SPREAD THE WORD PROJECT

We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to take part in academic discussions and hear about cutting-edge research. This project is designed to demystify academia and bring ideas and conversations out of elite institutions and into more democratic spaces like the internet. We invite academics and researchers to give talks and lead discussion groups on their work. We are also working to bring resources in the form of short podcasts, animations and infographics that break down complex concepts into a more digestible format, translating special jargon into a type of language that everyone can understand.

It is difficult to talk when you feel like no one is listening, when you feel as though a special jargon or narrative has been created that only the chosen can understand. 

bell hooks, 'The Oppositional Gaze' in Black Looks: Race and Representation  (Boston: South End Press, 1992) 

GOING VIRAL SERIES 

This series invited academics at the forefront of their fields to discuss their recent research and the theme of 'going viral': how do ideas, beliefs and habits spread, how do they 'contaminate' us, how can they heal or harm us, and crucially, how does technology mediate their spread?

Fabricating Families by Prof. Sarah Franklin 

In this talk Sarah joins us to discuss the radical transformations in the notion of kinship, the 'reproduction question’, the riddle of gender, the relationship between the biological and technology, and more.

Sarah was the Chair of Sociology at the University of Cambridge University and leads the reproductive sociology research group. She was among the first researchers to begin to analyse the forms of social change associated with the introduction of new reproductive technologies in the 1980s. Her research combines ethnographic methods with science studies, gender theory, and the study of kinship and she has contributed to a number of emergent fields in social theory including the 'new kinship studies', the feminist analysis of science, the anthropology of biomedicine, and reproductive studies. 

white male effect in perceived covid-19 mortality risks by ekim luo 

In this talk, Ekim discusses recent research emerging from the Body, Mind and Behaviour Lab at the University of Cambridge on how different demographic groups, divided according to race and gender, perceived the risk of death from COVID-19.

After the talk we had a wider discussion about the differences in policy makers and state leaders’ responses to the pandemic according to gender, and a broader conversation about the relationship between social power and empathy. What this study and discussion points to in essence is that social power alters one's perception of risk, and that the perception of crises or other people's distress changes depending on how much power one holds.

The mathematics of how rumours spread by dr. Natasha morrison

In this talk, Natasha outlines the basics of combinatorics: the structure and properties of networks. She makes use of analogies and visual aids to guide us through different types of networks and the various ways in which influence can spread from node to node. In the Q&A, we discussed the wider real-life applications of combinatorics beyond the scope of pure mathematics.