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More impact

Tackling political exclusion through art

For many of us in the UK, politics is a spectator sport, a source of fascination and a cause of endless debate with family and friends. For others, it’s the reason to switch off the TV. But, whatever your political persuasion, Dr Agnes Czajka argues that day-to-day political posturing, scandal and sensationalism aside, understanding the fundamentals of how we organise and govern our society is crucial for everyone.

The OU researcher revolutionising relationships with tech

Despite the controversy surrounding relationship and sex education for UK children, the subject is fast becoming a mandatory component of primary and secondary school curriculums throughout the four nations. Nevertheless, Professor Jacqui Gabb says many adults are still left asking questions.

The thrill of seeing science in action

“When I began my career, the role of an academic was still very focused on applying for grants and publishing papers. Indeed, that’s what I focused on for a long time. But there came the point where I started thinking about how else I could have an impact with my work”, recalls Peter Taylor, a now Emeritus Professor of Organic Chemistry who joined the OU in 1978.

The healing power of storytelling

Dr Siobhan Campbell’s Expressive Writing and Telling group storytelling method supports trauma survivors to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences and heal through creative writing.

Why language matters in diabetes care

Professor Cathy Lloyd’s research supports healthcare professionals worldwide to help people live better with diabetes, ensuring they feel heard, not judged.

Consigning the mathematics gender gap to history

During the past twenty years, Professor of History of Mathematics June Barrow-Green has used her research to challenge cultural and historical stereotypes about mathematics and inspire the next generation of women to get into the subject.

Protecting cultural heritage during war times

Professor Derek Matravers’ research has helped the international heritage professionals, policymakers, military leaders and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) understand the ethics of protecting cultural heritage in warzones.

The centuries-old solution to today's sustainability challenges

Professor David Gowing and colleagues are using their research to unlock the potential of an ancient nature-based agricultural solution to tackle today’s sustainability challenges.

Using technology to unite us, not divide us

Technology has brought the world closer together than ever before. However, today it is often blamed for sewing social division. Professor Anna De Liddo believes it doesn't have to be this way and is creating intuitive online tools to help us build consensus, even when we disagree.

What's wrong with weddings

Nothing at all, if the weddings are the ceremonies that couples want, conducted when they want, where they want, and by whom they want. But, according to Dr Stephanie Pywell, there is quite a lot wrong with the law that governs weddings, some of which existed before Queen Victoria ascended the throne.

Technology for dogs with important jobs

Our research has developed canine-centred controls which have improved how dogs support people with disabilities.

Improving treatment for prostate cancer

Our research has provided guidelines which have improved the quality of life for those affected by prostate cancer.

Autism: promoting understanding and action

Our research has helped to challenge common stereotypes of autism and promote action for autistic people worldwide.

Using religious history to promote social cohesion

Our research has alerted key decision makers to the importance of historically informed religious literacy as a means of avoiding potential conflict.

Improving student retention

Our research has produced software which can reduce student drop-out rates.

Solving global challenges through open access

We host the world’s largest collection of open access full texts which facilitates free and easy access to research knowledge.

Revealing the dangers of hands-free phone use

Our research is informing policy on the need to reconsider current mobile phone legislation.

Transforming attitudes about the health of our oceans

Research scientists in The Open University’s School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences helped shape the content and direction of the landmark BBC series Blue Planet II, which prompted unprecedented public and government action to protect our oceans.