Exploring Global Problems
13. The impact of COVID-19 on children’s physical activity

13. The impact of COVID-19 on children’s physical activity

November 9, 2021

Children’s physical activity levels are associated with both physiological and psychosocial health. Current physical activity guidelines recommend children to engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day. However, despite this, it is estimated that over a third of children fail to meet these recommended guidelines, with a common barrier suggested to be technology.

 

In this episode of Exploring Global Problems, Professor Kelly Mackintosh along with our host, Dr Sam Blaxland discuss the impact COVID-19 has had, specifically on children’s physical activity. They later explore the importance and health benefits associated with exercise and discover how we can all make some positive changes to our lifestyles by embedding physical activity into our daily routines.

 

Professor Mackintosh is primarily interested in children’s physical activity and health, and in particular, school-based interventions. Within this area her work focuses on physical activity measurement and the role of behaviour change in developing physically active young people.  Professor Mackintosh is currently the Director of Research Staff for the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and leads the Exercise, Medicine and Health Research Group. Her research focusses on physical activity measurement and promotion, with a particular interest and focus in children.

 

To find out more about Swansea University's research, visit https://www.swansea.ac.uk/research/

12. Combating terrorists’ online activities

12. Combating terrorists’ online activities

October 26, 2021

Professor Stuart Macdonald discusses his research into counterterrorism with our host Dr Sam Blaxland in this episode of Exploring Global Problems. The episode explores Stuart’s work on terrorist’ use of the internet, particularly cyberterrorism and online propaganda and radicalisation.

 

Stuart’s most recent work on terrorist propaganda has examined violent jihadist narratives, their dissemination via social media, and legal and policy responses. Prior to this, his work focused on cyberterrorism, examining definitional issues, threat assessment and questions of response.

 

To find out more about Swansea University's research, visit https://www.swansea.ac.uk/research/

11. How do we prove human rights violations?

11. How do we prove human rights violations?

October 12, 2021

In this episode of Exploring Global Problems, Professor of Law Yvonne McDermott Rees and 2020 Hillary Rodham Clinton Global Challenges Programme scholars Charlotte Morgan and Andrea Stanišić discuss child poverty, environmental human rights, and how social media evidence can be used for accountability for mass human rights violations.
 
Yvonne’s research focuses on international criminal law, human rights law, and the law of evidence. She recently led a large Economic and Social Research Council-funded project on the use of open-source evidence for human rights fact-finding. Yvonne has published in leading journals including the American Journal of International Law, Leiden Journal of International Law, Journal of International Criminal Justice, International Criminal Law Review, and Law, Probability, and Risk.
 
Charlotte’s research examined whether children in Wales are unable to access their rights due to the socioeconomic disadvantage that they experience, and how this disadvantage has been worsened by Covid-19. She works as a Policy and Public Affairs Intern at British Heart Foundation Cymru, addressing health inequalities in Wales. 
 
Andrea conducted research in environmental human rights, exploring developments and trends in the human rights approach to environmental protection. She worked at think tank Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in Montenegro and cooperated with ClientEarth and American Bar Association on research projects.

To find out more about Swansea University's research, visit https://www.swansea.ac.uk/research/

10. Batteries for a sustainable future

10. Batteries for a sustainable future

September 16, 2021

In this episode of Exploring Global Problems, Professor Serena Margadonna and our host, Dr Sam Blaxland discuss the role of batteries in the fight against climate change and the need for better batteries for a decarbonised society.

 

Her work has been inspired by the simple realisation that major advances in modern technology are always driven by the availability of materials which possess a number of functionalities and are able to operate at different length scales, in harsh conditions such as extremes of pressures/temperature and highly corrosive environments. 
  

Professor Margadonna over the years has acquired knowledge and know-how in a number of fields in science starting from her chemical background, indispensable for the design and production of new materials, through condensed matter physics and process engineering. 

 

To find out more about Swansea University's research, visit https://www.swansea.ac.uk/research/

9. Exploring the Universe: Inspiring the next generation of scientists

9. Exploring the Universe: Inspiring the next generation of scientists

August 3, 2021

More and more young people are choosing to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects at University but there still exists a gender imbalance when looking at the number of girls choosing to study Physics post-16.

 

In this episode of Exploring Global Problems, Dr Sarah Roberts and our host, Dr Sam Blaxland discuss the importance of role models and Physics teachers in making the subject more exciting for their pupils, and how astronomy can be used as a hook to inspire and enthuse all school children to study Physics and STEM subjects.

 

They also discuss Dr Robert's own work with the Faulkes Telescope Project, an educational outreach project aimed at engaging young people in science. They talk about the ability of school pupils to carry out real research with real scientists, and what discoveries schools have made using the Faulkes Telescopes. If you would like to learn more about this project, please visit the Faulkes Telescope Project website.

