Summit Projects 2022/24
Title: The Global Climate Lab
- Prof Tavi Murray (Professor in Geography, Swansea University)
- Professor Kirsti Bohata (Professor in English Literature, Swansea University)
- Dr Osian Elias (Lecturer in Human Geography, Geography, Swansea University)
- Dr Ian Mabbett (Associate Professor in Chemistry, Swansea University)
- Dr Hanna Nuuttila (Senior Research Officer in Biosciences, Swansea University)
- Dr Anna Pigott (Lecturer in Geography, Swansea University)
- Professor Owen Sheers (Professor in Creativity, English Literature, Swansea University)
- Dr Merryn Thomas (Research Officer in Biosciences, Swansea University)
We are currently living in a climate emergency recognised by at least 23 national and supranational governments1, including Wales: Swansea University (SU) recognised the climate emergency in 2019. Following COP26 in 2021, the UK Government’s Climate Change Committee recognised that current global climate policies mean “the world is currently on track to an expected temperature rise of around 2.7°C”. The imperative for urgent action is real, with the UN emissions gap report (2021) stating that 2030 emissions must fall by 55% if warming is to be kept below 1.5°C.
Part of Blueprints, Emily Hinshelwood, artwork co-produced using scientists words on their feelings about climate change.
These statements demand we move to a “new extraordinary” where we live within planetary and socially-just boundaries. Despite, or perhaps because of, the enormity of these challenges, there is a disconnect between the messages’ scientists and engineers (here on “scientists”) give, and the actions and reactions of governments and individuals. On an intellectual level the problems seem so complex the result is inertia. On an emotional level, the scale of the catastrophe is too large to process, and so is repressed or ignored (even by scientists, the “extraordinary taboo”).
The proposal directly addresses themes of ‘Resilient’, ‘Equitable’ and ‘Sustainable futures’ by redefining how we communicate climate change within and beyond the academy. The new ways of working that we develop have the potential to revolutionise what can be achieved by working together globally across academia, policy and the arts. Our approach is necessarily adventurous and creative, because of the wicked nature of climate change. Engaging the emotional knowledge of scientists is highly unusual but is a vital aspect of decolonising science and academia and will open avenues to creating equitable Global South/North Futures. We deliberately do not target a single major future grant but are convinced the project will spin off significant projects, building on our near-term funding plans aimed at Leverhulme, ESRC and AHRC. Impact with global reach is built into the project via policy / practitioner inclusion in workshop cycles.
Title: Does trust matter? Setting up a research agenda and a policymaker-engagement toolkit
- Dr Gabriela Jiga-Boy (Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Swansea University)
- Dr Dion Curry (Associate Professor in Politics, Philosophy and International Relations, Swansea University)
- Professor Yvonne McDermott Rees (Professor in Law, Swansea University)
This project is novel and adventurous because research on politicians’ trust in citizenry is absent and because engaging with politicians regarding trust is vital. We know that politicians discount opinions of constituents who are lower educated (Sevenans & Walgrave, 2022) or with whom they disagree (Butler, 2014); and engage in biases whereby they misperceive how citizens think, feel or act. During COVID-19, British politicians likely assumed that the public are "fragile rationalists”: deficient in reason, panicky under pressure, hard to cope with uncertainty (Reicher & Bauld, 2021). Consequently, they based early decisions on ‘behavioural fatigue’, although this notion lacks empirical support (Michie et al., 2020). If politicians have doubts about the public’s ability and willingness to comply with unpopular measures – that benefit the community but have personal cost – they will refrain from proposing these in the first place. Do British policymakers underestimate how flexible the British public is when faced with new evidence/ compelling solutions that prompt U-turns (e.g., school meals, prompted by Marcus Rashford’s campaign)?
This project’s research is ambitious: It asks difficult questions from a limited, hard to reach population (Welsh politicians) setting up a transdisciplinary research agenda combining methods from psychology, politics, and discourse analysis. The ‘Trust Temperature’ Survey will capture if politicians consider trust is a key factor shaping their decisions. The Quasi-Experiment will expose politicians to true findings about support for climate change measures (e.g., carbon sequestration or removal) by citizens varying in socioeconomic status (SES), and measure politicians’ trust in their constituents’ willingness and ability to comply with mitigating policies. The Interviews will record politicians’ thoughts on what role should trust play in policymaking; and the discourse analysis will identify whether politicians’ trust in the public is expressed in political discourse. We predict that: 1) Politicians’ trust in the public is a lesser consideration in shaping policy decisions about climate change compared to party priorities or ideology; 2) Conservative politicians underestimate the public’s ability and willingness to support climate change mitigation policies more than liberal politicians, and more so when the public is low (vs. high) in SES or lives in rural (vs. urban) areas.
