Impact UK Location: Lichfield

REF impact found 7 Case Studies

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Cosmological Constants

Summary of the impact

This case describes the impact of Professor John D. Barrow's research into the value of the cosmological constant and the constants of physics. The impact occurred through extensive engagement with the public via talks and public lectures, online talks and articles, newspaper and magazine articles, books and radio broadcasts. The engagement led to widespread public interest and increased public discourse in the UK and beyond, the impact being especially strong in Italy. The research has inspired young people, teachers and the general public internationally to follow cosmological developments.

Submitting Institution

University of Cambridge

Unit of Assessment

Mathematical Sciences

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Physical Sciences: Astronomical and Space Sciences, Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics
Medical and Health Sciences: Neurosciences

Humour, Culture, and Identity

Summary of the impact

Dr Paul McDonald is an award-winning writer whose comic novels, short stories, and poetry have established him as a leading figure in the literature of the Black Country. His creative output is informed by scholarly research into humour and humour-writing that has national and international reach, and has contributed to the public knowledge of the history and cultural significance of humour. Specifically, he has:

  • benefited economic prosperity through media commissions in the creative sector (e.g. via promotion, sales, and web traffic);
  • contributed to creating, inspiring, and supporting the cultural life of the West Midlands.

Submitting Institution

University of Wolverhampton

Unit of Assessment

English Language and Literature

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies, Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Informing the Public Perception of Marriage, Family Life and Inheritance in the Pre-Modern Era

Summary of the impact

Newcastle research has informed public perceptions of marriage as an institution in Britain and abroad by: (i) challenging cultural values and social assumptions about marriage; (ii) expanding the sensibilities of individuals on this subject; and (iii) extending the range and improving the quality of evidence pertaining to the history of marriage and through this enhancing public understanding of sexual health issues and informed marriage equality debates.

Submitting Institution

Newcastle University

Unit of Assessment

History

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies, Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Red Dust Road: New forms of memoir and the enrichment and extension of public discourse on family, identity, belonging and adoption

Summary of the impact

Professor Jackie Kay's memoir Red Dust Road (2010), her account of growing up black in Glasgow, the adopted daughter of white parents, and her search for her birth parents, challenges and extends public discourse on identity, family and belonging, using memoir to explore the complexities and emotional resonances of the difficult issues raised. Responses to the work point to its significant on-going impact in civil society on the understanding of adoption, including transracial adoption, and how society defines family. Its impact can be judged by the media coverage received and its widespread use in the public sphere in discussions of issues of identity, adoption and family. Its reach is evidenced through the number, range and popularity of Kay's readings as well as the book's sales and its reception within groups not traditionally thought of as typical audiences for literary memoir.

Submitting Institution

Newcastle University

Unit of Assessment

English Language and Literature

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies, Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Local history and local communities in Staffordshire

Summary of the impact

Keele University's long-standing research expertise in local history, particularly that of its immediate region, has had a significant and enduring impact on professional practice, community resilience and individual well-being. Keele historians have provided vital assistance to local archivists and heritage practitioners in the preservation and public dissemination of the region's history and cultural heritage through the provision of substantial works of reference and support for study-days and community `road shows'. Their research has helped sustain local societies and encouraged a variety of volunteering initiatives, whereby groups and individuals are empowered to engage in their own study of the past.

Submitting Institution

Keele University

Unit of Assessment

History

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Studies In Human Society: Policy and Administration
Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

The psychology of prayer

Summary of the impact

Research into the psychology of prayer aids the Church of England in one of its key areas of mission, to engage with and to promote the spiritual health of the nation. This research promotes the engagement of those who do not necessarily attend church to engage with their spiritual development. The research conducted into the analysis of prayer cards left in churches and cathedrals has influenced: the development of a Church of England prayer website; the reconceptualization and reorganisation of the Bangor Cathedral prayer request area; and integration of prayer card analyses in larger research projects initiated by Church of England dioceses exploring church growth.

Submitting Institution

Glynd┼Ár University

Unit of Assessment

Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Education: Curriculum and Pedagogy
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

Superstition, the Gothic magination and cultural form: impacts on cultural life and public discourse

Summary of the impact

As an internationally recognized expert in Gothic and science fiction, Roger Luckhurst has made a significant impact on the interpretation of and creative inspiration provided by these genres. His work has increased interest in popular Gothic fiction, the focus of this case study, by connecting it with knowledge and belief in the modern period, and treating it as a bellwether of significant cultural change. His introductions to new `World Classic' editions of several nineteenth century works have contributed significantly to their worldwide success. He has helped develop public discourse on the history of marginal beliefs and has inspired a number of artists engaging with these ideas.

Submitting Institution

Birkbeck College

Unit of Assessment

English Language and Literature

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies, Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

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