Page 1

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:06 Page 2


issue 3 n february 2013 n


investing in inspiration uncovering history embarking on a new astronomical adventure

getting serious about salt giving dementia a voice

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:07 Page 3

“LJMU appoints 43 new academics as part of an investment in research and scholarship”

4 2

“Skeletons reveal fascinating facts about Cheshire’s medieval past”





“Carbon monoxide research saves lives in Merseyside and Coventry ”

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:07 Page 4

“Why the takeaway food industry needs to get serious about salt�

14 Taking time to think

27 28 Getting critical about art and culture


Investing in inspiration Uncovering 9,000 years of history

4 20

Policing in higher education

16 24

The true value of the tourism industry


SNAPSHOTS FEATURES Knowledge Quarter update


Planning the successor of the Liverpool Telescope


Carbon monoxide research saves lives Salt and takeaway meals

10 14

English National Ballet performance

New honour for Beth Tweddle

9 12 18 28

Yoko Ono continues support for care leavers


Supporting entrepreneurship Dementia research

Discovery at the highest level of learning should be fascinating and absorbing and this issue of think is designed to give you a flavour of just some of the work we do at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). From recruiting new academic staff to finding new ways of managing dementia or investing in a successor to the Liverpool Telescope, everything we do reflects our commitment to delivering scholarship, research and learning of the highest quality. This commitment drives our curricula and enables us to deliver a distinctive student experience. It also forms the foundation of our interaction with other universities and research institutions in the UK and around the world, as well as with industry, business and the community. I believe strongly that LJMU has a crucial role to play in stimulating debate and generating new thinking and new concepts that encourage the sharing of ideas, experience and knowledge across disciplines and that deliver real impact and meaningful public engagement. I am confident that after reading this edition of think that you will have a greater understanding of how we can use research and scholarship as a vehicle for change in society, in the workplace and in the economy. I also hope that you will be inspired to contact the University to find out more about what we do and how you too can harness our expertise to achieve your objectives.

Thank you for your continued interest in LJMU. Professor Nigel Weatherill Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:07 Page 5

knowledge is power Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter has a new landmark, LJMU’s £37.6 million Redmonds Building, which is as ground-breaking as its namesakes, LJMU Honorary Fellows Phil and Alexis Redmond, founders of Mersey TV famous for creating three highly successful soap operas – Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks.


The Redmonds Building features a High Definition TV studio, a TV news studio, a radio studio and a ‘green room.’ All the equipment has been provided by industry giants Sony Europe Limited and is worth around £1million, resulting in facilities which are among the best in the UK.


The building is home to three of LJMU’s largest academic schools – the Liverpool Screen School, the Liverpool Business School and the School of Law – and is specifically designed to give students access to ‘real world’ environments where they can hone their professional skills before entering the job market for real. Other facilities on offer to the 6,000 students using the building include three large lecture theatres, a range of flexible teaching spaces, a lounge area and roof terraces. The building straddles both Clarence Street and Brownlow Hill and has transformed the entrance to the Knowledge Quarter. This is the second new building that LJMU has completed in the Quarter in recent years following the development of the Royal Institute of British Architects-award winning £27million Art and Design Academy in 2009. Next on the agenda is the redevelopment of the 260,000 sq.ft. Copperas Hill building, the University’s biggest single acquisition to date. think page 2

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:07 Page 6

Liverpool Vision, the city’s economic development company, sees investment in the knowledge economy as key to ensuring the city fights its way out of the current recession. Employment in knowledge-intensive businesses in the City Region is growing by over twice the rate of the rest of the economy, and by 2022 the knowledge economy could grow by a further 15%, resulting in the creation of 58,000 jobs. The major contributors to the city’s knowledge economy are all found in the Knowledge Quarter: LJMU and the city’s other universities, Royal Liverpool Hospital and Liverpool Science Park. Work within the Quarter single-handedly contributes £1billion a year to the city’s overall economy. “We talk about the Beatles as four lads who shook the world. Our global impact across the world of everything from astronomy and physics to medicine has been no less revolutionary, “ says Liverpool Vision Chief Executive, Max Steinberg. “We want our people to feel proud of our tradition as scientific pioneers and innovators and we want to inspire a new generation to work and invest in the Liverpool knowledge economy.”

think page 3





think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:07 Page 7

think page 4

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:07 Page 8

In 2012, LJMU launched a major recruitment campaign aimed at attracting international, world-class academics to Liverpool. The campaign has been a big success, with 43 new staff appointed at a time when other universities are making redundancies. The investment reflects LJMU’s renewed commitment to research and scholarship, as Professor Andy Young, the University’s Director of Research explains: “We wanted to send out a clear message that LJMU can be every bit as good as any other university in the world for research and development and based on the world-wide field of candidates who applied, we definitely succeeded.”

think page 5

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:08 Page 9

Alongside big name professors and academics with well established research programmes and international reputations, the bulk of the new posts are at lecturer or senior lecturer levels, which also attracted many early career researchers as well as industry professionals hungry to establish their research credentials. “These appointments are not just for the next Research Excellence Framework” stresses Professor Young, “they are for the long haul, creating a sustainable, healthy research environment that generates real excitement in the lecture theatres and seminar rooms as well as meaningful public engagement.” Improving staff student ratios was also a key driver for the campaign and is paramount for the long term future of LJMU. That’s why all new staff, irrespective of seniority, will be expected to be actively involved in teaching and impact positively on the student experience. LJMU’s new Professor of Astrophysics, Nathan Bastian, who holds a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship, relishes the challenge of juggling delivering world-class research with teaching – in fact it’s one of the main reasons he applied.








Professor Bastian was also impressed that LJMU was looking to establish a new team in his area of expertise, star formation and stellar clusters. “The Astrophysics Research Institute has a strong reputation in the astronomical community worldwide and I like how it brings students into the research process,” he says. “In my experience, both as a student and teacher, it is essential that current research topics and results are integrated into teaching and learning activities so it’s not just boring book learning. This also helps students decide if they want to pursue a career in astronomy specifically, or science generally.”


