, correct and request deletion of their personal data within 40 days of a request. • Universities should only keep personal data for the minimum time required. • Data breaches need to be disclosed to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and individuals whose data is compromised within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach. • Data protection prevention measures must be built into processes, policies and systems from the earliest stages of data collection – ‘data protection by design’. • Universities must appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) who is accountable for the implementation of data protection regulations. • Universities must ensure that access to personal data is limited to authorised personnel.
Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow in the Department of Library & Information Science, Dr David Haynes, underlines the requirement for consent under the new GDPR regime: "Consent is one of the legal bases for fair processing of personal data under GDPR. The criteria for consent are much more rigorous than previous legislation. Consent has to be freely-given, informed, unambiguous, and specific. It must also be signified by a positive action, rather than inertial inaction. However consent is meaningless unless individuals are educated about online safety – we need a ‘highway code’ for the internet and an active information literacy programme for the public." The Information Commissioner’s Office is the UK’s independent authority established to protect information rights in the public interest and for promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. City’s Information Compliance Team is the University’s central resource for all matters relating to GDPR. Staff can access more information about GDPR, including best practice, via the Staff Hub website.
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The Conversation UK celebrates its fifth anniversary Articles by City academics for the independent news website have been read five million times The Conversation, an independent news website produced by academics and journalists, has celebrated its fifth successful year in the UK. Based on a model established in Australia, the news outlet provides an independent and trusted platform for academic expertise to be shared with the public. City was a Founding Partner in the venture and remains heavily involved in its success. The University provides office accommodation on its premises for the development and editorial staff and offers access to multimedia facilities for the production of its podcast. Since The Conversation was established, more than 160 academics from City have written articles for the site, which have collectively been read five million times. This is both through direct visitors to the site and as a result of The Conversation’s unique republishing strategy which allows mainstream news outlets to republish its articles in full. Professor Sir Paul Curran, President of City, University of London and Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Conversation said: “UK universities, like City, are passionate about their research and The Conversation enables them to communicate its importance and potential impact in an accessible way. I’m delighted that our leading
researchers have taken the opportunity to write articles which are based on academically excellent research and professionally informed opinion. “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all academics at City who have engaged with The Conversation over the past five years”. Stephen Khan is Editor of The Conversation UK. In a blog post to mark the fifth anniversary he wrote: “When we launched, we hoped to build trust with readers. Trust in parts of the mainstream media had been eroding. At the same time, old business models were failing and new methods of publishing opening up to anyone with a smartphone. We sensed an information fog had descended, confusing much of the public and causing many people to turn away from news services – to switch off. “Five years on, and amid that now thick fog, different versions of the truth compete for public attention. We therefore feel that the value of what academic expert authors provide, via this publication, is greater than ever. There need to be places where readers can seek accounts of events, explanations of research and interpretations of international developments that are grounded in reliable knowledge”. City, University of London’s most read article was written by Dr Enrico Bonadio, Senior Lecturer in Law at The City Law School and expert in Intellectual Property. ‘The case against Happy Birthday copyright protection’,
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which was published on 3rd August 2015, has attracted 389,742 unique readers. Enrico has published a further 22 articles related to his research on topics as diverse as the ownership of graffiti, plain packaging of cigarettes and patent protection of drugs in developing countries. Collectively, these have been read by a total of 651,240 people – the highest number of any City academic. “Writing for The Conversation is a great opportunity as it gives academics like us the chance to reach a wider audience,” Enrico commented. “Combining academic expertise and journalistic flavour is the recipe developed by The Conversation: it really works.” Professor André Spicer of Cass Business School is the most prolific academic, having written 60 articles which have attracted over 600,000 reads on a variety of topics related to his expertise in organisational behaviour. As a result of The Conversation’s republishing strategy, many City academics have seen their articles appear in leading publications around the world– from the Washington Post, to the BBC, CNN, the i newspaper, the Guardian, ABC News, Scroll India, Le Monde and many more. Authors are also often invited to appear on broadcast media, give evidence to policymakers or collaborate with other researchers as a direct result of the pieces they write.
“Writing for The Conversation is a great opportunity as it gives academics like us the chance to reach a wider audience.” Dr Enrico Bonadio
“UK universities, like City, are passionate about their research and The Conversation enables them to communicate its importance and potential impact in an accessible way.” President Professor Sir Paul Curran
THE GROWTH OF THE CO N V E R SAT I O N Since 16th May 2013, The Conversation UK has published close to 20,000 articles by almost 12,000 authors, launched two podcast series and hosted a variety of live events. More such innovation will follow. In April 2018, the written work of The Conversation globally reached an audience of around 37m people – and more than 14m of those came via the edition run out of London. The establishment of the bureau in London, with premises at City, was a key step in the internationalisation of The Conversation, which had launched in Australia in 2011. Since then, the operation has continued to expand its reach around the globe. In northern Europe, the English-language service has gone from having the support of a core of 13 Founding Partner universities to 79 member institutions. The Conversation now has editors based in 25 cities, working for seven regional editions: Africa, Australia (now including a New Zealand Editor), France (publishing in French & English), the UK, the US, Canada, and Indonesia.
At a glance
160+ CITY ACADEMICS HAVE WRITTEN ARTICLES
5 MILLION READS OF CITY STORIES
37M PEOPLE: WORLDWIDE REACH OF T H E CO N V E R S AT I O N
389,742 UNIQUE READERS OF ‘THE CASE AGAINST HAPPY BIRTHDAY COPYRIGHT PROTECTION’
60+ ARTICLES WRITTEN BY PROFESSOR ANDRÉ SPICER WITH MORE THAN 600,000 READS
From the City archive: Medieval manuscript
This manuscript contains two texts – the Algorismus (or De Arte Numerandi) and De Anni Ratione – written by Johannes de Sacrobosco (aka John of Holywood or Halifax). Both texts are in Latin, as was usual in the medieval West until a very late date. As they were very popular, copies are not uncommon. The Algorismus was the first major text of the Western tradition that dealt with, and examined, the use of Hindu-Arabic numerals. Before this date, roman numerals were used. Hindu-Arabic numerals allowed a major advance in mathematics and made possible developments like mathematic calculation of physical properties, double entry bookkeeping and the Dewey Decimal Classification. De Anni Ratione is a criticism of the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar was the calendar introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BCE. Due to the complexity of calculating when to add intercalary days (such as 29th February), it was prone to error. Sacrobosco was influenced by medieval Arabic astronomy and his theory – to take a day out every 288 years – was later largely discredited.
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News, University updates, research and more inside, including a look at how families of the disappeared force countries to revisit their bru...
Published on Nov 9, 2018
News, University updates, research and more inside, including a look at how families of the disappeared force countries to revisit their bru...