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    Revisiting young masculinities through a sound art installation: what really counts?

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    What Really Counts? was a sound art installation created in 2019 through a collaboration between a sociologist and a multidisciplinary artist, working with in-depth interviews with young men recorded as part of a British feminist social research project in 1990, exploring sexualities and the threat of HIV/AIDS. In this article, we describe the evolution and staging of the sound art installation project, situating it within interdisciplinary literatures on the use of sociological archives and reanimation of analogue media in a digital age. Working within a fractured tradition of curated sociology, we consider the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration for refreshing sociological analytic practice, revealing the unrealised potential of archived data sets and utilising temporal displacement as a generative analytic strategy for feeling history. We are working with a 30-year time span characterised by a stretching of intergenerational experience in relation to expectations for and mediation of sex/gender. The project attempts to realise the potential for an experimental sociological practice through the staging of open-ended past–present encounters.</p

    Assessing the risks pesticides pose to birds

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    Environmental pollution, particularly by pesticides, is a global issue affecting biodiversity. Pesticides are toxic substances used to control pests but can also have harmful effects on non-target organisms, including birds. Birds, which play crucial roles in ecosystems such as pollination, pest control, or seed dispersion, have experienced a global decline. It is estimated that 13% of bird species are being threatened by extinction worldwide (IUCN, 2023). Farmland birds are particularly threatened; for example, 63% of farmland bird species in the UK have declined since 1970. This decline observed worldwide has mainly been associated with intensified agricultural practice, but the role pesticide plays in driving this decline is unclear. This thesis contributes to our understanding of bird ecotoxicology and bird conservation by investigating both agricultural and domestic pesticides’ potential exposure and impact on birds. Initially, I focused on agricultural pesticides and examined changes in pesticide use in Great Britain from 1990 to 2016. While identifying current pesticides with the highest risk to birds, I highlight that the threat from herbicides has been underestimated. Pesticide seeds coatings have been identified as posing a risk to birds, so I quantified exposure of wild birds, by analysing their consumption of fludioxonil treated winter wheat seeds. Chaffinch was identified as being most at risk due to high consumption relative to body mass. Then, I investigated how gardens and management practice influence bird populations directly, and indirectly by impacting an important food source for many bird species, insects. Finally, I explore how birds are exposed to veterinary products used as ectoparasitic treatment on pets and livestock, via collecting hairs to line their nest. Some evidence was found suggesting that this exposure increases offspring mortality. Based on the finding of my thesis, I show that some groups of chemicals (e.g., herbicides) and type of pesticide application (on crops, in gardens or as veterinary products) pose particular risks to birds and require more attention and scrutiny.</p

    Rights of the child or parental authority in children’s medical treatment cases?

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    Recent cases concerned with the future medical treatment of a child with a life-limiting condition have presented, on appeal, the argument that the threshold for intervention in a parental decision about the child’s medical treatment should be significant harm rather than best interests. The basis of the claim is that parents know their child best and, consequently, should have the right or authority to make decisions about their child’s future. Although unsuccessful before the courts, these legal arguments have inspired the inclusion of provisions in Bills before Parliament aimed at enhancing parental authority in such cases. This article examines this modern reincarnation of the claim to parental authority, in the context of the medical treatment of a seriously ill child. It argues that reform of the law to re-assert parental authority would be a seriously retrograde development - a contemporary conservative reformulation of the child as object - which would significantly erode the rights of the child. Rather, it is argued that the child should be at the centre of the shared care of parents and professionals focused upon the individual child’s needs, interests and rights. This article concludes with a fictional account of an attempt to reform the law to place the interests, rights, and voice of the child at the centre of determination of their future medical treatment.</p

    What the subject did negotiating agency within representation

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    Lisa and John is a radical re-imagination of an earlier photographic project. As an intervention devised through participation with those depicted within the photographs, the project interrogates recurring theoretical questions that challenge the discourse of social documentary photography through alternate mediums. Lisa and John presents distinct contributions to knowledge, to question representational methods evoking what else was knowable from the terrain of possibilities when the sovereign images were captured, reaching into photographs, to open contextual focus on the social, political and relational aspects of production. The critical commentary identifies the project in the context of expanded documentary photography as a substantial piece of practice-based research. After a chance meeting with Lisa in 2015, I invited her and her former husband John, both of whom were portrayed within my series Pictures from the Real World: Colour Photographs, 1987-88 (Moore, 2013), to review the full body of documentary photographs interpreting their own lives. The couple’s participation as former subjects facilitated a step into the space of production, providing the catalyst for Lisa and John, itself, a response through the media of performance and three-dimensionality that renegotiated the initiating project. This submission for PhD by Publication comprises; theatrical maquettes representing the making of the earlier photographs, and a verbatim play based on conversations with Lisa and John, who were depicted in the earlier series.</p