 

More recently, Dr Roberts has had funding from STFC (Science Technology Facilities Council) to run an astronomy outreach project in Wales called 'Stardust Hunters' where primary school children are encouraged to plan scientific investigations, hunting for dust from space in their gardens and school yards. For more information on this project, please visit the Stardust Hunters website.

8. Nanotoxicology and Nanotechnology – It’s in the Little things

8. Nanotoxicology and Nanotechnology – It’s in the Little things

July 27, 2021

Could nanotechnology, the technology as small as viruses, found in your mobile phone, see an end to animal testing? It sounds a bit sci-fi, but Professor Shareen Doak and her team thinks the answer is quite literally in the little things. When we say little we mean tiny, smaller than the width of a human hair. 

In this episode, Professor Doak delves into her team’s world of nano-genotoxicology. Their work looks at how these tiny particles used in day-to-day items, and medicines may cause DNA damage potentially causing cancer. 

Professor Doak’s work looks at how we can create regulatory tests and tools for nanotechnology as they proliferate in our societies. The tests she is developing are creating better and more reliable ways of testing products with the potential to leave the need to leave animal testing redundant. 

7. Human dimensions of tourism sustainability

7. Human dimensions of tourism sustainability

June 22, 2021

The tourism industry has faced many challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also forced the industry to address some difficult questions; from the impact tourism has on sustainability, access to travel to the impact of over-tourism.

In this episode of Exploring Global Problems, Dr Maggie Miller and our host, Dr Sam Blaxland discuss the human dimensions of tourism sustainability and the role we play as tourists within the global community.

They also consider the potential future of the tourism industry, as well as Maggie’s work and research in Nepal, particularly the role of Sherpas and their absence from much of the external discourse. If you would like to learn more about this topic, watch Maggie’s documentary https://vimeo.com/210223199. They also reference the Netflix documentary Sherpa https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/80076001.

 

Most recently, Maggie’s research has focussed on access to and representation within adventure tourism, particularly the role gender plays in determining how people engage with adventure tourism activities and associated entrepreneurial adventures.

6. A Silent Epidemic, Acquired Brain Injury

6. A Silent Epidemic, Acquired Brain Injury

June 15, 2021

In the UK, one person every 90 seconds is admitted to hospital with a suspected brain injury. More than 350,000 people are diagnosed with a brain injury every year in the UK. This has left a legacy of epidemic proportions where 1.3million people now live in the UK with a brain injury, costing the UK economy more than £15billion a year.

In the UK and around the world we are living with a “Silent Epidemic”, and we rarely talk about it. Along with our host Dr Sam Blaxland, Dr Claire Williams will be talking about this “Silent Epidemic”, Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), from her perspective as a clinically focussed Psychologist.

Dr Williams’ interest is in the development of tools to recognise, diagnose and treat people with brain injuries. Any brain injury can have a significant impact on a person’s emotional functioning and can leave neurobehavioral legacies. Dr Williams and her team have developed the SASNOS tool (St Andrews-Swansea Neurobehavioral Outcomes Scale). We will explore what ABI is, the impact of ABI on a patient and how Dr Williams and her team’s SASNOS tool can help us tackle this global problem.

5. Climate change and how the arts is trying to engage with imagining different futures

5. Climate change and how the arts is trying to engage with imagining different futures

June 8, 2021

Discussing how literature represents environmental issues, including climate change, and the part writers play in engaging the public imagination around alternative ways of being. In this episode of Exploring Global Problems, we’re joined by Lecturer in Contemporary Writing and Digital Cultures Dr Chris Pak, Associate Professor in Modern Languages Dr Lloyd Davies, and Professor in Creativity Owen Sheers.

 

They examine how science fiction explores the relationships between science, societies and their environments; consider how climate change is represented in the literatures of Spain and Latin America; and look at the role of good art in shaping the reflections of audiences.*

4. Supporting Parents with Breastfeeding

4. Supporting Parents with Breastfeeding

June 1, 2021

Despite how natural it is to breastfeed, Professor Amy Brown’s research found that in the UK many parents are struggling with how we feed our babies. Many people think it is as simple as making a decision to breastfeed or formula feed their baby. From her own experiences and her research Professor Brown has found that too many parents encounter barriers to their choice to breastfeed.

 

In this episode of Exploring Global Problems Professor Amy Brown, with Dr Sam Blaxland unpacks research into how parents can be better supported in their decision to breastfeed and how challenges and barriers can be overcome for those who decide to.

 

The work of Professor Amy Brown and her team in the Lactation, Infant Feeding and Translational Research (LIFT) aims to provide parents with the support and resources they need. Coming to this topic from a Psychology background her research explores the Psychological impacts of the barriers that parents face when choosing to breastfeed.