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New research flavour combinations needed: marmite peanut butter, anyone?

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"As we develop ideas for new initiatives such as the Hutton’s Advanced Plant Growth Centre, we need to keep in mind the opportunity this brings for just such an interaction of disciplines, hopefully enabling us to develop some exciting new research flavour combinations."

I’ve always been something of a generalist, interested in topics including plant ecophysiology, landscape scale conservation management, and global biodiversity policy. What I enjoy is bringing some of these topics together to see whether this can spark new ideas. There is often something thought-provoking about a simple juxtaposition of concepts and approaches, much in the same way that odd food combinations can turn out to be delicious.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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What is it like to attend a ‘virtual’ conference? Reflections on IAPS 2020

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Quebec City

By Alice Hague, Christina Noble, Nazli Koseoglu, Kathryn Colley, Liz Dinnie, Tony Craig.

Academic conferences are an important part of an academic career, as key places for sharing ideas and engaging with others. With the global impacts of Covid-19 many conferences have been cancelled or moved online to become virtual conferences. But what is it like to attend a virtual conference? The authors of this blog, all social researchers at the James Hutton Institute, recently attended the International Association of People-Environment Studies (IAPS). The organisers took the bold decision to go entirely virtual with its 2020 meeting, held from 22-26 June. In just three months, what had been planned as an in-person conference hosted in Quebec City became an entirely online conference, streamed to hundreds of living rooms/spare bedrooms/garden sheds across the globe. Thanks to a superhuman effort from the organising team, conference rooms became virtual conference rooms, keynote addresses became livestreamed presentations, and panel discussions were facilitated across different time-zones.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Climate change and Covid 19 – making the connection

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Will flights remain empty as the lockdown eases? (Piqsels open use copyright)

Written by Dr Alice Hague

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Will the meadow maker work its magic?

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"It's been a pleasure looking at the young yellow rattle and enjoying the simple pleasure of having an unusual plant in the garden. To think about what this little plant is up to is a wee meditative act and a reminder of the amazing things plants can do."

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Remembering to nurture nature

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"I hope that, when it comes to dealing with the financial aftermath of Covid-19, we don’t forget the role that nature and the countryside is playing in helping us to stay healthy and happy during this difficult period. I also hope that we don’t decide, once again, that the conservation of these vital natural resources can wait until we have – according to the prevailing economic norms - put our economy back on its feet"

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Impact of Coronavirus on Rural Scotland – A contribution from the SEGS Group: Part 3

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Access to digital technology can support ongoing communication between people in rural communities and embed the value of virtual tools in the longer-term

3. Addressing the Challenges from Coronavirus: Insights from recent research

With contributions from: Dominic Duckett, Mags Currie, Carla Barlagne, Claire Hardy, Leanne Townsend, Sharon Flanigan, Ruth Wilson, Jon Hopkins, and Annabel Pinker.

During this period of global crisis, many of us are concerned about the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on rural Scotland. In our first post, we considered the key factors that underpin community resilience. In the second, we explored the virus’ potential impact on aspects of Scottish agriculture.

Here, we focus on the how the virus outbreak may open up opportunities and instigate advances in technology that could lead to positive changes in rural Scotland. What do we know already from our social science experience? How can this knowledge help rural communities and policy makers respond?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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The Impact of Coronavirus on Rural Scotland – A contribution from the SEGS Group: Part 2

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Peer-to-peer learning opportunities for Scottish agriculture support individuals and businesses to innovate and overcome economic challenges

2. The impact on agriculture

With contributions from: Dominic Duckett, Mags Currie, Carla Barlagne, Claire Hardy, Leanne Townsend, Sharon Flanigan, Ruth Wilson, Jon Hopkins, and Annabel Pinker.

During this period of global crisis, many of us are concerned about the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on rural Scotland. In this second in a series of blog posts (please see the previous post on community resilience and social innovation here) on the issue, we consider the impact of the virus on aspects of the social systems in agriculture, land and food supply. What do we know already from our social science experience? How can this knowledge help farmers, rural businesses, communities, and policy makers respond?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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The Impact of Coronavirus on Rural Scotland – A contribution from the SEGS Group: Part 1

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Research shows that positive social capital and social innovation supports community resilience in periods of crisis and change.

1. Community resilience and social innovation

With contributions from: Dominic Duckett, Mags Currie, Carla Barlagne, Claire Hardy, Leanne Townsend, Sharon Flanigan, Ruth Wilson, Jon Hopkins, Annabel Pinker.

As a group, we spend much of our time undertaking social research in rural communities and with land managers across Scotland, and internationally. We get to know people and community groups, and follow their progress with interest. During this period of global crisis, many of us are concerned about the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak ('Coronavirus') on rural Scotland. In this series of blog posts, we share some of our social science experience to consider how rural Scotland can and might respond to the Coronavirus crisis. We consider first the key factors that underpin community resilience, followed by the impact on aspects of Scottish agriculture, and the potential for positive change post-virus. We include the full references to the research reports and papers mentioned at the end of each post and would be happy to send free to access versions to anyone who wishes to read them. Please email the authors directly through the hyperlinks provided.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Shining a light on the latest flood risk management research in Scotland: a summary of 5 ‘spark’ talks and discussion

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Coordinated by Rachel Helliwell, Manager, Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW)

Thought-provoking and action-orientated ‘Spark’ talks took place during a short session at the Scotland Flood Risk Management Conference (30-31st January 2020) at the Technology & Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. The punchy 5-minute talks addressed state of the art research on managing flood risk in the context of the climate emergency followed by lively discussion.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Some thoughts from the World Biodiversity Forum, Davos

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"I was encouraged that at least amongst the contributors there seemed to be agreement on a common overall goal: sustainable diversified agroecological farming"

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are the views of the author, and not an official position of the institute or funder.

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Printed from /blog on 09/08/20 09:19:49 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.