Dr Andrew Leach, who has taken up the post of Lecturer in Computer Aided Molecular Design in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, is also confident that his research on the design of better and safer pharmaceuticals is ideal for pharmacy training. “My research is directly relevant to the medicinal chemistry that students training to be pharmacists are expected to be exposed to,” he says. “I hope to bring cutting-edge research and advances into my various teaching activities.” The importance of embedding ongoing research in the curriculum is shared by Claire Stewart, the new Professor of Stem Cell Research in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. “Ageing, exercise and stem cell research are such vast areas of media interest at the moment however, a lot of hype and controversy exists within these fields of study. Therefore these are highly topical, yet somewhat controversial areas of study particularly the stem cell world - making them ideally suited for teaching and learning,” says Professor Stewart, whose research focuses on skeletal muscle degeneration and regeneration, with a particular focus on ageing, nutrition, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. “I thoroughly enjoy my research and this enthusiasm comes across in my teaching. The dissemination of current understanding in association with ongoing think page 6

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:08 Page 10

research makes the curriculum more real and, in my experience, really grabs the interest of the students.” LJMU’s recruitment drive comes against a backdrop of drastic changes to higher education funding and widespread cost cutting across the sector. While LJMU too is watching the pennies, the investment reflects the importance that the institution places on delivering excellent teaching, and research – a commitment that has not gone unnoticed internationally, says Professor Mike Bode, Director of LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute. “The scale of the exercise, its timing, and its results have sent shockwaves through the international community and has undoubtedly raised still further the reputation of LJMU in the area of astrophysics,” he says. “This is a watershed in the development of the Astrophysics Research Institute, and various areas of astrophysics research in the UK as a whole. Thanks to this investment, we have been able to strengthen areas of excellence which will help ensure that we are major players in the development of several front-rank future facilities, both on the ground and in space.” Professor Glenda Norquay, Head of LJMU’s Research Centre for Literature and Cultural History, also believes that the campaign has boosted the University’s reputation internationally. “At a time when many universities are cutting staff numbers, the strengthening of our staff establishment can be read as an investment in the future of the department and has given the University as a whole a very positive public profile.” Within the English Department, the addition of new posts extends its established international reputation for nineteenth-century literature and print culture, twentieth-century/contemporary cultural history and gender and sexuality studies, through the addition of new expertise in Victorian popular literature, working-class writing, Oscar Wilde, terrorist literature, Arthur Conan Doyle and Caribbean literature. Staff student ratios are also greatly improved and importantly, the whole academic team has benefited from an injection of dynamism and creativity, as Professor Norquay explains: “We are already exploring possibilities for a nineteenth-century research group based around digital humanities and organising a conference on ‘Neo-Victorian’ literature. New staff are also developing innovative support and training methods to meet the needs of doctoral students and early-career researchers.” Discovery at the highest level of learning should be fascinating and absorbing and this unprecedented investment further expands LJMU’s already exceptional academic staff profile. “But this is not a one-off,” stresses Professor Young. “LJMU will continue to recruit excellent academics, who can inspire others and enrich the student experience through their research and scholarly interests.”

To find out information, go to think page 7

Collectively, these individuals will generate new thinking and ideas while also equipping students, the professionals of tomorrow, with the knowledge, skills and experience they need for future success. The future looks bright at LJMU.

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:08 Page 11




think page 8

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:08 Page 12


n 2004, LJMU broke the mould by developing the world’s largest fully robotic telescope. Now the University is about to embark on a new astronomical adventure by developing a successor to the Liverpool Telescope. The University has given the green light for the Astrophysics Research Institute to scope out the technical requirements and scientific goals for a new facility called Liverpool Telescope 2 or LT2. Iain Steele, Director of the Liverpool Telescope and Professor of Astronomical Technology and Dr Chris Copperwheat, who recently joined LJMU from the University of Warwick, are leading the project. “The Liverpool Telescope has had a phenomenal impact, not just in terms of research but in the public understanding of and engagement with science through the National Schools’ Observatory,” says Professor Steele. “The successor facility will need to build on the successes of the Liverpool Telescope in the field of ‘time domain astronomy’. So our main aim at this stage is to establish what the ‘time domain’ science priorities are for 2020 and beyond.”

burst from space, the race is on to point the world’s telescopes to it as soon as possible,” comments Professor Steele. “The Liverpool Telescope has established itself as a leader in the field, thanks to its unique combination of rapid slew speed, robotic control software, and purpose-built instrumentation.” The importance of time domain astronomy is set to increase in 2020 when the new Large Synoptic Survey Telescope begins its 10 year mission to identify around a million time variable objects every night. A new facility would enable LJMU to fully exploit new scientific opportunities emerging as a result. “We need to determine a niche for the LT2, so that it will make an important contribution in its own right and not duplicate the work of another planned facility. The new era of time domain astrophysics will open the door on a previously unobserved area of parameter space, so we would expect to detect whole new classes of object, the nature of which cannot be anticipated.”

Time domain astronomy covers observations of any astronomical object which changes in brightness or position over time. These include near-Earth objects like asteroids, cosmic explosions such as supernovae, and extrasolar planets. “The autonomous nature of robotic telescopes means that all of these phenomena can be efficiently monitored on timescales from milliseconds to years,” adds Professor Steele.

The wavelength range of the new telescope, the size of its mirror and its location are all key factors that will be actively explored during the next two years though it’s probably safe to assume it will be a robotic facility. “The interest of the astronomical community is expected to shift more to the southern skies due to the large facilities planned in that hemisphere, such as Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the European Extremely Large Telescope,” explains Dr Copperwheat. “So a southern site might be desirable, to maximise potential synergies between these projects.”