Title: The Development of an Accessible, Diverse and Inclusive Digital Visual Language
- Dr Irene Reppa (Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Swansea University)
- Dr Cristina Izura (Associate Professor in Psychology, Swansea University)
- Dr Deborah Morgan (Senior Research officer, Public Health, Swansea University)
- Jay Morgan
- Dr Maria Fernandez Parra (Senior Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting, Modern Langauges, Swansea University)
- Professor Andreas Sonderegger (Professor of Applied Sciences, University of Bern, Switzerland))
The proposed project is the first to gather evidence from a diverse population that will be, by default inclusive, and create web application to make those evidence-based guidelines easily accessible to all. With a team of new collaborators on board the project will address three main objectives. First, with the collaboration of Prof. Katharina Reinecke and the Lab in the Wild, and the team in the Noun Project, the project will acquire knowledge about how icons are perceived across 7 key properties (complexity, aesthetics, concreteness, learnability, order of learning, valence, and affect), by people of different cultures and language backgrounds making possible the development of design guidelines suitable for different groups (e.g. based on language, age and other factors emerging from the data analysis).
This knowledge will be disseminated to a wider audience to promote better use of icon design that is inclusive to a wider audience; one that includes different cultures and languages. Second, from the research outputs of the first stage of the project, with the help of the RA we will design and build a machine learning model to learn how icons are rated across groups based on their 7 key properties. This machine learning model will provide the classification and usability scores that will form the basis of an online searchable database for all the key icon characteristics, thereby removing the obstacles for developers to use good icons based on research-backed principles. Third, the extension of the machine learning model for it to generate new and novel icons to describe functions that don’t have yet an existing icon. This model, prompted with icon characteristics and icon function, would output a meaningful icon for developers to use.
CREDENTIALs: inCReasing health professional students’ Empathy with Deaf patients’ ExperieNces Through sImulAted Learning
Title: CREDENTIALs: inCReasing health professional students’ Empathy with Deaf patients’ ExperieNces Through sImulAted Learning
- Dr Julia Terry (Associate Professor in Nursing, Swansea University)
- Jo Davies - (Associate Professor/Director of Simulation Education, Swansea University)
- Dr Rhian Meara (Senior Lecturer in Geography, Swansea University)
- Dr Marc Holmes (VR Expert, Swansea University)
To examine how a d/Deaf patient VR immersive learning experience impacts on health professional student empathy.
One in six people are d/Deaf or have hearing loss, that is over seven Principality stadiums full of d/Deaf people in Wales who experience frustration with inaccessible health services and avoid primary care due to poor past experiences. Poor communication and health service barriers negatively impact Deaf individuals, resulting in poorer health outcomes and inappropriate health care use. Health professionals have little preparation about how to communicate with d/Deaf patients or what it feels like to live in an excluded world. Improving health professional student empathy towards d/Deaf patient experiences will impact on future practice and improve d/Deaf people’s healthcare experience in the future. Virtual reality (VR) offers powerful immersive experiences and leads to increased student empathy with marginalised populations. There are few immersive learning experiences about connecting with d/Deaf patients. Currently they concentrate solely on audio experiences or focus on a single discipline and a single scenario setting. There are no inter-professional education (IPE) initiatives using VR techniques to increase health professional student empathy with d/Deaf patients’ experiences, or that flip from patient perspective to health professional lens to allow response testing. First, we need to establish with d/Deaf communities exactly what their healthcare experiences are and how those experiences can be improved by storyboarding, then design a VR experience that is the first of its kind, about effective responses in a range of healthcare settings in an interactive way.
Public involvement: Between 2020-22 d/Deaf people report the need for better training for health professionals to understand the d/Deaf patient experience and to make health encounters more accessible and future health experience more equitable. Involving d/Deaf communities from project start enables and promotes resilience as marginalised groups need to be involved in developing solutions that navigate structural barriers they encounter daily. PI has established d/Deaf networks and Deaf mentors.
Project aim: To examine how a d/Deaf patient VR immersive learning experience impacts on health professional student empathy
Racism, Digital Discrimination and Mental Health During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic: A case study of East and Southeast Asians (ESEA)1 communities in the UK
Title: Racism, Digital Discrimination and Mental Health During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic: A case study of East and Southeast Asians (ESEA)1 communities in the UK
- Dr Yan Wu (Associate Professor in Media, Swansea University)
- Dr Irene Reppa (Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Swansea University)
- Dr Martin Porcheron (Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, Swansea University)
The novelty of this research lies in its timely examination of, and intervention in,an under-researched area of discrimination through the lens of the race, ethnicity, mental health and digital technology. Anti-Asian discrimination is deep-rooted in Anglo-American countries, including in the UK. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed, if not strengthened, existing xenophobia and racism. Discriminations against ESEA people can be in forms of stereotyping (Chou & Feagin, 2017; Coloma, 2013;) exclusion (Lee, 2016), physical and verbal abuse; online bullying and caricaturing in the form of memes (Wu and Wall 2021). Impact of such discrimination was only scantly documented in surged cases of depression, anxiety, and psychological distress (Pang, 2021; Public Health England, 2020).
This proposed research aims to: 1) document the anti-Asian discrimination experienced by ESEA community members offline and online; 2) measure the psychological impact of racism on community members, and 3) explore anti-racism strategies, both offline and online, as an essential part of the equality and resilience building efforts in the post-pandemic Britain. It is this project’s ambition to achieve the above objectives and cause transformative changes in Wales and beyond.
