BILT Briefings, News

BILT Briefing Issue 82

Our ‘Compassionate Conference’

We’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our contributors and those who attended the BILT conference last week. It was a brilliant event from start to finish, with inspiring presentations and lots of engagement from staff and students. We are still editing the videos but the entire conference will be able to view in the coming weeks (follow our Twitter @BILTOnline for the latest updates on this!).

We are looking for six new Student Fellows

The time has come again to us to recruit next year’s BILT Student Fellows! We are looking for six students to join the team to work on five projects. Applications are open now and will close on the 7th August. Full details of the role, the different projects and how to apply are available on our website and on mycareers. Please share this with your students if you think they might be interested in this brilliant opportunity!

Survey on co-authoring practices with PhD supervisors

Colleagues Dr Paola Ruffo, Dr Carol O’Sullivan and Dr Xiaochun Zhang on a research project exploring co-authoring practices between PhD students and their supervisors and are conducting a survey to investigate and map existing practices of joint publication between PhD supervisors and their supervisees, and would like to invite all PhD students, former PhD students and PhD supervisors among you to take part in our study. You do not have to have published with your supervisor or supervisee to take part in this survey.

Consent will be required before starting the questionnaire. Participation in this study is completely voluntary and you can withdraw at any time and without giving a reason before submitting the questionnaire. You will not be able to withdraw after, as data will have been anonymised. Please feel free to forward this link to your contacts if you think it might be relevant to them. If you require any further information on the questionnaire or the overall research project, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Paola Ruffo.


Queer-friendly classrooms: Establishing Queer Language

The second post in this brilliant series by Issy Stephens is now available, looking at how we can position ourselves as queer-allies and establish an open environment in the classroom. Read it here.

Defining Pedagogic Priorities: A Review of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Festival

BILT Student Fellow Carlos Shanka Boissy Diaz shares his recent experience attending the Curriculum Cafe in the School of Biological Sciences. Read it here.

UN Climate Change Conference: Education for the Future with Dr. Deborah Morrison

A second post by BILT Student Fellow Carlos Shanka Boissy Diaz in which he interviews Dr Deborah Morrison about education for sustainable development at the recent SB56 conference. Read it here.

Ramblings delivered at the Earth Sciences and Engineering graduation

A recent ovation delivered by Dr Mary Benton at a recent graduation makes for an enjoyable and though-provoking read. Read it here.


Show, Tell and Talk: Student centred framework for assessing programme’s Employability and Academic Skills (EAS), July 18th, 12 – 1pm.

Our final Show, Tell and Talk of the year will look at an interactive tool for Employability and Academic Skills (EAS)will be demonstrated by Senior Lecturer Dr Hadi Abulrub (Mechanical Engineering). Read more and book your place here.

Race, genes and scientific racism: the history and legacy of the invention of race, Thursday 21st July, 12pm to 1pm, Zoom webinar, open to UoB staff and students only

This talk by Dr Adam Rutherford has been arranged by the Decolonising STEMM group.

Contemporary concepts of race have shallow historical roots, invented as they were during the European Age of Enlightenment, exploration and plunder. From the 17th century, philosophers, scientists and writers concocted taxonomies of our species, sometimes based on crude traits like pigmentation and bone morphology, and often just made up.

Science, and notably the new science of genetics did a good job of dismantling these racial categories in the 20th century, and showing that while race is very real because we perceive it, the folk taxonomies that everyone understands and uses have little basis in biology. However, in recent years, new techniques in genetics, sometimes poorly deployed, misunderstood or misrepresented, have given succour to those who wish to reinforce traditional racial categories, alongside common attempts to understand common observations such as in sporting success and cognitive abilities.

Register for the talk on Eventbrite

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