Enjoy the last pubTALK of the year with a Pint of Science!

It’s the last pubTALK of the academic year already – where has the time gone?!

For April’s pubTALK we are excited to be welcoming Dr Michael Mills who will be discussing “Doomsday” prepping and contemporary American politics. As usual, the talk will be held on the first Monday of the month (3rd April) at The Jolly Sailor, Canterbury.

At this pubTALK, we are also excited to be launching the University of Kent’s Pint of Science festival! Pint of Science is an international science festival that aims to deliver exciting and relevant research to the general public in an interesting, engaging and approachable way by bringing scientists to the pub and other accessible places. Universities across the world, simultaneously host their events each year in May and covers all aspects of research which are themed under the titles ‘Beautiful Mind’, ‘Atoms to Galaxies’, ‘Our Body’, ‘Planet Earth’, ‘Tech Me Out’ and ‘Our Society’.

This year will be the first time that the University of Kent is participating, so come along to pubTALK on Monday 3rd April (7pm to 9pm) to find out what Pint of Science events will be running and how you can get tickets.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday 3rd April – 7pm to 9pm – The Jolly Sailor, Canterbury
Dr Michael Mills

Through Obamageddon and the Trumpocalypse: “Doomsday” Prepping and Contemporary American Politics

The last decade has witnessed a remarkable rise in the number of Americans engaged in so-called “Doomsday” prepping – a co-ordinated set of activities centred on storing food, water, and weapons for the purpose of independently surviving a (potentially apocalyptic) social collapse.

This talk will briefly look at some of the core attractions of prepping for those who engage in it, and will discuss the relationship between prepping’s rise and developments in mainstream American politics.

In particular, it will highlight how prepping’s rise from 2008 onwards has been affected by wider strains of right-wing alarm at the presidency of Barack Obama, and will speculate about how enthusiasm for prepping is being (and will be) affected by the rise of Donald Trump.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

pubTALK special – Trump and Brexit: the end of political polling?

Trump and Brexit: the end of political polling?
Thursday 1st December, 7pm, The Jolly Sailor

The last six months have seen two cataclysmic events in politics. The UK voted to leave the EU, and Donald Trump was elected to the White House. Most polls saw neither result coming.

In 2015, after the general election polling ‘miss’ in Britain, questions were raised over the value of polling, with one Labour peer saying polls were ‘corrupt’ and should be banned during election campaigns. After the polling fiascos of 2016, this debate is set to ignite once again.

In light of this, Q-Step are excited to host a panel discussion followed by a Q&A on the future of opinion polling in politics. Should polls be banned? Are they reliable anymore? What worth do they have for democracies today?

Josh Townsley, Dee Goddard, Jack Bridgewater and Tom Barton will lead the discussion on Thursday 1st December at The Jolly Sailor – please arrive from 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

As always, the evenings are free to attend and anyone is welcome to attend.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch or you can get up to date information via our website or mailing list.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Posted in news, SSPSSR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pint of Science Festival and 2017 Summer School Dates Announced – Q-Step Newsletter Autumn 2016

Q-Step Newsletter: Autumn Term 2016/17
This is the first of our termly newsletters which will update staff and students on Q-Step news and events.
 
 In this newsletter
·         Welcome new students!
·         New Staff
·         Upcoming in 2016/17
     o   Pint of Science Festival
     o   Summer School 2017
     o   Student Conference
     o   pubTALK
·         Q-Step Summer School ‘16
 
Welcome new students!
The Q-Step team are very pleased to welcome our new students. We met our first cohort of stage 1 undergraduates and welcomed back some of our summer school students who are now studying one of the new ‘…with Quantitative Research’ programmes back at the beginning of term. It was a very enjoyable beer and pizza evening and we hope to continue to see everyone at upcoming events.
 
New Staff
We would like to welcome Dr Florian Weiler who has joined the Q-Step team as a Lecturer in Quantitative Politics. Previous to joining the University of Kent, Dr Weiler worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Bamberg (Germany). His current research focuses on international environmental problems, and on the role of interest groups for national and international policy-making processes.
 
