pubTALK Monday 11th March

Our next pubTALK is on Monday 11th March and we are very excited to welcome Hind Elhinnawy to talk about ‘Secular Muslim Women’s Activism in the Age of ISIS’.

Experiencing abuse, harassment, and sometimes death threats from ‘radical Islamists’, and accused of collaborating with Western imperialism by importing alien ideas and practices, secular Muslim women activists challenge discriminatory laws within Islamic texts, reject and condemn the jihadist political message, and assert that human rights laws have precedence over religious and cultural considerations.

In this presentation, Hind Elhinnawy will focus on two organizations run by two secular Muslim women activists; “Inspire” a counter-extremism and women’s rights organization; and “Mother’s Brigade” a French organization that provides support for traumatized mothers of foreign fighters working to save children from recruitment in extremist and jihadist groups. In doing so, she hopes to unravel many of the tensions, conflicts and ambiguities that mark the nature of activism of Muslim women in the West opposing what they define as “violent Islamist Extremism”.

Venue: The Old Buttermarket, 39 Burgate, CT1 2HW, 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

All are welcome!

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Congratulations to Rob de Vries on winning a prestigious award for ‘Critical Statistics: Seeing Beyond the Headlines’

2018 saw the publication of Dr Rob de Vries’ new book, Critical Statistics: Seeing Beyond the Headlines.  He is now pleased to have received an award for this from the Textbook and Academic Authors Association in the category, ‘Most Promising New Textbook’. See here for further details and here if you would like to purchase the book.  Many congratulations to Rob on this prestigious award!

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UK rise in deaths from Xanax must be tackled at root cause

Jack Cunliffe’s upcoming research, in collaboration with the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London and the University of Montreal, shows a rise in the popularity of sedative drugs on darknet markets, with the UK level increasing at the quickest pace, and also that there has been an increase in the purchasing of the most potent sedative alprazolam – where in the USA is has been the most common version all along. However, diazepam, the ‘traditional’ sedative prescribed in the UK, is still the by some way the most popular.  See more at the University’s News Centre.

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Come to our first pubTALK of 2019!

A very belated Happy New Year to you all!  We have our first pubTALK of 2019 coming up on Monday 11th February, 7 for 7.30pm at the Old Buttermarket, Burgate Canterbury.  Our speaker is Professor David Oliver from the Tizard Centre, and the title of his talk is, ‘Palliative care – not just for cancer?’.  David writes:

Palliative care is the active support of people with life threatening illness, considering all aspects of care – physical, psychological, social and spiritual. It is often associated with the care of people with advanced cancer, although when St Christopher’s Hospice was opened in 1967 by Dame Cicely Saunders, patients with other diagnoses were admitted.

My interest has been in the development of palliative care of people with neurological disease and my research and publications has been on this developing field, particularly for people with motor neurone disease. This pubTALK will look at this area and how palliative care, in hospices, hospitals and the community, is developing to care for people with any disease.

Do come and join us – entry is free – and it would be lovely to see some of you there!

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Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas!

Very best wishes from all at Kent Q-Step Centre for a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous new year!

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What’s your view on flexible working?

Recent research from the University of Kent has suggested that flexible working often leads to negative views from other employees, while for those doing the flexible working, feelings are also negative – that their careers will suffer if they use flexible working arrangements.

Interestingly, women, especially mothers, who work part-time and on reduced hours, reported that their careers were negatively impacted by flexible working, more so than full-time flexi- workers.  Men, on the other hand, especially fathers, were more likely to report that their own jobs were negatively impacted by others working flexibly.

To read more on this research undertaken by Dr Heejung Chung, see the full paper, Gender, Flexibility Stigma and the Perceived Negative Consequences of Flexible Working in the UK, here.




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Come and hear how the media can misinterpret statistics! (surely not!!)

Monday 10th December, 7 for 7.30 pm, The Old Buttermarket, Canterbury, SSPSSR’s Dr Rob de Vries will be talking about, ‘Lies, Fake News, and Statistics’.

Browse your social media feed, turn on the TV, or open your news website of choice – chances are it won’t be long before you come across a story based on a statistic. Maybe it’s that ‘70% of married women have cheated on their partners’ (The Washington Post) or that ‘32,000 people in the US die from gun violence every year’ (tweet by US Senator Tammy Baldwin) or that ‘One in five British Muslims sympathise with Jihadis’ (The Sun).

The news is full of numbers for a good reason: numbers and statistics are vital to understanding what’s really going on in the world. But they can also be deceptive. In the wrong hands, they can easily end up giving us a distorted picture of reality. In this talk, based on his new book Critical Statistics: Behind the Headlines, Robert de Vries will show how understanding a few simple tricks and some basic statistical concepts can help us see the truth behind the numbers in the news.

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Do the British public believe ‘benefit myths’?

Do the British public believe ‘myths’ about the benefit system, or do they have a roughly accurate view about how it works? A new paper by Ben Baumberg Geiger, published in the journal Social Policy & Administration in August, looks at this question in detail – access the paper here.   Alternatively see the working paper from the LSE Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion available here. Ben’s other numerous papers are available on his website with links to the web appendices and web tables – plus two of the datasets used in the Social Policy and Administration paper.

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Student evaluations: are they worth it?

This was the underlying question at a summer conference attended by Gianna Eick.  Gianna’s own thoughts on this are that, when data is used well,  combining findings from various surveys, staff and student focus groups, then progress can be made in improving the student learning and living experience.  See here for Gianna’s post, which includes her reflections on presenting at a large conference as a young and less experienced researcher.

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The long awaited stats text everyone is talking about!

This month’s ‘must buy’ text ‘Critical Statistics Seeing Beyond the Headlines’ is now available on the publisher’s website.  Authored by Q-Step’s Rob de Vries, this is a fabulous introductory texts for students doing statistical research for the first time or for all those out there interested in the facts behind the headline news.


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