The Liverpool Telescope’s ability to respond quickly to transient events in the universe has already been demonstrated to global acclaim with Gamma Ray Bursts. “These cataclysmic explosions are the brightest electromagnetic events known to occur in the universe. However, they rapidly fade in brightness, and so, following the detection of a new

While a lot of questions about what the new facility will be like remain unanswered, LJMU has given a clear commitment to investing in a new facility that will enable the University to continue playing a leading role in the exciting new era of time domain astronomy. The sky definitely isn’t the limit for the Astrophysics Research Institute.

LJMU is planning a successor to the phenomenally successful Liverpool Telescope Following first light in 2004, the Liverpool Telescope is now at a mature stage in its lifecycle and has enabled LJMU researchers to publish an unprecedented level of highimpact papers in leading scientific journals. The robotic nature of the telescope also means it has a low operating cost, making it excellent value for money when compared to its manned competitors. The National Schools' Observatory (NSO) enables schools in the UK and Ireland to request observations alongside professional astronomers from the Liverpool Telescope. The NSO was instrumental in LJMU being awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2005 for astronomical excellence and public engagement in science. The NSO currently has around 3,000 schools registered, with over 11,600 individual registered teachers and pupils having free and full access to all its associated facilities.

To find out more about the Astrophysics Research Institute, go to think page 9

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:08 Page 13


Every year accidental exposure to Carbon Monoxide kills 50 people in England and Wales and around 4,000 are diagnosed at A&E with CO poisoning.


arbon Monoxide poisoning has been the cause of tragic deaths linked to incorrectly fitted or badly repaired gas appliances, blocked chimneys, flues and vents, and even disposable barbecues left in tents overnight. LJMU researchers have been working with the fire and rescue service to raise awareness of the dangers of this colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas.


Accidental exposure to Carbon Monoxide (CO) kills on average 50 people every year in England and Wales and around 4,000 are diagnosed at A&E departments with CO poisoning. Many more people are likely to be exposed and suffer from CO poisoning, but are unaware of the cause. Researchers from LJMU’s Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Research Institute have been working with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS), West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) and Coventry City Council to tackle this issue.

Fire crews, health teams, housing officers and NHS midwives in Merseyside and Coventry were involved in collecting CO readings in more than 27,000 homes. The second stage of the project involved installing automatic data logger devices in 170 homes in Liverpool and Coventry for five months over the winter, which collected regular readings each day. BEST researchers then analysed the results. Station Manager Gary Oakford, who led the project at MF&RS, said: “This project has already helped to save lives in Merseyside after the data loggers picked up dangerous levels of CO being produced by boilers in homes, as well as from cooking and heating appliances.” The study also found that only 3% of the homes in Coventry and less than 10% of the Merseyside homes had a CO alarm installed. Evidence from the study was presented to the House of Lords in March 2012 and at a conference at LJMU in May. The key note speaker at the event was Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, chair of an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group into the

think page 10

impact of Carbon Monoxide. The Baroness has since suggested that LJMU’s School of the Built Environment set up a dedicated Carbon Monoxide Centre of Excellence due to the highly quality of its work. LJMU’s Dr Andrew Shaw, who led the study, presented at the Houses of Parliament during CO Awareness week in November 2012. “For the first time this study shows how many homes do not have CO alarms fitted and we got a true figure on the potential risk for CO poisoning,” he said. “With the lack of ownership of CO alarms in the Coventry and Liverpool areas there is a significant risk of an increase in CO-related incidents occurring within homes, especially if there are more severe winters. Many more people are likely to be exposed and suffer from CO poisoning but be unaware of the cause. As a result the impact on health may well be underestimated.” So if you haven’t already done so, please make sure you install a CO alarm - it could save your life. For more details, go to:

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:08 Page 14

What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)? CO is a highly poisonous substance produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels. Coal, wood, petrol and oil can also produce CO.

What are the symptoms? Headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse, loss of consciousness.

What to do‌ Invest in an audible CO alarm (EN 50291), fit an alarm in each room with a gas appliance, enlist a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect all gas appliances and flues (T: 0800 408 5500)

The LJMU Carbon Monoxide Research project was funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health. The Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring (CoGDEM) provided MF&RS and WMFS with the Data Loggers and supplied the CO detectors for the households.

For more information go to think page 11

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:08 Page 15

ranching Out, LJMU’s monthly business breakfast club, is helping local entrepreneurs and freelancers get together to forge new connections and business opportunities before the working day has even begun.



Managed by LJMU’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and hosted by Branching Out members running cafés and restaurants across Liverpool, the Club is part of the Centre’s start-up network, which now has over 2,000 members. The network, launched in 2007, gives budding student entrepreneurs, graduate start-up companies as well as more experienced entrepreneurs and business owners a free, open and constructive forum for discussion, mentoring and guidance.


The network is now a significant platform for business development and support in the Liverpool city region. Robert Hough, chair of Liverpool City Region’s Local Enterprise Partnership, talked about this vital work at the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Congress: "LJMU’s Centre for Entrepreneurship is the perfect example of the right support for students and graduates who want to set up their own businesses. I am absolutely convinced that if we support our young people in this way they will rise to the challenge to reinvigorate our economies.” Tackling rising youth unemployment rates and improving job prospects is vital for the long term economic success of Merseyside. The support offered by the Centre for Entrepreneurship is becoming even more important as a recent report by The Prince's Trust and RBS revealed that more than three-quarters of young people in Liverpool believe life is harder than ever for unemployed young people. Positively more than half also stated that setting up in business would give them a sense of achievement and purpose. LJMU is now working hard to support this next generation of budding entrepreneurs. Interesting in joining LJMU’s Start-up Network? Contact Dominique Aspey, Enterprise Network Manager (, 0151 231 3520) for details.

