Listed below are forthcoming events in Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology.

See also all events in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies.

Any college staff or postgraduates may always attend. Anyone else should contact the department or the centre in question.

WhenDescriptionLocationAdd to your calendar
29 January 2018

"Culture, ‘mental’ illness, and embodiment: Survey evidence of helpful and harmful effects of fiction-reading for eating disorders" Dr Emilly Troscianko (University of Oxford)

Egenis seminar series. The healing power of literature is far more often assumed than tested—either that, or ignored as irrelevant to the serious medical business of curing illness. Neither attitude is helpful. Cultural factors can clearly be relevant to mental health, and the treatment-resistance of many mental illnesses, combined with the high financial cost of many existing therapies, makes the idea of using books to heal people an attractive one. But although fiction and poetry seem to be used fairly often in therapeutic practice, so far there is very little systematic understanding of what actually works and what doesn’t for different conditions and individuals. I take eating disorders as a case study, and report on evidence from a large-scale survey conducted with the charity Beat. We found that reading some kinds of fiction is perceived to have therapeutic effects, but that other kinds can be highly detrimental to mental and physical health—in particular those texts which thematise eating disorders, which seem often to be sought out by sufferers specifically with the aim of exacerbating their illness.. Full details
Byrne HouseAdd this to your calendar
30 January 2018

Q-Step : Designing Experiments

At the workshop we will consider basic principles of designing field and survey experiments. We will start with discussing the idea of causal inference and randomisation. Then we will review several experimental designs: completely randomised, stratified, paired, cluster randomised, factorial. Next, we will discuss statistical power in experiments and conclude with a review of the methods for the analysis of experimental data, such as ANOVA and linear model. The workshop will be useful for Q-Step undergraduate students planning to use experiments for their dissertations, as well as for postgraduate students.. Full details
Old Library Research Seminar Room A/B20 with Alexey Bessudnov Add this to your calendar
5 February 2018

Liz Irvine (Cardiff University) “Interaction, Minds and Meaning in Pragmatics”

SPA Seminar series. Full details
Amory C417Add this to your calendar
6 February 2018

Q-Step: Data Analysis - Python

TBC. Full details
Old Library Research Seminar Room A/B20 Add this to your calendar
7 February 2018

Using your social sciences degree for a career in Finance

Are you interested in a career in Finance but are unsure of how to get there with a social sciences degree? Exeter alumnus Hugo Chance (CEO of Chance Capital) will be returning to speak about his career since graduating with a degree in Sociology and Philosophy, the work of Chance Capital, and give his tips on how you can translate your social sciences degree into a successful career in finance. Read more about Hugo in this Q&A about his experiences and Chance Capital here: Please ensure that you arrive promptly for the start of this event and that you have your University ID card (UniCard) with you. Your attendance at this appointment/event will be recorded. If you are recorded as absent your ability to book further events and appointments may be temporarily revoked. If you are unable to attend, please cancel your booking as soon as possible. Please see attendance policy at Full details
Streatham Court 0.28Add this to your calendar
12 February 2018

"History of continuous culture techniques and their promise of directed evolution" Gabriele Gramelsberger (RWTH Aachen)

Egenis seminar series. Continuous culture techniques were developed in the early twentieth century to replace cumbersome studies of cell growth in batch cultures. Devices — called "automatic syringe mechanism," "turbidostat," "chemostat," "bactogen," and "microbial auxanometer" — have been designed by Jacques Monod, Aron Novick and Leo Szilard and other scientists. With these devices cell growth came under the external control of the experimenters and thus accessible for metabolically and genetically studying organisms but also for developing a mathematical theory of growth kinetics. The paper explores the historical development of continuous culture devices. It further discusses contemporary designs of continuous culture techniques realizing a specific event-based flow algorithm able to simulate directed evolution and produce artificial cells and microorganisms. This current development is seen as an alternative approach to today's synthetic biology. Full details
Byrne HouseAdd this to your calendar
13 February 2018

Q-Step: Text Analysis - Python

TBC. Full details
Old Library Research Seminar Room A/B20Add this to your calendar
19 February 2018

