MONTHLY BLOG 107, Reasons for unrepentant (relative) Optimism about the coming of Green Politics

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2019) Fig.1 Greta Thunberg (b. 2003), Swedish environmental activist; author of No One is Too Small to Make a Difference (2019) In response to my October BLOG about Greener Cities, I got many queries about how I could plausibly state that ‘I am an unrepentant […]

MONTHLY BLOG 106, Cities Greener Still and Greener

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2019) Scrapbook Silhouettes: available EBay (2019) Towns and cities are wonderful human creations. They allow large numbers of people to live together at high density, reasonably successfully, without spreading all over Planet Earth. The mixture of collective and individual organisation that enables this process to […]

MONTHLY BLOG 105, Researchers, Do Your Ideas Have Impact? A Critique of Short-Term Impact Assessments

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2019) Clenched Fist © Victor-Portal-Fist (2019)  Researchers, do your ideas have impact? Does your work produce ‘an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia’? Since 2014, that question has […]

MONTHLY BLOG 104, Is it Time to Look beyond Separate Identities to Find Personhood?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2019) Collectively, the 15th International Congress on the Enlightenment (ICE), focusing upon Enlightenment Identities, was a huge triumph. For five days in Edinburgh in July 2019 some 2000 international participants rushed from event to event. There were not only 477 learned panel presentations and five […]

MONTHLY BLOG 103, WHO KNOWS THESE HISTORY GRADUATES BEFORE THE CAMERAS AND MIKES IN TODAY’S MASS MEDIA?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2019) Image © Shutterstock 178056255 Responding to the often-asked question, What do History graduates Do? I usually reply, truthfully, that they gain employment in an immense range of occupations. But this time I’ve decided to name a popular field and to cite some high-profile cases, […]

MONTHLY BLOG 102, ARE YOU AN OPTIMIST? HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR OWN TEMPERAMENT?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2019) The Cheshire Cat, famed for its indestructible grin … from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as depicted by John Tenniel for the book’s classic 1865 edition. © image in public domain  Are you an optimist? This question is one of my favourite opening […]

MONTHLY BLOG 101, ARE YOU A LUMPER OR SPLITTER? HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR OWN CAST OF MIND?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2019) The terminology, derived from Charles Darwin,1 is hardly elegant. Yet it highlights rival polarities in the intellectual cast of mind. ‘Lumpers’ seek to assemble fragments of knowledge into one big picture, while ‘splitters’ see instead complication upon complications. An earlier permutation of that dichotomy […]

MONTHLY BLOG 100, CONTROLLING STREET VIOLENCE & LEARNING FROM THE DEMISE OF DUELLING

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2019) Young men carrying knives today can’t simply be equated with gentlemen duelling with rapiers in the eighteenth century. There are very many obvious differences. Nonetheless, the decline and disappearance of duelling has some relevant messages for later generations, when considering how to cope with […]

MONTHLY BLOG 99, WHY BOTHER TO STUDY THE RULEBOOK?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2019) Joining a public committee of any kind? Before getting enmeshed in the details, I recommend studying the rulebook. Why on earth? Such advice seems arcane, indeed positively nerdy. But I have a good reason for this recommendation. Framework rules are the hall-mark of a […]

MONTHLY BLOG 98, HOW SHOULD YOU APPROACH THE PhD VIVA?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2019) Asked by a friend about my extensive experience of helping candidates through PhD vivas, I’ve distilled my advice as follows: Anticipation Participation Progression 1: Anticipation I won’t call this preparation, since everything that you have researched, debated and written about during the entire research […]