breakfast means business LJMU’s sixth annual Graduate Entrepreneurs Awards acknowledged the achievements of graduates and students and the help they receive from local businesses to turn their ideas into commercial realities. Just Jogging founders Lydia Logan, Kate Frackelton and Gerard McGeown won the LJMU Rising Star award, sponsored by Liverpool Enterprise Partnership, along with company founders Clare Shaw, Mohammed Khan, Duo Li and Lei Chen. Marc Jones, founder of Medication Ltd, won the Entrepreneurial Alumnus of the Year Award, sponsored by Quality Solicitors Jackson & Canter. Nick Hatton of L1 Computers won the New Venture of the Year, sponsored by Ernst & Young. Alan Woods, founder of Woods Squared, won the Inspirational Business Person of the Year, sponsored by Appreciating People. Lee Donafee won the Social Enterprise of the Year, sponsored by O2, for his company, the Merseyside Inclusion Network. Pictured: Lydia Logan, Kate Frackelton, Gerard McGeown, Marc Jones, Nick Hatton, Alan Woods and Lee Donafee.

think page 12

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:08 Page 16

Tiffany-May Priam

LJMU awards record £2.1 million worth of scholarships This academic year LJMU has awarded £2.1million worth of scholarships to 650 students – a record for the University. In 2012/2013 over 200 talented students will each receive £1,000 for every year of their study for demonstrating academic excellence, voluntary work, performing arts and sporting merit. In addition, six outstanding students have been selected to receive the Vice-Chancellor’s Award and will each receive £10,000 for every year of their degree course. The VC Award is given to exceptional students who will act as ambassadors for the University and is awarded to those who are both academically gifted and can also demonstrate outstanding commitment in other areas such as voluntary work, performing arts or sport.

A further 440 students from low income households will also qualify for the National Scholarship Programme, with the University on track to award £1,000 funding and £2,000 fee waivers to each student during their first year of study. In addition, LJMU has awarded the Anthony Walker Bursary – set up in collaboration with the Anthony Walker Foundation – to first time LJMU recipient Tiffany-May Priam. The award of £1,000 per year of study is only open to Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) undergraduate students studying law or criminal justice. LJMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Weatherill said: “The best thing about our scholarships is that they are awarded not just for getting great exam results, though this is obviously important, but in recognition of a student’s talent in the arts, music or sports, think page 13

for their voluntary work or other activities. We know that our scholarships enable students from all backgrounds to really succeed while they are at LJMU and that’s why I’m delighted that this year we have awarded more scholarships than ever before. LJMU is committed to helping students reach their full potential, regardless of background and circumstance.” In addition to the £2.1 million worth of scholarships, LJMU awards non-repayable bursaries to eligible students from low income households.This academic year the University has also used £200,000 of its own funds to supplement the Access to Learning Fund to support and retain students who can demonstrate a need for additional financial support.

To find out more go to:

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:08 Page 17

get serious about salt

“ Cutting your

salt intake could drastically reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease”

e all know that eating too much salt may raise your blood pressure, and that having high blood pressure increases your risk of developing coronary heart disease. But did you know that takeaway meals can contain as much as three days’ worth of salt in a single meal? Given that the Food Standards Agency estimate that one in five of us order a takeaway at least once a week, LJMU is on a mission to raise awareness on how reducing your salt intake could make a massive difference to your health.


LJMU’s Nutrition and Health Research Group conducted the first ever UK study looking at salt levels in popular hot takeaway meals bought at small, independent outlets in Merseyside and across the North West. Their research, published in the international journal appetite, shows that simply reducing the amount of salt contained in take-away food could make a massive difference to cardiovascular-related diseases, high blood pressure and other health problems, including kidney stones and gastric cancer.


“To enable people to meet the recommended daily salt intake a significant reduction in the salt content of hot takeaway meals should be considered,” says Dr Ian Davies. “The food industry has already made changes by reducing salt in packaged food by approximately 10%, and according to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence this has already prevented 6,000 cardiovascular - related deaths and equates to


think page 14

an NHS saving of £1.5 billion per year. The same now needs to be adopted to the takeaway industry.” NHS guidelines recommend that adults should eat no more than six grams or around a teaspoon of salt a day. The researchers found that the levels actually being consumed in takeaways was “alarmingly high” and that similar meals could massively vary in salt levels.Take two Chinese meals; beef with green peppers and black bean sauce served with fried rice has nearly 11 grams of salt, while sweet and sour chicken with boiled rice has just over three. Or Indian takeaways, where an average portion of chicken tikka masala with keema rice has nearly seven grams of salt, 50 per cent higher than most other Indian dishes. A doner kebab and chips has 6.5 grams of salt. The traditional English takeaway, fish and chips, came out with the lowest concentration of salt at just 3 grams but this figure does not take into account people putting salt on their chips. A change in the law may be needed to make small fast food outlets produce healthier meals. While this debate rumbles on, LJMU researchers are continuing their work on the nutritional content of takeaway food and supplying more data on calories, fats, and sugars to help tackle this problem. If you would like to take part in LJMU’s survey on takeaway food habits, go to:

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:08 Page 18

“ Takeaway meals contain alarmingly high levels of salt� think page 15

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 19

a welcome unexpected ince 1999 Liverpool’s Biennial has broken boundaries and developed into a world-class celebration of contemporary arts, staged in both traditional and more unconventional venues. This year’s show took place in a range of landmark buildings across Liverpool, including LJMU’s Copperas Hill building, which housed two major exhibitions; Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2012 and City States.