    Financial capital and ghosts of empire: editorial

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    In this special issue, we take up the metaphor of the ghost to identify the seemingly intangible yet undeniable persistence of racism, empire and colonialism in finance and the global capitalist economy. In the aftermath of a world system built through colonialism, imperialism and their race-making projects, we all emerge haunted by racial colonialism. Despite this differently-expressed but shared global condition, we also live in a world marked by a willed forgetfulness, occurring more broadly, and especially in fields like economics and political economy. We argue that in order to understand the cultural economy one must confront the ghostly aspects of it. This special issue contributes to the cultural economy of finance by demonstrating pivotal ways in which finance actually works. We do so by refracting the lens of contemporary financial activity to reveal hidden ghostly power relations connecting the past of empire and colonialism with the present of financialisation and coloniality.</p

    Ice-rafted dropstones at midlatitudes in the Cretaceous of continental Iberia

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    The Cretaceous is widely considered to have been a period subjected to super-greenhouse conditions. Here, we provide multiscale sedimentologic evidence of glaciers developing at mid-paleolatitudes (~45°N) in continental Iberia during the Hauterivian cold snap. Striated and faceted ice-rafted glacial dropstones (cobble to boulder size) and striated and grooved silt- to sand-sized grains (ice-rafted debris [IRD]) occur in a lacustrine sequence of the Enciso Group in the eastern Cameros Basin, Spain. The ice-rafted materials constitute the first evidence reported for a Cretaceous continental cryospheric record in Europe, and they are attributed to calving of glacier snouts, releasing icebergs into an ice-contact lake. The sedimentary succession resembles glacial-deglacial records in lakes overridden by the late Pleistocene Laurentide Ice Sheet in eastern Arctic Canada. The Iberian glacial succession was coeval with plateau permafrost in Asia and IRD records in the Arctic and Australia, revealing a stronger than previously thought cryosphere during the global Hauterivian cold snap.</p

    Familiarity-taxis: a bilateral approach to view-based snapshot navigation

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    Many insects use view-based navigation, or snapshot matching, to return to familiar locations, or navigate routes. This relies on egocentric memories being matched to current views of the world. Previous Snapshot navigation algorithms have used full panoramic vision for the comparison of memorised images with query images to establish a measure of familiarity, which leads to a recovery of the original heading direction from when the snapshot was taken. Many aspects of insect sensory systems are lateralised with steering being derived from the comparison of left and right signals like a classic Braitenberg vehicle. Here, we investigate whether view-based route navigation can be implemented using bilateral visual familiarity comparisons. We found that the difference in familiarity between estimates from left and right fields of view can be used as a steering signal to recover the original heading direction. This finding extends across many different sizes of field of view and visual resolutions. In insects, steering computations are implemented in a brain region called the Lateral Accessory Lobe, within the Central Complex. In a simple simulation, we show with an SNN model of the LAL an existence proof of how bilateral visual familiarity could drive a search for a visually defined goal.</p

    Sustainable food-based nanotechnology for sensing applications

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    Recent advancements in hydrogel nanocomposites have shown that they have the potential to be highly sensitive electromechanical sensors, surpassing the capabilities of traditional materials. One way to improve their conductivity is by incorporating a network of graphene into the composite, which affects the arrangement and structure of the graphene sheets. When the hydrogel is mechanically strained, the conductivity of the material changes accordingly, making it an ideal choice for sensitive applications. The objective of this research is to expand the investigation on sustainable nanocomposites by utilizing biodegradable polymers derived from algae These materials exhibit intriguing physical characteristics, such as transforming into hydrogels with soft mechanical properties when immersed in a food-grade calcium chloride solution. Interestingly, the mechanical properties of these hydrogels remain consistent regardless of the amount of filler added. However, the electrical conductivity of the hydrogel does increase with more filler. Furthermore, these hydrogels have the most significant piezoresistive response of any hydrogel recorded in literature, making them ideal for pressure sensing applications. They are also soft, which is another desirable quality for these applications. For impact sensing, the hydrogels display the lowest response on set impact energies on record, and their response time remains consistent. Overall, these results suggest that hydrogel nanocomposites made from biodegradable polymers could be a promising material for various applications. However, there are still some challenges that must be overcome during the development and testing of hydrogel polymers. One issue is determining the optimal level of swelling and water absorption that will not affect their mechanical properties. Additionally, hydrogels lack the ability to self-heal after undergoing testing, and they tend to dry out quickly. Factors such as size, dimensions, water content, and temperature can influence the drying process. On a different note, these characteristics make hydrogel polymers perfect for single-use or continuous wear for up to 8 hours. Thanks to their quick and cost-effective production, they are well-suited for single-patient use. After use, they can be disposed of without the need for sterilization, eliminating the risk of potential cross-infection that can occur with traditional sensors commonly found in hospitals.</p

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