Also, congratulations to Dr Robert de Vries, who is our new permanent Lecturer in Quantitative Sociology.
 
Upcoming in 2016/17
 
·         Pint of Science Festival
Pint of Science Festival.
The Pint of Science Festival is an annual event which takes place over three days in May and simultaneously in hundreds of venues across the world. The Q-Step team are proud to be part of the very first Pint of Science team for the University of Kent. It’s a great opportunity for early career researchers to share their research and to help raise the University profile; the deadline for expressions of interest has now been extended to Thursday 1st December.
 
There are lots of exciting plans in the works which we will hopefully be able to share with you soon but I the meantime, keep 15th to 17th May 2017 in your diaries!
 
·         Save the Date! Summer School 2017
Calling all first year undergraduates and post-graduate teaching assistants – the Q-Step summer school is returning in 2017! The summer school provides first years the chance to convert to “with Quantitative Research” courses, and GTAs with a fantastic two week teaching opportunity, and will run Jun 19th to Jun 30th. Applications for both students and teachers will open in the spring.
 
·         Student Conference
We are planning on hosting a Q-Step student conference at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. This will be a day to meet other Q-Students and members of the Q-Step team, discuss any aspects of your programme and for new students to find out about placement opportunities. There will be opportunities for current students to get involved in the day as well and as with the other upcoming events, we will share the details with you as soon as we can.
 
·         pubTALK
We relaunched our pubTALK series for the Autumn term in October and have had some fantastic speakers. Dr. Amir-Homayoun Javadi gave the first pubTALK where he discussed ‘The pursuit of the super you…’ and whether we could (and should!) make a better version of ourselves using electric brain stimulation.  In November, Richard Clarke and Rosie  Wilson from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine joined us to talk about the importance of social sciences in vaccine hesitancy.
 
For the last pubTALK of the term and in light of the recent Brexit and US election results, PhD candidate Josh Townsley will lead a panel discussion on whether opinion polls should still be used. Please join us at The Jolly Sailor on Thursday 1st December (7pm to 9pm) for another great evening of drinks, discussions and debates!
 
WATCH: Summer School ‘16
The inaugural Q-Step summer school, held in June, was a huge success. 26 students from across four schools completed the course, with the majority choosing to convert to one of the new Q-Step degree programmes.
 
Relive the experience with our 2016 Summer School video:
 
 
Please visit our website if you would like any further information on the Q-Step Centre or please don’t hesitate to contact us.
 
The Q-Step Team

Kent Q-Step Centre, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NF
Twitter: @UniKentQstep
Tel: 01227 827716 | E-mail: qstepinfo@kent.ac.uk
 
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thinking of Clearing?

For anyone considering Clearing, the University of Kent’s Q-Step centre still has limited vacancies on our specialist undergraduate degree programmes.

Kent’s Q-Step centre is a new, innovative and active cross-school centre with a diverse team of academics who are experts in their field.  By studying with us, you will have the opportunity to develop sophisticated quantitative research skills, which you can then apply to an area that interests you such as politics, international relations, sociology, criminology, social policy, law or business.

This sought-after combination of strong quantitative skills and in-depth social sciences knowledge is becoming more and more valuable to employers across a vast range of industries in today’s data driven world. In addition, you will be given many opportunities to apply your skills in professional settings through placements and applied research modules, placing you in an excellent position for graduate employment or further study.

For information and advice about applying to study with us via clearing, please visit https://www.kent.ac.uk/clearing/advice/index.html.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Kent’s Q-Step Team

qstepsummerschool

Staff and students at the first Q-Step summer school (2016).

