Romantic notions of heroism - the captain refusing to leave his sinking ship, women and children being ushered to safety - have been shattered by reports emerging from the Costa Concordia. Cambridge University academic Dr Lucy Delap sets last week’s tragic events within a historical context of shipwreck that encompasses changing perceptions of class and gender.
A whole range of alternative technologies will be needed to fill our huge appetite for energy and reduce our dependency on finite resources. Echo Ouyang, a PhD student in the Department of Engineering, is making an important contribution to research into the development of geothermal energy technology which might one day heat (and cool) our homes.
Eminent thinker and commentator Revd Dr John Polkinghorne, Fellow of the Royal Society, will be giving a public talk – titled A Destiny Beyond Death - tomorrow lunchtime at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge. It is part of a series organised by the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. Here he gives an overview of his understanding of the relationship between what are generally considered to be two opposing schools of thought.
We are addicted to language. By way of proof, Andy Martin – lecturer in the Department of French and author of books on Napoleon, Bardot and surfing – takes a vow of silence. Spending a day in New York without words, he discovers a liking for one of the most over-used expressions of the era.
Henriëtte Hendriks, Head of Cambridge’s newly formed Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, explains why linguistics – the scientific study of human language – is central to understanding our highly complex system of communication.
Boys and action comics go together like Batman and Robin – but how are girls represented in comics? Sociologist, Casey Brienza, investigates the male world of the action comic and looks at the depictions of female characters.
Professor Barbara Sahakian, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge, has been researching cognitive enhancers for over a decade. Here she discusses the emergence of ‘smart drugs’ and the ethical and practical issues they raise.
In the recent riots looters made off with some of the items that have come to symbolise our materialistic society - trainers, track suits and flat screen televisions. Katy Barrett, who is doing a PhD in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, is co-convening a series of seminars which will look at the powerful role that possessions play in society, past and present.
For the Festival of Ideas, Dr Dacia Viejo-Rose, a researcher on the CRIC research project, will discuss the unexpected impact and diverse use of memorials in societies recovering from war. Directed from the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, the CRIC project is investigating the reconstruction of cultural heritage after conflict in different areas of Europe.