As Europe expanded its overseas colonies, fixed ideas of racial differences took hold. Historian Dr Mélanie Lamotte, whose forebears include a slave, is researching a brief period when European notions of ethnicity were relatively fluid. Early French settlers believed that non-white inhabitants of the colonies could be ‘civilised’ and ‘improved’.
Healthcare is a complex beast and too often problems arise that can put patients’ health – and in some cases, lives – at risk. A collaboration between the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research and the Department of Engineering hopes to get to the bottom of what’s going wrong – and to offer new ways of solving the problems.
The Enawenê-nawê people of the Amazon rainforest make beautifully engineered fishing dams. Living alongside this indigenous community, Dr Chloe Nahum-Claudel observed how the act of trapping fish shapes their minds, bodies and relationships. The proximity of life and death brings human vulnerability sharply into focus.
Beards are back in fashion. But today’s hipster styles convey rather different messages to the hair men cultivated in the early modern period. Historian Dr Stefan Hanß investigates the ways in which daily ‘performances of hair’ for men and women reflected the profound religious and social changes sweeping through Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
An ambitious seminar series began last week with a discussion of a remarkable documentary. Filmed in a pioneering hospice, The Time to Die addresses a subject that remains taboo for many. Joining the conversation are health professionals, medical students and members of the public, as well as those interested in film and ethics. The series continues on 9 November 2016.
When solids flow like liquids they can make sand dunes sing, and they can also result in a potentially deadly avalanche. Cambridge researchers are studying the physics behind both of these phenomena, which could have applications in industries such as pharmaceuticals, oil and gas.
Many of us see our privacy as a basic right. But in the digital world of app-addiction, geolocation tracking and social oversharing, some may have cause to wonder if that right is steadily and sometimes willingly being eroded away.