Posted in news, SSPSSR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

pubTALK EU Referendum Special

This June, for the first time since 1975, the people of Britain will get a say about their relationship with Europe. With both sides making compelling arguments, we think it’s vital to get a broad and accurate picture of the pros and cons of EU membership, and the changes we can expect should Britain vote to Leave on the 23rd June.
This pubTALK special provides just that. The format will be a panel discussion, featuring representatives from both the Remain and Leave campaigns, as well as academic and student speakers. We hope to get a range of opinions and perspectives on the key issues the referendum is being fought around.
There will be plenty of opportunity to get involved in the discussion, through social media (both leading up to the event and live on the night) and a good old-fashioned live Q&A with the speakers. As always, both attendees and speakers are encouraged to stick around for a few drinks afterwards, to continue the discussion informally.
The pubTALK will be held on Tuesday 7th June, 7pm to 9pm at The Parrot, Canterbury. The event is free to attend but, as space is limited, please do let us know if you are coming via the contact details below or on our Facebook event page.
All welcome.
Panellists:
Leave Campaign: Toby Jessel (Former Conservative MP for Twickenham; 1970-1997)
Remain Campaign: Michelle Freeman (Canterbury District Green Party’s Press Officer)
Academic Representative: Dr Heejung Chung (Senior Lecturer in Sociology & Social Policy)
Student Representative: Daniel Belling (PhD Candidate in Comparative Politics & Graduate Teaching Assistant)
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Keli Jenner/ Joe Warriner
Kent Q-Step Centre, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NF
Website: www.kent.ac.uk/qstep
Twitter: @UniKentQstep
Tel: 01227 827716 | E-mail: qstep-info@kent.ac.uk
Posted in news, SSPSSR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Summer School team: Joe Warriner

In the second installment in a series of articles introducing the team for this Summer’s Quant Group Summer School, we introduce Joe Warriner, administrative lead on the course.

Joe Warriner Summer School Profile

My name is Joe Warriner and, to be honest, I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the summer school (although I prefer the phrase “multi-faceted supporting role”). I’m managing the admin side of things, and I do the website and social media for the course. During the fortnight itself I’ll also be helping out in some of your seminars.

By the far the biggest drain on my time, however, is my role as “designated social organiser”. Over the last few months I’ve had a punishing schedule of regular “research visits” to pubs and bars around Canterbury to selflessly ensure that you guys get the best social experience possible.

In all seriousness though, while I would like to do a couple of nights out, it won’t all be drinking. I’ve got loads of ideas for evening and weekend activities to help you all get to know each other better and make the fortnight fun – I’ll be posting some of these up on the facebook group to get your thoughts in due course. I’d also love to hear about any ideas you have for social events/activities – just drop me an email, or post on the facebook, and I’ll try to work it in.

A bit more about me – I’m doing a part time masters alongside my job (in research methods, of course!), and on the rare occasions when I’m not organising a summer school, doing masters work, or in a pub (for research purposes, remember!), I like to get up at five o’clock in the morning to row with the university rowing club.

All in all, I’m really excited to meet all you guys in June, I think the summer school is going to be loads of fun and, as always, if you have any issues or questions before then, feel free to get in touch!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Iceland, the Panama Papers and the rise of the Pirate Party’ – Tuesday 3rd May

Kent’s Q-Step team would like to invite you all to our fourth pubTALK; ‘Iceland, the Panama Papers and the rise of the Pirate Party’, on Tuesday 3rd May. This is the second part of a series of special talks leading up to the EU referendum in June.

Last month, PhD candidate Zach Paikin gave a great talk on the implications of Brexit. This month, Dr Benjamin Leruth will talk about the Icelandic protests and the resignation of their prime minister following the Panama Papers leak.

The event is free to attend (although you will need to buy your own drinks!) but as space is limited, please do let us know if you are coming via the contact details below or on our Facebook event page.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Keli Jenner/ Joe Warriner
Kent Q-Step Centre, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NF
Website: www.kent.ac.uk/qstep
Twitter: @UniKentQstep
Tel: 01227 827716 | E-mail: qstep-info@kent.ac.uk

‘pubTALK’ is a series of informal talks about real-world issues, held once a month in a local Canterbury pub.