Summit Projects 2021/23
Title: To move forward we need to look back: surfacing the 'legacy' of the colonial and past patriarchal past in modern day STEMM
Lead Proposer: Dr Patricia Xavier
- Nathalie Al Kakoun (Engineering)
- Fred Boy (Business)
- Ana Da Silva (Medicine)
- Alys Einon Waller (Midwifery)
- Catherine Groves (Business)
Project aim: Though Wales is a small nation, it was at the centre of the successive industrial and computational revolutions that have shaped society. Could MASI now position itself to be at the centre of a revolution in critical consciousness in STEMM, leading to more equitable and inclusive practice?
MASI explicitly seeks out ways to make the world more sustainable. Through interdisciplinary data collection and co-creation activities, our proposal aims to surface the legacy of the colonial and patriarchal past within modern STEMM education. Our proposal combines insights from Midwifery, Business, Engineering and Medicine, sectors with different cultures and drivers, but shared unjust legacies.
STEMM curricula have been shaped by the needs of society, but those needs have been interpreted by those in positions of power in ways that optimize their economic outcomes at the cost of both society and the environment. These have predominantly been people who are Western, male, traditionally educated and wealthy. We see this in e.g. the damage done by the continued over-medicalisation of women in childbirth, and the lack of ability that engineers have to engage meaningfully in understanding the social consequences of their decisions (Grenfell, BMW emissions, and, the sector’s failure to move on from a business model that has driven climate crisis). We argue that the structures that have been put in place by generations of thought leaders are now inadequate as a foundation for the needs of modern, inclusive society. No amount of patching (e.g. bolt-on ethics courses) will make them fit-forpurpose.
We propose taking the time to look critically at the evolution of STEMM fields through collaborative research and co-production, and looking for evidence of how legacies within our education system are impacting on modern values. Longer-term, this awareness of where our traditions and habits come from should enable us to identify a more just and fit-for-purpose-for-everyone structure.
Title: Resilience, challenge and change: Learning from nurses' lived experience of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales and beyond
Lead Proposer: Dr Dean Whybrow
- Professor David Turner, College of Arts and Humanities, Swansea University
- Dr Michael Bresalier, College of Arts and Humanities, Swansea University
- Dr Sarah Crook, College of Arts and Humanities, Swansea University
- Dr Laura Kalas, College of Arts and Humanities, Swansea University
- Dr Ian Beech, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University
- Hywel Thomas, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University
- Trudi Petersen, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University
- Stephen Mckenna-Lawson, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University
Project aim: This project will disrupt the recent 'hero narrative' of nurses’ work, uncovering their authentic experience through first-hand testimonies. The project will establish a new interprofessional nexus between individuals in clinical practice, nursing research/education and historical and literary research/education, disrupting the separation of art and science; this could create a precedent for future ambitious and adventurous work. The collaboration will contextualise and memorialise contemporary nursing in a pandemic, first, with the aid of accounts of past caregiving in previous pandemics, and second, with the accumulation of current lived experiences expressed as creative writing that disrupt the monolithic narrative of nursing as the romanticised legacy of Florence Nightingale.
To provide the project with significant prestige, high profile figures from the literary and nursing worlds will be invited to contribute (e.g. the poet Owen Sheers; the Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Sue Tranka etc). This is an innovative approach for a post-pandemic world where we will explore how we can learn from nurses' experiences of Covid to foster a more connected, secure future. Understanding the current, lived experience through the lens of history, and facilitating a creative space for the production of nurses’ Creative Writing, will have an empowering, evocative and lasting impact.
Title: MASI - Mumbai Lablet
Lead Proposer: Dr Thomas Reitmaier
- Dr Awawing Anjwengwo Andongma (Medicine, Swansea University)
- Dr Erin P Dooley (Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Bristol)
Project aim: The physicist Niels Bohr famously remarked that the opposite of a great truth is another truth. The great truth of the coronavirus pandemic is that it has affected all of us. But the opposite of this great truth is tragically also true: the pandemic is not an equalizer, for marginalized communities have not only been affected differently, but disproportionately. On a smaller scale this great truth plays out within our university, where to some extent we've been able to shift many teaching and research activities online using platforms like Zoom, Google Docs, and Office 365. However, the outreach and transformative research activities involving fieldwork in and co-creation with marginalized communities have been affected disproportionately.
Listening, engaging, and involving marginalized communities more than ever before is paramount. And with this research expedition our ambition then is to tackle this great truth by innovating ways of cocreating with marginalized communities in a world that has been profoundly shaped by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
We will do this by establishing a MASI lablet situated in Mumbai, India and run by Dani Raju at Studio Hasi. Following MASI's mantra that people are the most disruptive technology of all, we are delighted that with Dani we have identified a proven and eager collaborator. Dani's has a rare combination of codesign, prototyping, and media production skills, which can be seen in the following video and is a sneak peak of the diverse and far reaching contributions that will come from this expedition. Finally, Dani has strong links with community members in Dharavi – Asia’s largest slum, situated in the heart of Mumbai, India and smaller, rural communities surrounding Mumbai.