EVIDENCE AND THE POLITICS OF IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF CARE

The Liverpool Medical History Society, the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool Medical Institution are pleased to announce the inaugural FRANCES IVENS LECTURE given by Daniel M. Fox

IvensFrances

Advances in research methodology in several disciplines have, since the mid-twentieth century, made it possible to evaluate more precisely than ever before the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions to improve or maintain the health of individuals and populations. Many of these advances originated in the United Kingdom and have informed policy and practice more thoroughly in that country than in many others.  Despite the political cultures of the health professions and public bureaucracies limiting the influence on policy and the practice of findings from research using these methodological advances, the influence of research evaluating interventions in healthcare and population health has grown steadily since about 1990.

Daniel M. Fox, author, policy adviser, mentor and visiting faculty member, is president emeritus of the Milbank Memorial Fund. Since 1961 he has published articles and books in the literatures of health services research, health and social policy, law, medicine, economic, cultural and intellectual history, and the history of medicine and health. His latest book is The Convergence of Science and Governance: Research, Health Policy and American States (University of California Press, 2010). Fox has served in three federal agencies, government in two states, and as a faculty member and administrator at Harvard and Stony Brook Universities. He holds AB, AM and PhD degrees from Harvard University.

This lecture will be illustrated by narratives about events in recent history rather than by slides because of the documented difficulty, perhaps impossibility, of talking about power in PowerPoint.

Thursday May 12, 2016, 17.30

Liverpool Medical Institution, 114 Mount Pleasant

FREE Tickets must be pre-booked via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk

Tate Liverpool Event

Organised by Tate Liverpool. Join Francis Bacon’s biographer and friend Michael Peppiatt at Tate Liverpool for a book reading and talk.

Date: Saturday 21 May, (15:00 – 16:00), 2016

Venue: Auditorium, Tate Liverpool

Cost: £5

Booking essential – Visit Tate Liverpool’s webpage

Michael Peppiatt’s legendary friendship with Francis Bacon began in Soho in 1963 and lasted until Bacon’s death almost thirty years later.

Fascinated by the artist’s brilliance and charisma, Peppiatt followed him on his nightly rounds of prodigious drinking from grand hotel to louche club, sharing Bacon’s ‘gilded gutter life’ in London, Paris and Tangier, and meeting everybody around him from Sonia Orwell and Lucian Freud to Andy Warhol and the Kray twins.

In this intimate, deliberately indiscreet account, Bacon is shown close-up, grand and petty, tender and treacherous by turn, and often quite unlike the myth that has since enveloped him.

This is a living, speaking likeness of the greatest artist of our times.

Following his talk, Michael Peppiatt will also be signing his books just outside the Auditorium in the Concourse.

 

WOWFEST 2016 & Continuing Education present Writing the World

Earth

When I saw that the theme for this year’s WOWFEST was Science Fiction, I knew I had to get involved. There are a lot of fascinating events and workshops on this May (I’m particularly looking forward to A History of SF in Ten Objects, The Changing Face of Girls’ Comics and Afrofuturism), and I’m excited to be part of Continuing Education’s first collaboration with WOWFEST, Writing the World. WOWFEST’s programme provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the work of CE students, and to prompt us all to create some fantastic new writing.

Another world waits behind the pages of any book, but science fiction shows us a world with unexpected rules, with its own assumptions and taboos, its own geography and biology and society, just different enough from ours to show us something new about ourselves, or to set the familiar in a new light. What I want to add to WOWFEST is a day for writers to think about how the best SF writers build their worlds, the processes that go into those careful constructions, and a chance to experiment with those processes and see what emerges.

My own writing centres on collaborations and interactions online, using social media to turn readers into co-writers, influencing and adding to my fictional worlds. I want to bring that process into the classroom, and create a collaborative science fiction world together, from the ground up, in one day of readings, discussions and workshop exercises. Then comes the really fun part: just how stable will our world be? Will we all see it the same way? What will happen when we begin to set stories on it, to take little pieces of it for ourselves and develop them in our own directions? After the Writing the World CE Saturday, the details of the world we’ve created will go online, onto a website that will showcase the stories we set there, each adding new facets, settings and characters.

This won’t be quite like my other classes for Continuing Education. There will still be reading and discussion and workshops, but I don’t know what the conclusions or outcomes will be. I don’t know what the world we create will be like, who will inhabit it or what kind of stories will take place there. It will be as much of a surprise for me as for you. I’m looking forward to exploring our planet’s landscapes, meeting the people who live there, discovering how they live and what they call their home. I hope you’ll help me find out.

Writing the World will be held at 126 Mount Pleasant on 23rd April from 10am to 4pm. Lunch is included in the £15 fee. To book your place click here http://goo.gl/PLMXpQ

During May, there will be two free follow-up sessions to revisit the world, to see how the stories have changed and developed it, and to decide where to take it next.