The post-industrial setting of Copperas Hill, a former postal sorting office, created a stark and curious backdrop to a varied collection comprising video installations, sculpture and still-life from artists across Asia, the Baltic States and South America. LJMU added an installation of its own, showcasing key values that underpin the University’s teaching, research and role it

plays within the community. The brightwhite installation incorporated a TV showing a range of videos of academics examining the use, value and meaning of art and culture within the city and beyond from the vantage point of their areas of expertise. The videos encouraged visitors to start thinking and talking about art and Liverpool in new and unexpected ways. “The Biennial is funky, it’s different, it shows Liverpool has a gritty edge and is a city that is doing well,” said Professor Michael Parkinson, Director of LJMU’s European Institute for Urban Affairs, who sees the Liverpool Biennial and other arts events as a great way to engage residents and aid urban regeneration. Andy Newsam, Professor of Astronomy Education and Engagement, believes art in our surroundings can counter the all pervading commercial advertising. “Art intends to sell us enlightenment,” he commented. “It gives us an alternative sense of belonging to something wider think page 16

than just a machine for spending money. And this is important for any city.” Dr Claudia Mettke-Hofmann, Lecturer in Animal Behaviour, drew her inspiration from the animal world, talking about a recent study on Gouldian Finches and how different head colours signify different personalities. “Artists use different colours to create a particular atmosphere and convey specific messages, like the birds do, to suit their environment,” she observed. The University’s involvement with Liverpool Biennial is well established. Its former Director, Lewis Biggs, is an Honorary Professor and Paul Domela, Liverpool Biennial’s Programme Director sits on the School of Art and Design’s advisory board. “The School has had quite a lot to do with the Biennial over the years, sharing advisors, joint scholarly appointments and collaborations with current and past students,” said School Director and fine artist, Professor Juan Cruz, who helped develop LJMU’s involvement with 2012’s

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 20

“The partnership with Liverpool Biennial was a great opportunity for our students to experience an international arts festival of this calibre.” Professor Juan Cruz, Director, Liverpool School of Art and Design

guest Biennial. “LJMU has received many benefits from being instrumental in the delivery of this year’s Biennial. We have further cemented our standing in our local community and demonstrated that LJMU is a key driver in the city’s continued presence on the world stage.” In addition to taking part in the Liverpool Biennial, the School of Art and Design conducts research looking at the role and impact of Biennials around the world, and works collaboratively on this and other projects with Shanghai University. Using measurements such as visitor spend and audience perceptions, the University will be evaluating the impact its partnership with Liverpool Biennial has had on the institution, its students and staff and the city as a whole. To find out more, go to:

Liverpool and Shanghai get critical Liverpool and Shanghai have many things in common: the cities are twinned; both have fabulous waterfronts; both are hubs of energy and creativity. The cities now also have a joint biannual competition: The John Moores Critics Award. The award was jointly organised by LJMU and Shanghai University’s College of Fine Arts and runs parallel to the John Moores Painting Prize, versions of which are hosted in the UK and China. The UK winners were announced at the Walker Art Gallery among the recent John Moores Painting Prize finalists.The overall UK winner was LJMU graduate, Linda Pittwood (pictured above), with the Chinese award going to Xu Jie. Both winners received a £2,000 cash award plus an opportunity to undertake a three-week cultural exchange to the respective host countries. “There are many prizes for artists and a few for museum people and curators, but individuals who write about art almost always get left out,” said Henry Meyric-Hughes, Chair of the UK award committee. Something needed to be done to stimulate direct and informed engagement with the individual work of art or artistic production. The first award was a success and we look forward to running the competition again during the next Painting Prize.” For more information, go to:

think page 17

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 21

giving dementia a voice Dementia affects 35.6 million people globally. Studies have warned that this figure will almost double every 20 years. Now a new project is set to give people living with dementia a voice and make them a key part of the process of finding solutions along with businesses and academics. LJMU and Mersey Care NHS Trust are leading the €5.4 million ‘Innovate Dementia’ project in the UK, linking the growing number of people with dementia across north west Europe. Tom Dunne, a member of the Steering Group for the project, has been living with dementia for two years and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year. "It is the recognition and awareness of dementia that this project provides which is really important,” he says. “As someone suffering from dementia, it has been a real boost for me to put my opinions across and be given a say in what I think should be done. And that is what is fantastic about the project; it gives people living with dementia a voice.”

Many businesses have already signed up to work with dementia sufferers including Jonathan Butters, Principal Consultant at Butters Innovation, an industrial design company, developing medical and social devices. “This project has the potential to build knowledge exchange relationships between researchers, developers and service users,” he says. “This could support a more effective design process, particularly with the Living Labs part of the project, which are in people's homes, wards or care home environments. “During these Labs we would like to test our technology in real life situations and co-develop it alongside researchers from LJMU and people living with dementia, so that it can really be


Grahame Smith, is based in LJMU’s Faculty of Health and Applied Social Sciences and a member of the project team. “Recently there has been a move towards managing dementia symptoms through the use of nonpharmacological interventions, such as using light therapy, diet, exercise, and adapting the living environment, although this is in the early development stages,” he explains. “Through our Living Labs we will be able to consider how,

for example, light therapy can manage symptoms like agitation and disordered sleep. We will adapt a clinical environment to use special lighting throughout. We would then start to look at diet and activity in a phased approach. At the end of three years, our aim is to look at how these approaches could be used within a home setting.”


think page 18

effective in improving dementia care and maintain the dignity of people living with dementia." Dr David Fearnley, consultant psychiatrist and medical director of Mersey Care NHS Trust adds: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the University and Mersey Care to work together with people with dementia to develop new approaches and practical solutions that will have an impact both locally and across north west Europe.” Further information about Innovate Dementia:

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 22

Inspiring writers Students, scriptwriters, producers and authors of all ages came to take part in the BBC Writersroom event, held in conjunction with the Liverpool Screen School at the Redmonds Building. The event, led by Henry Swindell, New Writing Manager for BBC Writersroom, gave an enthralling and engaging three-hour seminar using examples of film and TV clips to demonstrate the process of developing great scripts and good story telling. Dr Corin Willis, LJMU’s Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, invited the BBC to run the event. “We thought it would be useful for students who have an interest in scripting and story development, as well as those from outside the University who wanted to be inspired to develop fresh and innovative ideas,” he said. Usman Mullan, Project Co-ordinator, BBC Writersroom North, said, “BBC Writersroom helps new writers develop their craft through professional training, the website and in open sessions around the country with the UK’s best writing talent. We were really pleased to work in partnership with LJMU to host the Screenwriting Top Tips Seminar. It was overwhelming to see just how popular the event was with over 360 writers. We definitely look forward to coming back to Liverpool in the near future to do similar sessions.”

