From wildfires to wellbeing, from the history of the slave trade to the future of refugees – find out more about the fascinating range of projects at last year's event.
Browse the photo gallery from the event.
Research projects on display:
What makes students and staff happy at LSE?
Reflections aims to better understand happiness and its drivers at LSE. Through a new mobile app the study will gather information such as mood, personality, behaviour, and location.This information is collected via short daily surveys in the app about how you feel, and combined with information from your phone, like how far you’ve walked that day or how much you’ve used your phone. Analysing this data will help build understanding of the different factors that contribute to happiness, develop insights on what might improve wellbeing at LSE in the future, and contribute to further research into happiness.
Presenters: Professor Paul Dolan, Amanda Henwood and Luc Schneider, Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, LSE
How can you perform powerful, flexible, fast text analysis?
quanteda is a fast, flexible, and comprehensive framework for quantitative text analysis in R. Standing for “Quantitative ANalysisof TExtual DAta”, the package provides a comprehensive suite of functions for corpus management, creating and manipulating tokens and ngrams, exploring keywords in context, forming and manipulating sparse matrices of documents by features and featureco-occurrences, analyzing keywords, computing feature similarities and distances, applying content dictionaries, applying supervised and unsupervised machine learning, visually representing text and text analyses, and more.
Presenter: Professor Kenneth Benoit, Department of Methodology, LSE
What do young people think it means to spend money, or to refrain from spending money?
Behavioural Research Lab Junior is a series of events that combine research into young people’s ideas about money with public engagement. Research participants visit LSE with a parent or teacher, take part in research at the Behavioural Research Lab (BRL), learn more about our work here, and tour LSE with student guides. The student guides get hands-on experience conducting research and doing public engagement.
Presenter: Dr Heather Kappes, Department of Management, LSE
How does palm oil agriculture impact carbon emissions and haze episodes in Southeast Asia?
Through a number of multi-disciplinary collaborative projects, we aim to understand the environmental impact of deforestation and agricultural conversion in the tropical peat-swamp regions of Southeast Asia.
Land clearance and drainage releases significant carbon emissions, and increases landscape susceptibility to fires leading to costly transboundary air pollution episodes across Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore. Through field-scale experiments and opportunistic fieldwork at fires, our work aims to quantify greenhouse gas and haze-forming emissions from land degradationand burning, as well as investigate the serious deleterious effects onhuman health and the economy. Our work informs REDD+ initiatives and contributes to forest conservation management across the region.
Presenter: Dr Thomas Smith, Department of Geography and Environment, LSE
How can social researchers and lighting professionals collaborate to produce a better urban public realm?
Configuring Light carries out a wide range of projects that explore the role of light in producing urban space. Through collaborations with lighting professionals and urban designers, planners and policymakers, we aim to improve the social knowledge base for public lighting in particular and the material fabric of urban spaces in general.
Presenters: Dr Don Slater, Department of Sociology, LSE; Dr Joanne Entwistle, King’s College London; Elettra Bordonaro, Lighting Designer
How can LSE Library support your research?
Members of our LSE community use the Library’s archives and support to push the frontiers of social science research. Recent research projects include an interactive hub of Charles Booth’s London poverty maps; collaborations with Google Arts and Culture for the anniversary of the Representation of the People Act; and an open access educational resource exploring the Cold War.
What are the most pressing global health challenges faced by the world today?
The Global Health Initiative (GHI) is the LSE’s interdepartmental hubfor research and collaboration in Global Health. Within LSE it links global health related work happening across the School and fosters interdisciplinary collaboration. Activities include a Peer Review Reading Group, networking events, and support for interdisciplinary research grant development. Externally the GHI raises the profile of LSE work in the field showcasing our research and engaging key stakeholders. Activities include a GHI Seminar Series, regular newsletters, and GHI web pages providing a single entry point to health research and blogs from across the School.
How can we get drug policy to move beyond the war on drugs?
The “war on drugs” has raged for decades with trillions of dollars spent and incalculable numbers or lives lost. Meanwhile, illicit drug markets continue unabated and the harms inflicted by counter-productive prohibitionist policies on individuals and communities, particularly poor and marginalised communities, continue to mount. The LSE International Drug Policy Unit has been working with civil society and governments around the world to bring a greater awareness andutilisation of academic research to formulate more effective policies which move beyond the failed “war on drugs”.
