An update on 2009

Our brief update on last year's research review stories.

A little write relief: writing to relieve the symptoms of asthma

boy writing

Helen Smith's team has now completed the 12-month follow-up on all patients involved in their randomised trial of written emotional disclosure for asthma. Their analysis confirms that significant benefit is demonstrable at 6 months. However, this benefit is not sustained at 12 months, so further work is needed to determine whether repeated writing exercises can maintain the favourable outcomes over an extended period. Fellow Sussex researchers have become interested in this short writing intervention and the team is currently collaborating on the development of one study to help women cope with the trauma of childbirth and another to help the carers of people with psychotic illnesses.

Mind and brain - Review 2009 archive

Happy ever after: observing love in the 20th century

love hearts sweets

Claire Langhamer has secured a contract with Oxford University Press to publish a book on her project Everyday Love in 2012. In the summer of 2009 she worked with a second year history Junior Research Associate student, Lindsey Smith, on a Mass Observation Directive called 'Lifelines' to explore changing experiences of love across the life cycle. The study of love also plays a role in a new ESRC-funded research seminar series which Claire co-organises with colleagues from Manchester and Winchester on women in 1950s Britain. In 2011 the final event in this series will focus on the 1950s woman in love.

Culture and heritage - Review 2009 archive

Dispute revolution: towards mutual respect in society

illustration of children holding hands

This year the researchers working with Judy Sebba have found that pupils, staff and parents participating in the Rights Respecting Schools scheme feel a strong sense of belonging to the school community, which they attributed to the scheme. Further improvements were seen in the positive relationships between parents and staff, and between pupils and staff. Involvement of pupils in staff appointments, evaluating teaching and learning and in the governance of the participating schools has increased, though these practices have been subject to some heated debate amongst some teacher unions this year. An increase in acceptance of disability, diverse religions and ethnic groups was observed in all schools.

Citizenship and democratisation - Review 2009 archive

Generation games? Human-computer interaction

woman and boy playing computer game

In its first year, Vertical Slice has worked with many of the leading video games studios worldwide, including Sega, Disney and Relentless. One title, Aliens vs. Predator, sold almost two million units and reached number one in the UK video game charts. On the academic side, the team at Vertical Slice continues to conduct research into how players interact with video games, and their use of biometric technology to further understand player behaviour is unique in the industry. In addition to working on leading games, they have presented their work at key industry conferences in the USA and UK, and have featured in gaming press publications Develop and Edge.

Digital and social media - Review 2009 Archive

Carbon mutual: low-carbon technology transfer to developing countries

plug with world picture embedded

At the climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, the Sussex Energy Group published a proposal for the low carbon technology element of the negotiations, which put forward its views on how a new fund for developing countries might be structured and spent. This is one area in which Copenhagen made some progress - though this is clearly in the context of a very difficult summit which did not make anywhere near enough progress towards a new treaty for the post-2012 period. A new Sussex Energy Group project - a partnership with Tsinghua University - focuses on a range of case studies, including energy efficiency in the carbon-intensive heavy industries such as cement and electric vehicles.

Global transformations - Review 2009 archive

Clean bee: help for the honey bee

a bee

In the past year, the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI) has grown to 12 researchers, including six DPhil students. Basic honey bee research is investigating 'policing', which maintains social order in the colony. Basic research on ants is investigating the use of information by food-collecting workers when travelling between the nest and food sources. Applied research is focused on the Sussex Plan for Honey Bee Health and Well Being. The Sussex Plan aims to help honey bees and beekeepers by breeding a 'hygienic' bee, a natural form of disease resistance, determining the parts of the landscape good for honey bees by decoding their waggle dances, and by helping bees in urban areas.

Environment and health - Review 2009 archive