Sociology Ranked 1st & 4 July Open Day

According to the newly released Complete University Guide, Sociology at Kent was ranked 22nd over all, but this is mostly dragged down by our low entry standards (Well, what can you do? We are under pressure to recruit recruit recruit!) But we were actually ranked 1st for research quality! Yay!! There is of course more … Continue reading

Teaching evaluation

I think most colleagues in my School were surprised this week when we received Spring module evaluations from students, because we were told that all Spring modules this year will not be evaluated due to strike and the pandemic. As the Director of Studies, I had to review all the evaluations – as usual, my … Continue reading

Covid-19 media engagement

Shortly after China lock-downed Wuhan, I was contacted by Apoorva Mandavilli for a piece originally intended for the New York Time. That piece was cancelled due to the fast progressing of events. Fortunately Apoorva saved part of our conversation in this opinion piece in the Undark Magazine on if China can prevent the next epidemic. The fragmented … Continue reading

Dec 2019 – Climate Science Legacies

Before Christmas, I spoke at the conference, Climate Science Legacies and Contemporary Climate Policy & Action, at the University of Birmingham’s Brussels research office. It was a real delight to know Jon Oldfield, the conference organiser, and an expert on Russian environmental politics and his AHRC project Soviet Climate Science and Its Intellectual Legacies.  It was a one-day conference, packed … Continue reading

Dec 2019 – Royal Society SPEAC Discussion

It was a real pleasure to give a short talk at the Royal Society’s Science Policy Expert Advisory Committee (SPEAC) Christmas dinner. Charles Parton (OBE) and I each provided our views on how to promote accountable and productive international science collaborations, especially in relation to China. It was a rare opportunity to discuss transnational research … Continue reading

Dec 2019 – UCU Strikes Back & SOAS

At the beginning of December, I had a dilemma: I’ve agreed a while back to give a seminar at the SOAS China Institute, but then there was the UCU strike. At Kent, or more specifically, at SSPSSR, my colleagues and I were protesting on universities’ failure to make improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads. To … Continue reading

Nov 2019 – PEALS 20th Anniversary Seminar

It was a real pleasure to be able to contribute to the series of event celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the founding of PEALS centre at Newcastle University. And thanks to PEALS’s amazing organisation, besides the seminar, I had a full day of discussion with various staff beforehand. The day ended with a colleague thanking me … Continue reading

Oct 2019 – iGEM

Yes it’s THAT time of the year again! Another iGEM Jamboree! Another get-together of the Human Practices committee in Boston. This was not my first year to attend iGEM but my first year to act as judge – a steep learning curve! It happened that the day before the Jamboree was Halloween. Instead of trick-o-treating, … Continue reading

Oct 2019 – NSF success!

I’m delighted to say that the project, Ethical Issues Surrounding Human Germline Genome Editing, that I’ve been developing with Kathleen Vogel (PI, University of Maryland) and Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley (George Mason University) has been funded by the National Science Foundation in the US. In the next 36 months, we will collaboratively (1) examine how U.S. and Chinese scientists … Continue reading