Community gain research insights through Big Ideas event



Professor Keith George stood at the front of a lecture theatre delivering a speech

LJMU opened its doors to the local community this week as a host of its academics shared insights into an array of research topics making a difference to people in the Liverpool City Region and beyond.

The event, hosted by the university’s Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies, gave members of the public, as well as students, researchers and key partners from across the city region, the chance to listen to six quick-fire presentations and to explore their curiosities by asking the experts questions about their research.

Professor Keith George, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at LJMU welcomed guests to the event and explained how the university’s world-leading research continues to push boundaries and have a real-life impact on the world around us.

Professor George said: “Big Ideas is the ideal opportunity for us to share how our research isn’t just written words and academic papers, but how it answers real-world questions and finds solutions to challenges that impact the communities in which we live. It is a privilege to be able to open our doors here at LJMU to welcome in people and organisations from our local communities so that we can look at the impact of our research together and pursue new endeavours that benefit growth, tackle injustices, and innovate new practices that make for a better Liverpool City Region and beyond.”

Joint Associate Deans for Research, Dr Chris Vaughan and Professor James Crossland, introduced a series of six research presentations and facilitated a lively Q&A with audience members and presenting academics.

Those presenting research and their topics were:

  • Senior Lecturer in Politics, Dr Paul Anderson: Election Watch 2024: Where next for English devolution?
  • Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, Dr Avril Rowley: Increasing children’s access to nature in school through the introduction of a ‘Natural’ Curriculum into Primary Initial Teacher Education programmes and CPD packages at LJMU
  • Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Dr Lindsey Metcalf-McGrath: It’s a big added stress on top of being so ill...the challenges facing people prescribed cannabis in the UK
  • Professor of Public History, Dr Gillian O` Brien: Exile, Imprisonment, Death - Why we Need a Complex Past
  • Lecturer in Creative Writing and Digital Writing, Dr John Maxwell: Building a History of the American Civil War in Liverpool
  • Liverpool Screen School Subject Leader, Dr Simon Piasecki: Trial, Tale & Trail: Storytelling, Wellbeing and Pain in Endurance Walking

Six small images of six LJMU academics delivering lectures

Reverse Big Ideas

A Reverse Big Ideas event will take place later in the year where community groups will take the lead in sharing how their interaction with LJMU’s teaching and research is enhancing community partnerships.

Research and knowledge exchange at LJMU

Our research institutes, centres and groups carry out important and inspirational work, committed to the university strategy to find solutions to the problems of the 21st century.

Find out more about our research areas or visit our impact hub



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