Fishing in the Atlantic!

Zaibaa Mehmood, Luton Sixth Form College

Zaibaa Mehmood, Luton Sixth Form College.

During my summer holidays, after my first year at college, I took part in a Nuffield research placement at the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences (EEES) at the Open University.

During this placement, I worked alongside a PhD student Sophie Alexander to analyse marine sediment (or mud in simple terms).

The main aim was to investigate surface ocean productivity in the Southern and Atlantic Ocean during the early Eocene. This was broken down for me into smaller aims as below:

  • Create smear slides of mud samples from different sites
  • Identify components on slides using a polarising microscope
  • Compare analysis of 3 different sites and decide what changes there are and how they were caused
  • Use the data gained to improve knowledge of ocean productivity during a warm greenhouse period.

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Evaluating contemporary science

Effective communication is at the heart of good science. For as long as humans have tried to understand the natural world they have shared information and ideas, with a view to improving our collective understanding.

With the widespread adoption of digital tools for communication the potential for citizens to contribute to the sciences has never been greater.

The Open University has recently published a new Open Learn course that will help you to explore the evolving landscape of science communication, developing skills in critical evaluation, communication and engagement, whilst exploring a range of contemporary topics in science.

You can access the course here: Assessing Contemporary Science.

A longer version of these materials is available as an Open University module: Evaluating contemporary science.

Engaged Research: Why does this matter?

Professor Richard Holliman, The Open University.

Professor Richard Holliman, The Open University.

Under the leadership of Sandy Oliver, Sophie Duncan and Pat Gordon-Smith, UCL Institute of Education, NCCPE and UCL IOE Press are running an all-day seminar on 7 May 2019.

We will be discussing progress to date, and the possible futures for Research for All, an open-access peer-reviewed international journal that launched in 2017.

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The OU at 50: redefining openness and engagement

The Open University, 50th Anniversary #OU50

The Open University, 50th Anniversary #OU50

The Open University is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

To mark this landmark birthday, the OU is building an exciting programme of events and activities that will shine a light on the staff, students, donors and partners who have shaped our much-loved institution.

Select #OU50 for more details about this programme.

When the OU was founded, it was underpinned by a mission for social justice that informs everything we do; to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

Since that time, the ways that we realise our mission have changed. We now talk of open and engaged research, involving stakeholders, end-users and members of the public over any or all stages of a research process.

Professor Mary Kellett, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University.

Professor Mary Kellett, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University.

“We remain committed to creating the conditions where high-quality engagement can flourish and where excellence is recognised and valued. In embedding the principles, values and reflective practices of engagement within The Open University, we want to ensure that our academic work has relevance in wider society, embracing an ‘ecology of openness’ aligned with our long-standing mission to promote social justice.”

Professor Mary Kellett, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University

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