Social Sciences

Dr Paul Curtis | Dr Peter Smallidge | Dr Bernd Blossey – Protecting the Future Health of Forests in New York State

The white-tailed deer is an important part of North America’s forest ecosystems. However, large deer populations are now causing wide-scale habitat changes and threatening biodiversity, economics, and human health. Dr Paul Curtis, Dr Peter Smallidge and Dr Bernd Blossey from Cornell University have developed new protocols for evaluating deer impacts on forest ecosystems and the ability of different forest areas to regenerate and retain their diversity. Where current methods for managing deer are failing, they consider how data related to deer browsing could provide the rationale for novel methods of reducing deer impacts to retain healthy forests.

Dr Stefan Rieger | Dr Ina Bolinski – Beyond the Anthropocene: Are We Entering a ‘Multispecies Turn’?

A multispecies approach to scientific, cultural and anthropological studies is in direct opposition to traditionally held anthropocentric views of human superiority. However, Drs Stefan Rieger and Ina Bolinski from the Ruhr-University Bochum are working to scrutinise the collaborations between species as diverse as humans, animals, plants, fungi, insects and microbes, and believe that we could be at the beginning of a ‘Multispecies Turn’ in our history. Through their research in media studies, they show that exploring such collaborations could become a necessity in solving many societal challenges, in areas ranging from farming to human health.

Dr Shannon Westlake | Dr Kevin Hunt – Human Elements of Pollinator Conservation

The alarming decline of pollinating insects in recent years has garnered a wave of interest from the media, scientists and the public. This has resulted in a wealth of research into pollinator conservation, but despite this, adoption of beneficial practices that support pollinators has been low amongst private landholders. Dr Shannon Westlake and Dr Kevin Hunt of Mississippi State University have been investigating the human elements behind pollinator conservation, with the aim of developing targeted outreach and support programs to improve the uptake of conservation efforts amongst landholders.

The HoChunk Harvest Project: Restoring Sustainable Food Sovereignty

The HoChunk people of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska traditionally enjoyed a close connection with their environment, which has gradually become fractured due to increased urbanisation. The community has become reliant upon external producers for nearly all of its food requirements, and the health of its members is suffering as a result. In an effort to reconnect people with the land, a project coordinated by former Tribal Council member, Vincent Bass, and Brian Mathers of the HoChunk Community Development Corporation, aims to maximise the use of local resources to produce healthy, sustainable, culturally-appropriate food. Their ultimate goal is to achieve food sovereignty for the Winnebago Tribe.

Dr Yan M Yufik – From Machine Learning to Machine Understanding

Despite dramatic advances in neuroscience and biology in the 20th and 21st centuries, our understanding of the brain remains very limited. Dr Yan M Yufik, Head at Virtual Structures Research Inc, USA, is a physicist and cognitive scientist who has spent over 20 years combining experimental findings and theoretical concepts in domains as diverse as neuroscience and thermodynamics to form a theory of the brain. His focus has been on elucidating the mechanisms underlying human understanding and applying the results to the design of machines that can not only learn but understand what they are learning.

Dr Melinda Frye | Dr Noa Roman-Muniz – A Holistic Approach to Advancing the Rural Veterinary Population

Within the agricultural community, there is a great shortage of veterinary professionals. This lack of ‘Food Supply Veterinarians’ (FSVs) creates risk for economic loss, public health concerns, and a decline in animal welfare. Dr Melinda Frye, Dr Noa Roman-Muniz and their colleagues at Colorado State University have developed a program that aims to increase the number of practising FSVs. As part of the program, these highly-trained professionals can more easily integrate into the agricultural community, ultimately enhancing animal welfare, food safety and farm profits.

Dr Michelle Schelske Santos – Nutri-Vías: Creating Pathways for Diversified Nutrition Education

Worldwide obesity has almost tripled over the past 50 years. This alarming statistic calls for new initiatives aimed at promoting better weight management, in order to prevent and treat obesity and associated diseases. Dr Michelle Schelske Santos, professor and former director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at the University of Puerto Rico, has been working on an academic initiative designed to enhance nutrition and dietetics education in Puerto Rico, forming professionals who are better equipped to deal with the obesity epidemic.

Dr Korbinian Moeller – The Brain, the Body and Mathematics

Dr Korbinian Moeller and a team of researchers at the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien are endeavouring to identify the cognitive and neuronal processes underpinning an individual’s mathematical ability, by exploring the concept of embodied numerical training.

Dr Jean-Luc Patry | Dr Angela Gastager | Barbara Fageth – Improving Education Through Cultivating Pedagogical Tact

Pedagogical tact is broadly defined as a concept that addresses how teachers transfer educational theories to their teaching practice, in order to achieve their educational goals (which include students’ learning) most successfully. Although this concept has been widely referred to in past research, it remains very complex and difficult to define. To better delineate this concept, researchers at the University of Salzburg and the University College of Teacher Education Styria have developed a new theory of pedagogical tact and explored its validity in school and university settings. By better conceiving this concept, the researchers hope to help educators to cultivate pedagogical tact, enhancing the academic development of their students.

Dr Kai Sebastian Gehring – Politics at the Intersection of Identity and Economics

The UK’s recent decision to exit the European Union has shone a spotlight on the role of identities in shaping people’s economic and political decisions. Dr Kai Sebastian Gehring is a senior researcher in Economics at the University of Zurich, who investigates group identities and the distribution of resources, and how they affect political stability and conflict.

Dr Daniel Gallardo Albarrán | Professor Herman de Jong – Health and Wealth in the 20th Century: Implications for Today

The 20th century brought significant improvements in income and health of citizens across many countries worldwide. Dr Daniel Gallardo Albarrán (University of Wageningen) and Professor Herman de Jong (University of Groningen) have used a comprehensive framework addressing many dimensions of human development, to take a new and closer look at changes in economy and health during the first half of the 20th century.

The SETI Institute’s Earthling Project

An exciting new endeavour at the SETI Institute, the Earthling project, aims to connect humans around the world through the universal language of music. Charged with the task of creating music that represents us as humans, composer Felipe Pérez Santiago aims to foster...

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation promotes academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars from abroad and from Germany. To this end, it grants more than 700 research fellowships and research awards annually. These allow researchers from all over...

The American Historical Association

As the largest organisation of professional historians in the world, the American Historical Association (AHA) represents more than 12,000 members and serves historians representing every period in global history. The AHA promotes the study of history in myriad ways,...

Dr Henning Kroll – Sustainable Innovation for an Equitable World

Frugal innovation is the art of using limited resources and ingenuity to sell products that are affordable for more people. Alongside his collaborators, Dr Henning Kroll of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research explores the many benefits of this...

The Linguistic Society of America

  Almost a century ago, the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) was founded with the aim of advancing the field of linguistics – the scientific study of language. Since then, LSA has played a critical role in supporting linguistics research and highlighting its...