English National Ballet ‘pop-up’ performance A unique performance produced by the English National Ballet (ENB) and LJMU students attracted a huge audience to the University. The story behind the pyramid tomb on Rodney Street in central Liverpool was the inspiration for ‘The Tale of William McKenzie,’ a concept students developed for the ‘pop-up’ performance by the ballet company. Legend has it that McKenzie, a Liverpool engineer, bet and lost his soul when gambling with the Devil and, when he died, in an attempt to thwart Satan, he is said to have chosen for his resting place a pyramid tomb above ground, seated at a card table, holding a royal flush. LJMU students also developed the costumes, set design and music for the

Getting to grips with the great outdoors

seven-minute show which was performed by four ENB dancers in the Art and Design Academy. George Williamson, Associate Artist at ENB and choreographer of the performance, said: “We wanted to produce this show in collaboration with LJMU students because we know the University has an excellent reputation for the arts and we also want to encourage as many young people as possible to channel their artistic voices through ballet. This gave them a unique opportunity to use their abilities in a niche medium.” Lesley Peacock, Senior Lecturer in Fashion, added: “This project enabled students to work hand-in-hand with one of the country’s leading ballet companies and to see their work come to life in a public arena.”

Memories project captures public imagination

LJMU Geography, Environmental Sciences and Wildlife Conservation students worked with children at St Albert’s Catholic Primary School in Stockbridge Village, Knowsley, to create a new community orchard and outdoor learning zone behind their school. The new area, created on Knowsley Council open access land neighbouring the popular Mab Lane Community Woodland, will include an orchard as well as native hazel, willow and sweet chestnut trees. The outdoor learning zone will be used by St Albert’s pupils for regular outdoor lessons. Parents too will be invited to some of the sessions, hopefully encouraging families to visit the outdoors more often. The project was coordinated by The Mersey Forest as part of Access to Nature, a national scheme run by Natural England and funded by the Big Lottery Fund. The outdoor learning area was funded by The Big Tree Plant and Cory Environmental Trust in Britain (CETB) through the Landfill Communities Fund.

People from across Merseyside discovered lost voices of post-war childhoods thanks to an oral history project by LJMU PhD student, Hayley Wilson. Working in partnership with the Museum of Liverpool, Hayley, who is based in the Faculty of Health and Applied Social Sciences, hosted a two-day event which received widespread media coverage including BBC North West Tonight, BBC Radio Merseyside and in the Liverpool Echo. LJMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Weatherill, commented: “We always aim to conduct research that doesn’t just get put on the shelf – but instead is used to inspire and motivate. What better way than to collect and present memories from this great city.”

think page19


think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 23


think page 20

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 24



An archaeology project started in 1995 and originally expected to last just three years, continues to reveal fascinating secrets about the past. think page 21

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 25

So far over 670 skeletons have been uncovered at the Poulton Research Project in Cheshire, many of which are now housed at LJMU, and excavations are still continuing. The charitable Poulton Research Project aims to further the understanding of archaeology, history and architecture using a multi-period landscape in Cheshire. The site spans an incredible 9,000 years, with finds ranging from carefully worked pre-historic flints to 17-century artefacts from the Civil War.

the chapel was at Poulton and he was buried inside it, in the centre, so we see him as a high-ranking figure. There are other clues on his skeleton that show this is likely to have been the case. On his left leg he has fractures in two bones and in one there is evidence of osteomyelitis, which has resulted in a hole in the bone. Antibiotics were not available during his lifetime and he must have been well looked after to have survived. Also, the breakages have resulted in displacements of both bones but not huge displacement which again indicates he received care.” When the body was originally excavated in 1998, it was thought it may have been Sir Nicholas Manley whose family owned the land where the chapel stood. Samples of his remains were taken for DNA and radiocarbon tests to try to establish if this was the case. The DNA tests failed and the radiocarbon tests produced conflicting results. Sir Nicholas Manley left a will dated 1518, but the earliest radiocarbon date was 1521 and the most likely date range was 1620 to 1683, which was after he died and when the chapel was not in operation, due to Henry VIII’s reaffirmation of Catholic theology in 1539.

Dr Ohman explains why these two remains provoke such curiosity: “Since his excavation in 1998, a large question mark has loomed over Skeleton 53. We have identified where

But the story doesn't end there. “We can now do more accurate testing with shorter date ranges from smaller sample sizes,” adds Dr Ohman. “We are going to re-do the radio-


Dr Jim Ohman, Senior Lecturer in Palaeoanthropology at LJMU’s School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, has been involved with the project since the beginning. Over the years LJMU has become increasingly involved and students now complete course modules at the site, carry out extensive postgraduate research and over 400 skeletons are stored at the University. All of this offers students a unique opportunity to work on a live project, which has so far unearthed some highly interesting archaeological finds including ‘Skeleton 53’ and ‘Arrowhead Man.’


think page 22

The School of Natural Sciences and Psychology awarded Honorary Lectureships to three members of the Poulton Research Project, Mike Emery, Site Director, Alan Wilmshurst, Site Supervisor and Raymond Carpenter, Human Remains Team Lead. Mike Emery commented: “The Honorary Lectureships are fantastic as we’ve had a close association with LJMU for several years, and most of the burials we bring from the site are now investigated by students and staff at the University. They do an excellent job, using first class facilities to really explore what we uncover at the site. Their discoveries highlight the idea that the past is about people, how they lived and how they died. We look forward to working even more closely with LJMU, continuing and building on the training course that we provide for second year students, giving them direct on-site experience.”