Presenter: Dr John Collins, LSE International Drug Policy Unit
To what extent do reading lists provide evidence for bias against women?
Based on mapping activities led by the Gender and Diversity Project at the LSE’s International Relations department, this research explores questions of gendered bias as visible through course reading lists.
Findings indicate multiple layers of effects unfavourable to female author inclusion: 79.2% of texts on reading lists are authored exclusively by men, reflecting the representation of women neither in the professional discipline nor in the published discipline. Level ofstudy, subfield and the gender and seniority of the course convener all correlate with this unequal representation of female authors.
The showcase invites audience members to investigate these effects in an interactive way and be part of a discussion about possible ways to address them.
Presenters: Dr Gustav Meibauer, Department of International Relations, LSE; Gokhan Ciflikli, Department of Methodology, LSE
How was a British trading monopoly embedded in an African geopolitical context?
The Royal African Company was a British joint-stock company witha monopoly over the African trade in the late seventeenth century. It conducted trade for gold and slaves via a series of forts along the West African coast, with a hub at Cape Coast Castle in modern-day Ghana.
Our project combines computational text analysis with GIS to thematically map the correspondence, over 3000 letters, that the Royal African Company sent between locations on the African coast in the final two decades of its monopoly. We utilize word frequency analysis, word2vec, and co-occurrence and market-basket analysis to better understand how a seventeenth-century monopoly tried to defend itself against competitors, how it managed trade on the coast and how it interacted with African merchants, states and societies.
Presenter: Dr Anne Ruderman, Department of Economic History, LSE
What's the Library doing to promote your research?
Find out how the Library is supporting researchers at LSE through digital scholarship and innovation. Our recent projects include illustrated abstracts with a graphic artist; a politics textbook published by LSE Press; and this year we’re launching a project to map research support across the School.
Presenters: Lucy Lambe, Scholarly Communications Officer, LSE; Nancy Graham, Research Support and Academic Liaison Manager, LSE; Nadia Marks, User Experience Researcher, LSE.
How does faith shape peace and conflict in South Sudan?
Using the concept of Public Authority, researchers in the Centre for Public Authority and International Development are investigating the roles played by a multitude of actors and institutions – including governments, clans, religious institutions, aid agencies, civil society organisations, rebel militias – that make co-operation and economic activity possible in conflict-affected areas.
Presenters: Dr Naomi Pendle, Research Officer, Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, LSE; Elizabeth Storer, PhD Student, International Development, LSE
How can refugees rebuild not only their lives but also help with the reconstruction of their home country?
Rebuilding Somaliland After Conflict: The role of a London diaspora examines a contemporary case study in human resilience during and after civil war. Thousands of traumatised Somalis sought refuge in Britain following the collapse of the Siad Barre regime and the civil war in 1991. Many of these refugees were ex-combatants or from broken civilian families. Focusing on this historical refugee flow, Dr Joanna Lewis is researching the history ofwomen, humanitarian intervention, and recovery. Dr Shane Marottais examining the relationship between the diaspora, the politics of recovery and the physical rebuilding of a new capital city.
Presenters: Dr Joanna Lewis and Dr Shane Marotta, Department of International History, LSE; Mohammed Ismail, Project Researcher, LSE.
What is anthropology? And what is development?
The people of Kuamar, a small Shuar community in Ecuadorian Amazonia, asked a group of anthropologists to explain what anthropology is and what its value might be. They wanted to “exchange knowledge” with them. A public assembly was organised in which the anthropologists explained what their discipline aims to be and how they learn from and with the people who welcome them into their lives. Inspired by the event, a group of young people from the community asked to be filmed as they talked about what they want from their future and what they reject about “development”.
This is part of a larger 5-year research project investigating the social, cultural and cognitive bases of moral judgements in Western Amazonia, exploring how the indigenous peoples of Western Amazonia pursue and enact forms of justice in their everyday lives.
Presenters: Natalia Buitron-Arias, Gregory Deshoulliere and Rita Astuti, Department of Anthroplogy, LSE