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Reflections on one year of blogging

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This week our blog celebrates its first birthday! In the last 12 months our posts have covered a range of topics, everything from sharing new research findings (e.g. how do crofters obtain information and support?), to thoughts about the research process itself (e.g. what do you do when participants don’t like your research plans?), the academic publishing system (e.g. what are the pros and cons of being a single author?), and ponderings about concepts (e.g. what is food security?).

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 time do I get up in the morning?

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In the last few years, I have become increasingly fascinated by how we use time. One of my projects - ‘NESEMP’- has given me insights as to how we use time, by measuring household electricity consumption.   

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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Are we getting out enough? Participation in outdoor recreation in Scotland

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Recent statistics suggest that the proportion of Scots regularly getting out and enjoying Scotland’s countryside and urban greenspaces has risen slightly compared to previous years. The latest figures from the Scottish Household Survey show that 48% of adults in Scotland reported visiting the outdoors for recreation or leisure purposes on at least a weekly basis in 2014, compared to 46% in 2013 and 42% in 2012. The ‘outdoors’ refers to open spaces in towns and cities, as well as the countryside and so includes all visits to places like parks, woodlands, farmland, beaches and riversides.

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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Using a different lens: Children as researchers

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Although there is plenty of research ‘on’ children and ‘with’ children, there is not much published on research that was done ‘by’ children, and no literature that covers research by children on greenspace. I assume this is due to the little education children receive about how to carry out such research, and if they do, the results are typically not publishable in academic journals. There is only limited guidance on how research skills can be taught to children and at what age, and how researchers can be encouraged to interact with children and engage with teachers. Why do I think this matters?  

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 policy changes facilitate community engagement in Scottish land management?

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In May this year, Aileen McLeod MSP, the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform gave keynote speeches at the annual conferences of both Scottish Land & Estates, the representative body of the private landowning sector, and Community Land Scotland, whose membership comprises a range of community landowners.

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’s in a name: authorship conventions in an interdisciplinary organisation

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Deciding authorship of academic publications is often tricky, and recently I received some advice that made me consider this issue from a new angle. Not long ago I had an extremely useful career review meeting, to help me navigate my role as a senior but part-time researcher in the Social, economic and geographical science (SEGS) group. Having been back from maternity leave for a couple of years, I felt it was a good time to review my balance of activities, in order to improve the quality and output of my research.

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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Shaping research methods in response to participants’ wishes and concerns

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It is thought that greenspaces (natural and semi-natural places that are openly accessible in urban areas) can provide significant health and wellbeing benefits to people who use them. Together with my colleagues Petra Lackova and Liz Dinnie, I’ve been investigating this over the last two years through research with a group of conservation volunteers in a ‘greenspace’ in Dundee.

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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Lost in Space? Travel-to-Work Areas, City-Regions, and Strategic Development Planning Authorities

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How we live, work and travel does not often neatly fit within official administrative boundaries, such as those of Local Authorities or councils. As a result, administrative boundaries are becoming increasingly inappropriate or irrelevant for the purposes of understanding, planning, and managing the location of households, workplaces and other activities (e.g. shopping). 

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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Re-energising Scottish Communities?

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In 2011, the Scottish government outlined a target of 500 megawatts of locally-produced energy by 2020. Since then, it’s set up a fund worth £20 million for the support of local renewable energy schemes. Such policies beg the question: What are the social and political implications of moves towards more locally-driven forms of energy production? 

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 ‘safety’ in ‘food security’.

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I’m a colleague working on food safety within the Cells and Molecular Sciences group at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee. Additionally, I am a member of the Centre for Human and Animal Pathogens in the Environment (HAP-E) at the institute. I read the SEGS blog post about food security, and wanted to add to that I also have reservations – albeit from another perspective – about how the term is defined and used.

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?page=5 on 21/09/20 11:41:23 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.