Emma Segar teaches CE courses in Writing Novels and Short Stories and Writing for Children. She has recently completed a PhD in Blog Fiction.

Unravelling the Earth past using stable isotopes

Unravelling the Earth past using stable isotopes
By Tsvetomila Mateeva & Nealy Carr

Everything around us is made of atoms of different elements. These tiny nanoscale particles are the building blocks of matter and life itself, the plants, the animals, the rocks, the stars the whole universe, the air we breathe and indeed you and I and everyone else. Since the dawn of time, people have wondered about the origins of the Earth, and the study of chemistry has helped answer some of these questions and given us great insight into the secrets of Planet Earth.
Science is constantly evolving and history is marked by great breakthroughs that allow us to progress and enable us to see and understand our world more and more. One such discovery was the discovery of the stable isotopes. Some of the first traces of the notion of isotopes go back to the beginning of the 20th century (around 1913), when the scientists Kasimir Fajans and Frederick Soddy, independently of each other, made the conclusion that atoms of the same element but with different masses exist. The term “isotope” we use nowadays however, was given by Frederick Soddy.
Isotopes of an element have the same atomic mass, the same number of protons and electrons, but can be lighter or heavier depending on the number of neutrons. It is this difference that enables chemists, biologists and physicists to explore, understand and answer questions that have eluded us in the past.
The application of a stable isotope approach is a powerful biogeochemical tool, and the ratio between the heavy and light isotopes of different elements are commonly used in earth science, archaeology, food safety and forensic science. For Example:

• Light isotopes of gases such as oxygen and hydrogen are well understood and used in geochemistry to trace the geographical source
• Carbon isotopes are used to differentiate organic and inorganic matter which in turns helps us reconstruct past conditions for life on Earth
• Oxygen isotopes are used as a planetary thermometer from which we can determine the temperature and climate of the past
• Boron isotopes are an indicator of the acidity or pH of our paleo oceans

Most part of us knows some TV criminal series, such as CSI, where the characters often use chemical analyses to find more information about the crime scene and determine who is guilty. Unfortunately in the real life the things don’t happen so fast and as accurately as in these series. Despite this fact, we try to apply these techniques in many cases. They could help determine the authenticity of a food – is a maple syrup a real one or is it made of corn or sugar syrup (carbon isotopes); are the vegetables you bought last week from a local farmer (hydrogen and oxygen isotopes)? The stable isotopes could give us a satisfying answer to these kinds of questions.The many applications of stable isotopes methods in the modern society.

Isotopes

The picture is from the august issue magazine Elements explaining the social and economic impact of the geochemistry (Ehleringer et al., 2015)

If you would like to learn more about this fascinating subject Tsvetomila & Nealy are running a brilliant short 5 week course Unravelling the Past: A Geochemical Approach from Wednesday 13 April – you can read more about this course and book your place here http://goo.gl/bENazU

Volunteering Opportunity – Family History Research

The History of Place project is looking for volunteers with enquiring minds to join its Liverpool based Research and Archive Group. You could help it with a Heritage Lottery Fund funded, ground-breaking national project which will celebrate the lives of deaf & disabled people through history. In Liverpool the group will carry out research into the Royal School for the Blind, record oral histories and identify unique stories to share via a website, films, games and exhibitions at M Shed, Museum of Liverpool and V&A. If you have a bit of spare time and are interested in doing some detective work, please call 01303 259777, email info@accentuateuk.org or visit http://historyof.place to find out more and register. Volunteers will receive a full induction, ongoing training and support to carry out the role.

What have we discovered in Gravitational Waves?

By Stephen Hughes

Earth

In 1915, ten years after the publication of the theory of special relativity, Albert Einstein published a new theoretical description of gravity, the theory of general relativity. Before general relativity, gravity was understood in terms of Newton’s law of gravitation, which gives excellent agreement between the predicted and observed positions for most of the planets in the Solar System. However, the predictions regarding the planet Mercury’s orbit around the Sun are slightly wrong. One of the first confirmations that general relativity was the correct description of gravity came from the theory accounting for this discrepancy. A theoretical model, such as general relativity, should lead to a better understanding of the phenomena it is trying to describe. There should also be predictions regarding the outcome of experiments when measurements are made. Ideally the predictions should not only explain what is already known but provide some insight into new effects. General relativity gives many predictions regarding previously unknown effects while accounting for everything that is already known from Newton’s work.

Physics Motion

In 1916 Einstein found his theory predicted the existence of gravitational waves. Many of the other predictions of general relativity have been confirmed experimentally in the early decades that followed. Einstein’s gravitational waves have eluded direct experimental confirmation for a century, leaving some uncertainty if they actually exist. During the past century many experiments have been designed to detect and study gravitational waves. The instruments used to detect gravitational waves need to be extremely sensitive to small disturbances in space-time. Gravity is the result of mass and energy curving space-time. Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time, propagating at the speed of light. When propagating through a region of space-time, the gravitational waves change the curvature of space-time by a small amount in that region. This is what the experiments try to measure. Only large scale processes, such as the collision of two stars, are likely to produce significant gravitational waves to be detected based on present instrument sensitivity. Gravitational waves carry away some of the energy from the collision. Detecting and measuring the gravitational waves gives information about the colliding masses.

