Research Groups, Interviewing and Writing Collaboratively

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Curiosity is central to enthusiasm.

Yesterday was a marathon. I began with a chat over tea with my departmental head of research who gave me some very sage advice. It will take a bit of time to process but I can definitely see a renewed plan of action emerging – beginning with what do I have ready to submit to journals and what is my publishing plan going forwards.

I then headed over to  UCL ExCiteS for a lunchtime meeting about the ‘Participatory Science: understanding what motivates and sustains participation’ sessions at the RGS-IBG 2013. We now have a third session emerging on the role of technologies and things in participation – not to mention the immaterial, namely the unexpected. Exciting stuff.

This was followed swiftly by the ExCiteS research group meeting – this was fascinating – I was given the opportunity to chair the session, we were discussing the format of future sessions. How do group members with wide-ranging disciplinary and intellectual perspectives and approaches coalesce in a group meeting and leave feeling enthused about their research and collective endeavour. I’ve written about my participation in another research group before, but it is a very interesting question – in what ways do researchers in departments come together to share their work – via questions at the end of a department seminar? Reading groups? Shared email reading lists? Research group meetings? Or even a blog? We’re still in a process of determining the format but the general consensus was to create:

a supportive environment for ExCiteS group members to share their intellectual and practical experiences of research in an informal environment that fosters participation by all.

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Sign outside Wellcome Collection on my way back to UCL

I then dashed over to the Wellcome Collection to meet a research participant (and for tea and cake). We talked about architectural enthusiasm, specifically this participant’s enthusiasm for The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.

Then it was back to the department to Skype a co-author in The Netherlands about a paper I am co-writing about our time on the Enfield Exchange project. This is writing for a museum practitioner audience. There will be a section on lessons learned, but there will also be perspectives from a cultural geographer, national museum staff  and local museum curator.

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