Each month, we have an expert giving a talk on a social issue and then the floor is open up to discussions all whilst enjoying a drink or two! The talk is for staff, students, the general public – anyone who is interested is welcome to attend.

Tuesday 3rd May; 7pm to 9pm – The Dolphin, Canterbury

‘Iceland, the Panama Papers and the rise of the Pirate Party’
 
The release of the Panama Papers had a huge impact around the world. According to these leaks, thousands of bankers, businessmen and politicians have had links to anonymous offshore companies. Among them, David Cameron’s father, Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin, and the prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson. What happened in Iceland is particularly remarkable: more than 20,000 people (around 7 per cent of the whole population) protested in front of the Icelandic parliament, and the Prime Minister eventually stepped down.
In this month’s pubTALK, Dr Benjamin Leruth will discuss what happened in Iceland, and why this small island is a fascinating case study for analyzing successful protest movements. He will also discuss the rise of the Icelandic Pirate Party, which has topped opinion polls for more than a year, and is likely to form a government after the upcoming elections in the Autumn.

Location:

The Dolphin, 1 St Radigunds St, Canterbury, CT1 2AA

Parking is available at the St. Radigund’s and Northgate car parks, which are about 5-10 minutes walk from the venue (the car parks charge until 9pm). The Canterbury bus station is about 10-15 minutes walk from the venue.

Posted in news, SSPSSR | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Q-Step Maths Inspiration Quiz Winners

Kent’s Q-Step centre were proud sponsors of the Canterbury Maths Inspiration show for the second year running. It was fantastic day meeting teachers and students with interesting and fun talks.

We particularly enjoyed running our Maths Inspiration quiz – we had a great response and are pleased to announce the winners:

  • 1st Place: Sean – Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys
  • 2nd Place: Bethany – Queen Elizabeth Grammar School
  • 3rd Place: Lucy – Highworth Grammar School

Winners were picked randomly from a hat from those who had answered all 4 questions correctly. Overall there were 80 responses to the quiz with 26% of respondents getting all 4 questions right – this was made up of 43% of boys and 48% girls (9% did not specify). Overall, Highstead Grammar School had the most correct entries with 24.6% of their entries being all correct – well done!

The questions and answers are below for those would like to see.

Well done for everyone who took part!

If you have any questions, comments or would just like to talk statistics – please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Keli Jenner/ Joe Warriner
Kent Q-Step Centre, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NF

Website: www.kent.ac.uk/qstep

Twitter: @UniKentQstep
Tel: 01227 827716 | E-mail: qstep-info@kent.ac.uk

THE Q-STEP QUIZ

 In a recent survey, how many people were found to have washed their hands with soap after visiting the bathroom at UK motorway service stations?

a) 50%

b) 1/3 of men and 2/3 of women

c) 2/3 of men and 1/3 of women

Are grammar schools more likely to be faith schools?

(a) Yes                (b) No

In a recent survey, what % of mobile phones were found to have traces of faecal matter on them?

(a) 0.6%           (b) 16%               (c) 26%

Using the numerals 1,7,7,7 and 7 create the number 100.

There were several correct answers to this including:

  • 177-77 = 100
  • (7+7) × (7+(1 ÷ 7)) = 100
  • (7+1/7)x(7+7)

We had some fantastic creative answers to this problem and although we did not accept the following answer:

  • 100 (made up by rotating the 7’s by 180 degrees)

We did accept:

  • 7squared+7squared+1+(7/7)
  • 7-7=0, 7-7=0 then use the 1 for 100

——————————————————————————– 

Posted in news, SSPSSR | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet the Summer School team: Dr. Jack Cunliffe

In the first of a series of articles building up to this summer’s Quant GROUP Summer School, we introduce Dr. Jack Cunliffe, convenor and teaching lead for the course.

dr_jack_cunliffe_2

My name is Dr. Jack Cunliffe and I shall be the main teacher on the summer school. I think I’m pretty well placed to do this as I have a good deal of experience teaching this type of statistical course having taught similar stuff for 3 years at the London School of Economics during my time there. I’ve also worked as a research supervisor for a summer school that runs on the same group ethos, an idea I used to shape how the Kent GROUP summer school will work.

