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August 04, 2011

A break from themes…

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/knowledge/

With another successful graduation behind us, and the summer in full swing, we wanted to let you know about a few changes that we’re making to the Knowledge Centre this month.

Over the past six months the Knowledge Centre team has been delving into current research happening around the University, and publishing content grouped into fortnightly themes. We’ve looked at a diverse range of subjects from Security and Terrorism to Global Powers and Knowledge Exchange (if you’d like a complete rundown, you’ll find everything under the Themes tab at the top of the home page). The aim has been to build some handy learning resources for you, as well as to entertain and to keep you up-to-date with news at Warwick.

We’ll be keeping the themed content exactly where it is, so you can come back to it whenever you like, but for the remainder of the summer we’re taking a break from themes and taking a broader look at Warwick’s research activity, with the aim of covering even more departments and making even more links across the University.

As ever, we’d love your feedback on the site, so do let us know which themes you’ve enjoyed or what sorts of subjects/departments you’d like us to cover in the future (you can email us at knowledge@warwick.ac.uk, tweet us @WarwicKnowledgeor leave a comment below). And if you’d like to write an article for us, we’d love to hear from you. Getting your work published on the Knowledge Centre website is a great way of showcasing your research and encouraging debate.

We hope you that you’ll check back next week to see our new content, and enjoy discovering some of the diverse projects that are currently underway at Warwick.

July 22, 2011


Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/knowledge/

Sustainability (defined as ‘the capacity to endure’) has become a watchword of our times. Encompassing many topics - from how we can renew the earth’s resources faster than we consume them, to economic growth and its impact on the earth’s ecosystem - sustainability has at its heart the urge to improve our way of life. This drives many areas of research at Warwick, and for the next two weeks, the Knowledge Centre will be exploring some of the work currently underway at the university that supports sustainability.

For example, we’ll be talking to David Elmes, from Warwick Business School, about his role as Academic Director for the Warwick Global Energy MBA. Warwick Manufacturing Group’s Dr Kerry Kirwan – a specialist in sustainable materials - will be explaining the background to the EPSRC-funded project, Sustainable Materials - A Global Challenge (which is due to conclude in September) while Professor Graham Medley and Professor Laura Green from the School of Life Sciences talk about strategies for addressing the diseases of livestock.

You can also watch video footage of Warwick Alumni Knowledge Exchange Day’s panel discussion Can We Be Green And Profitable? and read about Dr Ben Richardson’s research into the sugar industry. And we’ll also be making several panel discussions from this year’s One World Week (dealing with combating famine and the future of nuclear power) available for you to listen to.

We hope that you find plenty here to stimulate thought and discussion – please feel free to get involved by posting your comments on the site or by emailing us at knowledge@warwick.ac.uk.

June 16, 2011

Virtual Futures 2.0’11

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/knowledge/

Around 1994, an extraordinary collection of people from the philosophy and literature departments at the University of Warwick began asking questions about technology. They were interested in the impact of emerging technologies on the human body and the idea of the obsolescence of culture brought about by the rapid growth of ‘cyberspace’.

These ideas found their way into a series of cult CyberConferences called Virtual Futures, held annually at the University between 1994 and 1996. At the time, many people were sceptical that cyberspace existed at all; Virtual Futures aimed to shatter these misconceptions with a combination of hardcore academic analysis and highly theatrical performance.

Significantly, these events coincided with the emergence of the internet and cyberculture. Over its three-year existence, Virtual Futures ventured into territories such as chaos theory, geopolitics, feminism, nanotechnology, cyberpunk fiction, machine music, net security, military strategy, plastic surgery, hacking, bio-computation, cognition, cryptography and capitalism. In 1995 alone the conference attracted many cutting-edge artists and philosophers including Stelarc, Hakim Bey, Manuel De Landa and Orlan.

This weekend, Virtual Futures returns to the University under the banner Virtual Futures 2.0’11. The event has been organised by digital media artist, and current Warwick student, Luke Robert Mason, and the Knowledge Centre will be on hand to meet attendees, video the talks and interview the speakers

With the return of some of the original guests, plus some new leaders in the fields of VR, bio-enhancement and the ethics of emerging technologies, Virtual Futures 2.0’11 aims to provoke debate around technology and its impact on culture. It’s also the perfect opportunity to step back and consider the internet’s extraordinary trajectory since 1994. As Dr Dan O’Hara - who was one of the original organisers - has remarked, Virtual Futures was put together in ‘almost a punk spirit… but punk married with technology’.

