It’s true, I was really chuffed there was a lecture.

It’s not because of nostalgia – I was never that keen on lectures when I was an undergraduate. It’s not about how I learn best – I pick up ideas best through reading and synthesising ideas, and I think I’m generally all right at self-directing my learning.

Instead, there’s something in the combination of passivity and activity in listening to a lecture for a change. Especially because the lecture slides were illustrative rather than instructive. It was just a change of pace, and therein one of the benefits of multimodality.


This was a bit fortuitous (and came about because I jokingly suggested to my manager in the first week of EDC that I was now an “automation genius”), but I thought I’d share the gist of what I said. I was speaking to HASS graduate researchers, so I tried to provide them with a few ways that I thought IFTTT might be useful for research. If anyone reading has other suggestions I’d be really grateful to hear them!

  1. Publicising your work: e.g. getting IFTTT to tweet or FB blog posts you write, reaching a wider audience without necessarily needing to do extra work.
  2. Curating research: e.g. using IFTTT to save tweets on a topic, or things said about you during a conference presentation, and put them somewhere you can safely retrieve them at a later stage (or when someone talking about the REF asks you about impact)
  3. Organising your life: e.g. there are IFTTT recipes for getting reminders about starred emails you haven’t dealt with, or saving contacts’ details somewhere sensible.
  4. Backing up your back-ups e.g. I talk about backing up work a lot; but it dawns on me that if you regularly back up to say, Dropbox, you could get IFTTT to back up your back ups to Google and Evernote and lots of other places.



Source: @lemurph February 01, 2017 at 09:16AM

This is a link to a short feature on the Today programme on 30th January. It’s just two minutes long, so definitely worth a listen. Dr Chris Papadopulos explains that culturally sensitive robots are those who appreciate an individual’s culture. The robot will be programmed to have an understanding, based on ‘best evidence and best theory’ about particular cultural groups, in order to make care more effective. It’s about transferring a principle prevalent in evidence-based literature on nurses’ care of the elderly to robots.

I very much liked the evidence-based approach of this. Although I worry a little – despite Dr Papadopulos’ stress on evidence-based understandings of ‘cultural sensitivity’ – about how closely this is bound up in questions of power and privilege.