NUDITY, GOLDFISH AND ETHICS

Both my June 2017 blogs are in response to things encountered as a visual arts examiner/moderator. This one is aimed at teachers and to some extent is about ethics and the limits of art submitted for assessment. The other one - YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS… - is for students and relates to assessment and the differences in perception from the perspective of a teacher and that of a moderator, but the audience for each could be reversed. (Feel free to read both!) Anyway, ...

Sleep and mental health.

The BBC's All in the Mind Radio programme often details interesting examples of research that can spark your students' interest in Psychology.  Recently, the editor of the British Psychological Society appeared on the programme and outlined recent research. One of the most interesting findings from sleep researchers Putilov et al. was that we are not all either owls or larks, but there are two intermediate chronotypes.  (So far listeners to the programme have proposed "swifts" and "dodos or pelicans").  This ...

Environment and physiology – Seasonal Affective Disorder

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, this is a highly relevant topic at this time of year. Seasonal Affective Disorder is is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons and the accompanying decrease in natural daylight.  It is a very good example of an interaction between the environment and a physiological process. This blog by Dayna Evans carries an excellent description of her suffering from SAD. Rosenthal et al (1986) summarised a series of studies and concluded ...

The business of waste

I made a rational economic decision yesterday and purchased a new printer even though my existing printer is working perfectly. My reasoning was based on a comparison of the cost of replacement laser cartridges with the purchase price of a new, upgraded and wireless version of my present printer. The result was clear; even purchasing non-branded replacement cartridges was significantly more expensive than buying the new printer - in fact 75% more expensive. Branded cartridge replacements cost more than double ...

GM crops

The much lauded potential  improvements in the worlds food supply through GM crops has come under question recently with a report by 20 Indian, south-east Asian, African and Latin American food and conservation groups representing millions of people. The report says that only two traits have been developed on any significant scale and that in places such as China where insect resistant Bt cotton is widely planted, there has been an increase in the use of pesticides needed to combat the ...