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 26

Pictured above: Dr Jim Ohman, LJMU Senior Lecturer in Palaeoanthropology (second left) with Raymond Carpenter (Human Remains Team Lead), Mike Emery (Site Director) and Alan Wilmshurst (Site Supervisor) from the Poluton Research Project.

“the site spans an incredible 9,000 years, with finds ranging from carefully worked pre-historic flints to seventeenthcentury artefacts from the Civil War”

carbon date testing, using a tooth root which is hard and therefore the collagen – needed to do the testing – is well preserved. Most of us don’t think it is Sir Nick but we can’t completely discount it until we get these dates back. We know he is a Medieval gentleman, of high enough status that he was buried in a chapel, but is he a priest, is he related to the owners of the land, how old is he, when did he die? If we can get a better handle on when he died we can get a better idea of who he might have been because then we can then fit it into an historical context.” The other particularly interesting archaeological find at Poulton is the ‘Arrowhead Man.’ This skeleton was a single burial found on the north side of the chapel not in the jumble of graves on the south side - again indicating he had a higher status. Typically bodies were buried with their arms undone or crossed over their chest but when this body was excavated his right arm was across his chest and his left arm down by his side. This is so far unique to Poulton and extremely rare – if not unheard of – for Christian burials. Dr Ohman continues: “When they lifted his right arm and the ribs there was an object in his chest cavity, within the rib cage. It was a bodkin arrowhead. This is an armour-piercing human-killer. They are lethal and have been known to pierce even today’s bullet proof vests. The arrowhead gives us quite a few clues about when this man might have lived think page 23

as they were only used when chainmail was worn, between the 11th and 13th centuries, when there was a lot of warring between Wales and England. After that they moved onto plate armour and the arrowheads became shorter and heftier to pierce the plate. Poulton is in England but it is very close to the border with Wales. Most people who died on battlefields were buried there. This, along with the fact that he was buried in a singular grave and was likely wearing chainmail, due to the arrowhead selected to kill him, indicates he was of high status. “We are now doing radio-carbon date testing which will put him and the arrowhead in an historical context. We are also going to be doing a strontium isotope analysis to tell us if he was Welsh or English. Different people in different parts of the country have varying levels of the element strontium in their bodies. At the moment we presume he was an Englishman killed by a Welshman but he could, for example, have been a mercenary hired for protection by the Cistercian monks who ran the chapel.” After nearly two decades of research, there are still gaps in our knowledge about who lived and died at Poulton. “It is hoped that additional research funds will become available in the future to provide us with more dates and a better understanding of the medieval people that lived at Poulton,” concludes Dr Ohman. “Many questions need answering and we look to science to help us find the solutions.”


think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 27


think page 24

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 28


EDUCATION The Hillsborough Inquiry, the phone-hacking scandal and more recently the introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners, have kept policing and police ethics in the public spotlight. A key driver for change within policing, and something that is seldom covered by the media is the so-called ‘professionalisation agenda’, an area which LJMU is supporting thanks to its close links with Merseyside Police. "There is no doubt in my mind that partnerships with academic institutions bring a much enriched dimension to the professional development of police officers, and in particular to the future senior leaders of the service,” says the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Jon Murphy, at the Third Annual Conference of the Higher Education Forum for Learning and Development in Policing or POLCON3 at LJMU. POLCON3 brought together senior police officers, academics and students to share research and best practice, to debate changes in policy and highlight collaborations between higher education providers and the police service. Discussions ranged from making the distinction between ‘acting professionally’ and ‘being a member of a profession’ in the context of the new College of Policing. Stephen Moss, LJMU’s Policing Studies programme leader, believes that universities will play a significant role in the ongoing improvement of the standard of education. “We could see a move towards police officers requiring compulsory professional qualifications,” he says. “If this happens, it is vital that universities are able to provide police forces with the support they need to make this happen. In 2010, a Home Office review on police leadership and training concluded that a publicly accountable professional body should be set up to oversee leadership, learning and standards within the police. Implementing this across the UK’s 43 different police forces will take time and academia has a strong role to play in the design, development and implementation of its policies. “The British Police Service has evolved over many years into the professional law enforcement body that is the envy of the world,” says Detective Inspector Mike Blakeley. “Developing relationships with higher educational institutions will provide academic rigour to supplement the more vocational aspects of contemporary policing. In collaboration with the College of Policing this will establish the service on a level footing with other professional bodies within the criminal justice system.” LJMU is already ahead of the game, as in 2013, the University’s new Foundation degree course opens to students without a policing background. This course offers direct progression onto the full degree programme in the final year. Developed in close collaboration with Merseyside Police, the degree was originally designed to provide serving officers with academic learning that complemented their standard training and experience. To date, 283 serving officers have completed the degree. Foundation degree students will be encouraged to take up a role as a Special Constable so that they gain hands-on experience and exposure to the realities of policing today. Such experience will also enhance their employment prospects and grant them exemptions should they join the Force. LJMU and other universities will continue to influence the ‘professionalisation’ agenda. As vocational courses like Policing Studies attract students not just serving officers, a new generation of police officer will emerge to take on the important role of crime prevention in the years to come.

think page 25


think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 29


Organisers of the Sea Odyssey event, a three-day free street theatre performance linked to the Titanic centenary and featuring giant puppets, hoped to attract 250,000 people. It was attended by well over 800,000, adding £32 million to the city’s economy. think page 26

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 30

what is tourism worth? r Martin Selby, Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Tourism, Events and Food Studies and Professor Michael Parkinson CBE, Director of LJMU’s European Institute for Urban Affairs, discuss the allure of Liverpool to visitors, the value of tourism, and how the city has progressed since 2008.