Before moving to academia I was a civil servant for a long time and worked in a number of roles. This meant that I was constantly talking to colleagues who professed to “not getting maths”. I’ve found that if you’re patient and speak to people in language they understand then everyone has the ability to ‘get’ numbers – it’s pretty rare that people don’t understand how much an apple costs and stats when approach correctly can be just as easily understood.

For me, teaching applied statistical methods is about showing the real world applicability and ways of thinking about the methods that not only gives an understanding of the technicalities but also give you a way of thinking how they are created. This means that the course should not only teach you the method, but also give you the way of thinking to be able to understand the blizzard of numbers that get presented to you by the media on a daily basis.

One of my proudest pieces of work was when I was seconded to the LSE from the Government Equalities Office and led the stats team for a report looking at inequality in the UK, which was commissioned by then Deputy Leader of the Labour party, Harriet Harman. The report, found here http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cr/CASEreport60.pdf (with a few supporting document available through this website – http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case/_new/publications/NEP.asp) analysed differences in education, employment, earnings, income and wealth by a variety of different characteristics, including ethnicity.

The report is pretty big but page 222 to 237 gives some good detail on ethnic inequalities, and chapters 3 through to 8 present some easy to digest graphs that should prove to be illuminating (see 3.1 on page 67 to understand what is being presented). The report was well received, making headlines in most the major papers and ended up with a surreal experience of me and my team drinking cheap wine with a bunch of MPs in the Leader of the House of Commons office in the Houses of Parliament!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Next pubTALK – Tuesday 12th April

Kent’s Q-Step team would like to invite you all to our third pubTALK; ‘Rising Populism and the Migration Crisis’, on Tuesday 12th April.

‘pubTALK’ is a series of informal talks about real-world issues, held once a month in a local Canterbury pub.

Each month, we have an expert giving a talk on a social issue and then the floor is open up to discussions all whilst enjoying a drink or two! The talk is for staff, students, the general public – anyone who is interested is welcome to attend.

This month’s talk will be given by PhD candidate James Downes who will provide a unique perspective on the migration crisis and the growing support of the far right in Europe. The talk will be held at The Dolphin, Canterbury (7pm to 9pm) – please see further details below.

The event is free to attend (although you will need to buy your own drinks!) but as space is limited, please do let us know if you are coming via the contact details below or on our Facebook event page.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Keli Jenner/ Joe Warriner

Kent Q-Step Centre, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NF

Website: www.kent.ac.uk/qstep

Twitter: @UniKentQstep

Tel: 01227 827716 | E-mail: qstep-info@kent.ac.uk

Theme:

‘Rising Populism and the Migration Crisis’

More than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015, and the migration crisis in Europe has continued to spread in 2016. Member states of the EU have struggled to cope with the influx, resulting in widespread divisions over how best to resettle people. In the midst of the debate, the far right in Europe has seen a surge in the polls, with extreme right wing parties gaining ground in countries such as the UK, France, Hungary, Poland and Sweden.

In this month’s pubTALK, PhD candidate James Downes provides a unique perspective on the migration crisis, using recent data from the Eurobaromater survey to outline the numbers behind the crisis, showing how Far Right parties across Europe have exploited the situation for their own electoral gain, and exploring the wider implications that the crisis poses for the EU project.

Location:

The Dolphin, 1 St Radigunds St, Canterbury, CT1 2AA

Parking is available at the St. Radigund’s and Northgate car parks, which are about 5-10 minutes walk from the venue (the car parks charge until 9pm). The Canterbury bus station is about 10-15 minutes walk from the venue.

Posted in news, SSPSSR, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment