Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Wrapping up the PhD

By Helen

This Thursday I will officially receive my doctorate at my PhD graduation ceremony. It is now almost seven months since I handed my thesis in and more than five months since I passed my viva. I've been employed as a full-time research associate since the start of 2015, but it seems to take a long time to truly wrap up the PhD. There's of course the small matter of the viva, and then professionally printing and resubmitting the final version of the thesis before you can really breathe a sigh of relief and entertain the thought that you are now moving into a new phase of your (academic) career. And even then there are many loose ends to tie up in terms of reporting important findings to research partners, sharing the finished thesis with them and others, working out when and in what contexts you can use the title 'Dr' before your name, and of course trying to write up high quality journal articles based on your PhD research. Someone told me that it took them until years after completing the PhD to really understand what it was about and see it in broader context, whilst others have said I'll be amazed at how quickly I'll be prepared to cast it aside and move onto other things. 

My public graduation ceremony, however, seems like a good time to draw some sort of line under the PhD experience by reporting on some of my main findings and reflecting on some of the things I've learnt. My PhD thesis entitled 'Organising science policy: participation, learning & experimentation in British democracy' is available open access here. Below I have tried to briefly summarise my approach and findings.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Klimahaus Bremerhaven: in the world interior of climate

By Martin

I recently visited the Klimahaus in Bremerhaven, northern Germany along with cultural anthropologist Werner Krauss. Klimahaus is a unique museum dedicated to humanity's relationship to climate. The main body of the museum leads visitors on a journey along the line of 8-degrees Longitude, following a modern-day explorer as he heads south from Bremerhaven to Switzerland, through Italy and the Sahara, into Cameroon, across the south Atlantic and over Antarctica. From there visitors head across the Pacific, calling in on Samoa and Alaska, before looping back to northern Germany at Hallig Langeness. At each stop, visitors enter an exhibition dedicated to the climate of the location, exploring its role in shaping human life and culture. In a rather old-fashioned anthropological tradition, we are introduced to the 'customs and traditions' of the locals, while immersed in the heat or cold, humidity or aridity of their climate.