"Trees as keys, ladders, maps: A revisionist history of early systematic trees" Petter Hellström (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Egenis seminar series. In recent years, there has been a profusion of studies charting the history of tree diagrams in natural history and biological systematics. Whereas some of these have focused on one or a few arboreal schemes, the majority have presented long histories, spanning centuries and occasionally even millennia. Early or ‘pre-Darwinian’ trees typically feature in these histories as precursors to phylogenetics; sometimes even as the ‘roots’ of later trees. Together with colleagues in France, I have previously argued that one of the most frequently cited early tree diagrams, Augustin Augier’s ‘Botanical Tree’ (1801), cannot in any reasonable way be made to play the role of forerunner to later, evolutionary trees—even as the author pitched his tree of natural families in explicitly genealogical terms. In this talk, I push the argument further by proposing an alternative reading of the historical record. Starting from Augier’s tree and other early examples, I argue that ‘pre-evolutionary’ trees should be understood less in terms of what came after, and more in terms of what came before. Attending to the functions they performed as keys, ladders, and maps, I argue that early trees were logical, rhetorical, and mnemonic devices drawn to imagine perfect, static order. Full details
Byrne HouseAdd this to your calendar
20 February 2018

Q-Step: Longitudinal Data Analysis

In this workshop you will learn about the principles of longitudinal data analysis, when it should be used and the advantages and disadvantages of longitudinal methods. You will also be introduced to event history analysis and learn how to construct a person-year data file. Finally, you will learn to run common hazard models and create a survival curve. The workshop will be taught using STATA software with examples from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). Please note that a prior experience with regression analysis is required. Full details
Old Library PC Cluster (Level -1) Add this to your calendar
26 February 2018

"Sex, Death and Trigger Warnings: A Cultural History of Self-injury" Dr Sarah Chaney (Queen Mary University of London)

Egenis seminar series. Non-suicidal self-injury is often thought of as a modern epidemic, entering the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5) in 2013 as a seemingly universal category. Yet the much longer history of medical approaches to self-harm reveals a surprising variation in the ways a range of behaviours have been classified and understood. This history also tells us surprisingly little about people who harm themselves, and much more about prevailing assumptions around sex, gender, youth, deviance and social interaction in particular eras. In this talk, I will set some of these explanations for self-harm in historical context, from the late Victorian fears surrounding male castration to more modern preoccupations with peer contagion and youth culture. By critically evaluating the past, I argue, we can better recognise and manage the assumptions and attitudes of our own time. Full details
Byrne HouseAdd this to your calendar
27 February 2018

Q-Step : Network Analysis

The workshop provides an introduction for beginners to Social Network Analysis. It gives an overview of key concepts needed to design research that looks at social relations (networks) that connect individual units (actors), so that students can apply social network analysis to their own research. The workshop focuses on the description and visualisation of social network data, looking at structural properties of a network, as well as ideas of centrality in the network. To understand the SNA perspective, practical examples are given from academic literature, illustrative graphics from the media, and source material visualised through R. Experience in R is expected although not required. We will use a combination of slides and R code exercise. Full details
Old Library Research Seminar Room A/B20 Add this to your calendar
1 March 2018

Careers in lobbying and advocacy with Danny Kushlick (Transform Drug Policy Foundation)

Join Danny Kushlick (Founder and Head of External Affairs at Transform Drug Policy Foundation) for a workshop focusing on a career in lobbying and advocacy. Transform is a charitable think tank that campaigns for the legal regulation of drugs both in the UK and internationally. Transform aims to educate and inspire policymakers to explore and implement the effective legal regulation of drug markets. Danny will speak about his diverse career and experiences, give an in-depth look into the work of organisations such as Transform, and give his tips on being successful in the industry. There will be a Q&A after the talk, and a drinks reception where you will have the chance to speak to Danny further. Danny Kushlick bio: Danny is the founder of Transform Drug Policy Foundation, which he started in 1996, after working in a variety of jobs in the drugs field. It was his clients' experience that led him to the understanding that prohibition is a social policy catastrophe. He worked for Bristol Drugs Project, the Big Issue Foundation, Bath Area Drugs Advisory Service and the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO). He is now an internationally recognised commentator on drug and drug policy issues, with a unique combination of personal experience and broad, global view. Please ensure that you arrive promptly for the start of this event and that you have your University ID card (UniCard) with you. Your attendance at this appointment/event will be recorded. If you are recorded as absent your ability to book further events and appointments may be temporarily revoked. If you are unable to attend, please cancel your booking as soon as possible. Please see attendance policy at Full details
Amory C417Add this to your calendar
5 March 2018