Performance artist Stelarc - whose interests lie in the post-evolutionary architecture of the body - will be returning as the keynote speaker. Exploring a world in which ‘death now means to be disconnected from technology’, Stelarc has visually probed and acoustically amplified his body. He is surgically constructing an EAR ON ARM (2006-2011) that will be internet enabled, making it a publicly accessible acoustical organ for people in other places.

Other speakers include science-fiction author Pat Cadigan; ‘living technology’ expert Dr Diane Gromala; Director of the Creative Futures Research Centre at the University of the West of Scotland, Professor Andy Miah; Senior TED Fellow Dr Rachel Armstrong and cybernetics expert Professor Kevin Warwick. Dr O’Hara also returns to provide some essential historical context.

You can catch Luke Robert Mason and Dr Armstrong talking about Virtual Futures on Click Radio; please also join us on the Knowledge Centre next week for videos, interviews and post-event analysis. We’d love to hear your views!

June 02, 2011

We've made a few changes…

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/knowledge

The keen-eyed among you may have noticed some changes to the Knowledge Centre over the last couple of days. Since the beginning of February we have been organising our content based on two or three week themes, all centred around a particular topic or issue. This differed from our previous organisation of articles by five key subject areas: Business and Economics, Culture and Society, Health and Medicine, Engineering and Technology and Science and Maths.

To reflect this shift in organisation we have been working on a new navigation for the Knowledge Centre, which you can now see live on the site. Below is a description of some of the changes to help you find your way around!

Themes: Our new themes section brings together all of the content that has been published under past themes in one place. From the overview page you can click on the button images to be taken to the individual section relating to a theme. We hope that this will make browsing the site easier and more accessible for all.

Subject Areas: Although a large amount of our content is organised by theme, we do still publish content based in the five key subject areas and a lot of our articles still fall under these headings. The new Subject Areas page brings together the five headings and leads you to a new page relating to each subject. 

From these pages you can access all of our past content and find links to upcoming events.

Learning Resources: This is a brand new section on the Knowledge Centre, aiming to showcase some of the Learning Resources on offer to all. In this section we will be featuring podcasts, advice on careers and links to further study opportunities. As well as this, we have a subpage identifying opportunities for professional development which will be updated regularly.

The Blog: Our Knowledge Centre Team blog will become a central feature of the site, with various members of the team updating it regularly to keep you up to date with the latest news on research and expertise at the University.

About the Knowledge Centre: We have updated our ‘About’ section to reflect new developments on the Knowledge Centre and provide more ways for you to Contact us and tell us what you think!

We hope that all of the above changes will make it easier for you to identify and enjoy content related directly to you, and also open up opportunities for you to find out more about other subjects.

We’d love to hear your feedback, on the new navigation or just about the Knowledge Centre in general. Fill out our feedback form, email us, find us on Twitter or share your thoughts on Facebook!

February 04, 2011

Welcome to the new look Knowledge Team Blog!

Writing about web page http://go.warwick.ac.uk/knowledge

Welcome to the new look Knowledge Centre Team Blog!

head.jpgWe are making a few subtle yet exciting changes here at the Knowledge Centre and we thought this would be the perfect platform in which to let you know, both how these changes are going to work and the thinking behind them. We will also use this space to tell you a bit more about the people behind the Knowledge Centre – what they do, which areas and stories they are most interested in, and which themes they are looking forward to. We will let you know ideas for the future, any breaking news and you will have the chance to leave your comments and ideas.

Starting this week, our content will be themed fortnightly. We hope this will truly engage our readers in a subject and stimulate discussion and sharing of knowledge. Our first theme is ‘the ways in which we teach’ looking at issues such as collaboration, learning behaviours, and creative learning and performance. Upcoming themes over the next few months include issues around the economic crisis, performance and sustainability. We will also soon introduce new regular features such as ‘ask the expert’ and live chats with Warwick academics.

We hope you like the new changes and will join in with us in making the Knowledge Centre a place where people can truly learn, share and interact.

Sean Howitt