“It is fair to say that tourism does not always attract the plaudits it deserves as an economic force. However, the truth is that the sector is the UK’s third highest export earner behind Chemicals and Financial Services, with inbound visitors spending more than £16billion annually and contributing over £3billion to the Exchequer,” says Dr Selby. “Recent VisitBritain figures show that Liverpool has overtaken Glasgow as one of the top five UK city destinations for overseas visitors, above both Bath and Oxford, and remains one of the top ten most visited English towns and cities by UK residents.” The fact that Liverpool is so popular is of little surprise to Professor Michael Parkinson, who comments: “Liverpool is an endlessly fascinating city. Everybody wants to know what is happening here. And during the last ten years it has been a good news story - of genuine progress from difficult beginnings - and people also like a bit of good news now and again.” Both Dr Selby and Professor Parkinson attribute Liverpool’s growing success to 2008, the year the city was the European Capital of Culture. “The renaissance of Liverpool highlights the role of culture as a driver for regeneration, following the phenomenal success of its stint as the Capital of Culture, which registered a 29%

increase in visitor numbers and injected £3.1 billion into the local economy,” says Dr Selby. “The potential for culture-led regeneration is something that was recognised back in the early 1980s, hence the investment in the 1981 redevelopment of the Albert Dock. 2008 was undoubtedly the catalyst for mobilising the Big Dig infrastructure projects, such as the Arena and Conference Centre and the Museum of Liverpool, which are credited with contributing to the recent boost in the city’s fortunes.” Professor Parkinson adds: “For the first time in recent years we saw great modern architecture added to a city which has long had experience of regenerating Georgian and Victorian architecture but rather less of producing new buildings which match its historic inheritance. The new developments have brought the city centre downtown to the waterfront and in the process have revitalised the existing tourist and leisure facilities at the Albert Dock, which is in turn creating demands for higher quality services and facilities. So the economic value and potential of the whole area has been lifted and, in many important ways, Liverpool city centre is bucking the trend and weathering the recession better than some other parts of the UK.” Dr Selby also assigns Liverpool’s ability to combine its historical relevance with a forward-thinking approach as aiding its resurgence. “In the course of my research I’ve visited many competing cities both in the UK and overseas,” he explains, “and Liverpool remains a very impressive destination due to its heritage, architecture and culture. Despite the think page 27

recession, the visitor sector remains buoyant. So what next for the city? How can it maintain its progress, especially during hard economic times? Professor Parkinson says it is important that the success of the waterfront does not bleed the original heart of the Liverpool city centre. He explains: “Displacement is inevitable, given the quality of the offer in the newer parts of the centre, but the economic and financial crunch has increased that displacement. The ‘golden triangle’, the jewel in the crown, must not become an oasis in the desert. All parts of the city centre can benefit and there are signs that this is the case, for example outlets near Castle Street are raising their game to match the better offer of the waterfront and Liverpool ONE. But the process will need careful nurturing and managing. “The city can take heart and confidence from what has been achieved so far. Success breeds success. The achievements of the past decade make the city more likely to perform well in the more challenging days ahead and its track record should give its people much more confidence.”

Liverpool’s success with tourism is echoed at LJMU. In the recent Sunday Times Good University Guide, the University’s degree in Tourism, Transport and Travel jumped 23 places up the league table and is now ranked 5th in the UK.

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 31


Everyone can have a dream


In a year of exceptional achievement for Great Britain at the Olympics, three times world champion gymnast and LJMU graduate Beth Tweddle MBE won her first Olympic medal in the uneven bars in front of a home crowd. think page 28

In recognition of her outstanding career in gymnastics, Beth received an Honorary Fellowship from LJMU in November 2012. “Beth is one of our most exceptional graduates and we are delighted to recognise her achievements through the conferment of an Honorary Fellowship,” said LJMU ViceChancellor Professor Nigel Weatherill. “Beth continues to inspire both our students and staff and future generations of competitors through her work with schools and gymnastic clubs. There is no doubt that she is one of the all time greats in her sport.” On accepting the Fellowship, Beth told graduates: “Everyone can have a dream and it doesn't matter how big it is. It took me 20 years to achieve my dream but it was worth every minute of those 20 years when I was stood on the podium with an Olympic medal around my neck.” Beth studied Sports Science at LJMU and was also one of the University’s first Sports Scholars. “LJMU staff were a massive help throughout my time at University,” she added, “whether it was supporting me with my training or enabling me to complete both my academic and sporting commitments.” To find out more about LJMU’s sports scholarship scheme, go to

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:09 Page 32

“It is good to know that there are people that actually care. It’s an unbelievable feeling and one that I have never felt before.” LJMU student and care leaver

Yoko Ono has boosted her support for vulnerable students at LJMU with a donation of £100,000, to be awarded over the next two years. The donation will be used to extend the University’s John Lennon Imagine Awards, established in 2009 following another generous gift from the Yoko Ono Spirit Foundation. The John Lennon Imagine Awards provide targeted financial and personal support to students who have been in local authority care or who are estranged from their parents. The Awards provide not just financial assistance but also a bespoke package of support, carefully designed to suit each person’s circumstances. Demand for this tailored support is growing year on year. In the first year, 50 students came forward and qualified for the annual John Lennon Imagine Award £1,000 bursary; in 2012, this increased to over 200 students. Thanks to Yoko’s continued support the University will be able to meet the needs of these and future applicants. To find out more go to

think2013c_Layout 1 06/02/2013 16:06 Page 1

public events programme 2013 LJMU’s public events programme has something for everyone and covers a wide spectrum of topics, which we are confident will be of interest to you.To find out more, go to: n Roscoe Lecture Series n Inaugural Professorial


n Exhibitions and final year shows n Seminars and masterclasses n Open Days

Liverpool John Moores University aims to be recognised globally as a modern civic university, delivering excellent teaching and world-leading research that supports wealth creation, social well-being, culture and arts within the city region and beyond. To tell us what you think, contact: E: T: 0151 231 3531 Š

LJMU Marketing and Corporate Communications February 2013