Lorna Finlayson (University of Essex) “Madness, present and pervasive: Laingian social pathology and the spectre of organicism”

SPA Seminar series. Full details
Amory C417Add this to your calendar
6 March 2018

Q-Step : Agent-based modeling

Though models sit at the centre of lines of social inquiry as diverse as game theory, statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, and political philosophy, all involve an attempt to describe core elements of the world in a way that helps us to understand, value, and predict that world. With Agent Based Models, computer simulations of the behaviours of many agents work deductively from simplified assumptions to create dynamic interactions that can be examined over a range of conditions to make inductive arguments about the nature of the world. In this generative reasoning approach, agents with very simple micromotives can lead to complex adaptive systems in which qualitatively different macrobehaviours emerge. How do very simple assumptions about drivers, city dwellers, and voters lead to complex emergent phenomena like traffic jams, housing segregation, and party realignment? In this lecture, I’ll introduce answers to these questions by building models of these problems and highlight tools you can use to develop your own agent based models. Full details
Old Library Research Seminar Room A/B20 Add this to your calendar
8 March 2018

Q-Step : TBC

TBC. Full details
Building:One Syndicate Room B Add this to your calendar
13 March 2018

Q-Step : Multilevel modeling

In this tutorial, we introduce multilevel models as extensions of regression-type models suited to analyse hierarchical or nested data, such as children's SATs test scores nested within classes or schools, individual survey responses nested within interviewers, or, potentially, any measure taken repeatedly over time. Full details
Old Library Research Seminar Room A/B20Add this to your calendar
19 March 2018

Elise Tancoigne (University of Geneva)

Egenis seminar series. Title and abstract to follow. Full details
Byrne HouseAdd this to your calendar
21 - 23 March 2018

Process Biology: Final Conference of the ERC Project ‘A Process Ontology for Contemporary Biology’ Prof John Dupre

The ERC-funded project ‘A Process Ontology for Contemporary Biology’ (2013-2018) has sought to rethink central issues in the philosophy of biology by elaborating an ontology for biology that takes full account of the processual nature of living systems. The goal has been to develop a concept of process adequate for addressing the multiple levels of interacting processes at different time scales characteristic of living systems. All biological entities can be analysed as stabilised processes relative to an appropriate time scale, and this conception provides a better understanding of familiar biological pluralisms (about genes, organisms, species, etc..) in terms of different ways in which distinct scientific practices intersect with biological processes. A process perspective has been used to shed light on a number of traditional philosophical problems, including individuation, classification, persistence, explanation, essentialism, and reductionism. It has also addressed the consequences of a process perspective for particular areas of contemporary biological and biomedical research. This final conference will present the main findings of the project and explore the broader consequences of a process ontology for biology, as well as suggest further avenues of future research in the philosophy of biology and metaphysics. Full details
The Royal Institution of Great Britain, LondonAdd this to your calendar
26 March 2018

"Turning Science into Legal Data: Where is the Invention in Patent Law?" Hyo Yoon Kang (University of Kent)

Egenis seminar series. This talk will explore the implications of patent law's digitisation on the understanding of scientific and technological inventions. Patent law is becoming increasingly datafied, both in terms of its internal workings as well as its social information, through interlinked databases. The result is that a patented invention, a scientific and/or technological artefact, is rendered into legal data. I probe the place of scientific knowledge in such a setting and show that the datafication of science and law results in different kind of calculability, namely a financial one. Full details
Byrne HouseAdd this to your calendar