In September 2015 the gravitational wave detectors comprising LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), resumed after undergoing an upgrade designed to increase the sensitivity of the instruments. Shortly after this upgrade in February 2016 the paper ‘Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger’ was published in the journal Physical Review Letters. This work represents the collaborative effort of a large team of scientists, engineers and mathematicians from different countries, working together over many years. Their work documents the first direct confirmation of gravitational waves. While this is a triumphant confirmation of Einstein’s ideas about gravity it is also the beginning of a new era of astronomical observations. Traditionally objects in the Universe are observed by collecting visible light through the aperture of a telescope. Visible light represents only a small range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Observing the Universe using only visible light restricts the information that can be obtained. Extending the range to include other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum gives more information, leading to a better understanding. When viewing nebulae, the birth place of stars, while only detecting visible light, the features of these systems can be obscured by a large cloud of gas and dust surrounding the newly forming stars. However, observing the same systems with detectors sensitive to light from other regions of the electromagnetic spectrum reveals more structural detail. The gas and dust in this case are not preventing the light from leaving the system.

Space Small

Astronomers now have a new technique for observing objects and events in the Universe. These first gravitational waves measured by LIGO originated when two black holes merged together, the first time this type of event has ever been observed. There are presently several gravitational wave detectors being constructed and others planned for construction in the near future. Perhaps the most promising of these are DECIGO (DECI-hertz Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory), and eLISA (Evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), which are anticipated to be launched in 2027 and 2038 respectively. These space based instruments will be more sensitive and capable of detecting gravitational waves from a greater range of astronomical events. Since gravitational waves also travel through space-time unaffected by other events, those produced in the early Universe are still propagating through space-time today. If measured these primordial gravitational waves could lead to a better understanding of the origin of the Universe.

To learn more about Einstein’s general relativity, space-time and gravitational waves why not enrol onto 101 Years of General Relativity with Stephen Hughes starting Monday 4th April 2016 you can enrol here

5th Annual Archaeology and the Bible Day conference:Persia and the Bible

5th Annual Archaeology and the Bible Day Conference

Theme: Persia and the Bible

Saturday 14th May 2016, 10am – 4.30pm

Persia and the Bible

For many centuries the Bible – both Old and New Testaments – has been subject to rigorous academic scrutiny. While some have defended the Bible by resorting to simplistic or wild, unustainable claims, others have dismissed it without reference to the cultures and literature that were contemporary with it. The tradition of the Archaeology department of the University of Liverpool over many decades, as exemplified by Dr. William Martin and Professors Kenneth Kitchen and Alan Millard, is upheld by this successful annual conference. The Bible is examined critically within its contemporary context, but theoretical and unprovable assumptions as to its origins are not given weight. This year sees the fifth such annual conference. Having considered Treaty, Law and Covenant, Egypt, the New Testament and Babylon over the past four years, this year we turn our attention to the Bible’s connections with ancient Persia.

Timetable 

10.00am(1 hour)     Dr. Paul Lawrence – The Medes and Persians in the Bible and beyond
  From being an inspiration for US mail, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the late Shah of Iran and modern Kurdish nationalism it can be argued that the Medes and the Persians still influence modern affairs. After looking at the history of both peoples in brief overview we shall consider their role in Bible history. What archaeological evidence is there to substantiate the Bible’s claims that Daniel, Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah all prospered under Persian rulers?
11.00am(30 mins) Break (Refreshments in Foyer)
11.30am(1 hour) Prof. Christopher Tuplin (The University of Liverpool) – The Fall and Rise of the Jewish Temple at Elephantine.
  One day (or perhaps night) in July-August 410 BC the Jewish Temple on Elephantine Island, near the first cataract of the Nile, was ransacked and burned by a group of Egyptians led by a Persian officer. This lecture discusses the causes and consequences of  this violent event and puts them in the wider context of Persian attitudes to the non-Persian religions of their imperial subjects.
12.30pm(1 hour) Lunch (in Foyer) 
 
1.30pm(1 hour) Emeritus Professor Alan Millard (The University of Liverpool) – Aramaic – the Language of the Persian Empire 
  Under the Persian kings, Aramaic was used from Afghanistan to Egypt, from Turkey to Arabia. The lecture will begin with the earliest specimen of Aramaic, inscribed statue of a ruler in the 9th century B.C.,observe its spread under Assyrian and Babylonian kings until it became the international language of the Persian Empire. Most of the Aramaic documents were written perishable materials, but some survive in dry places, and with texts on stone and notes on potsherds they illustrate aspects of life in the empire and set the letters in Ezra 4-7 and other biblical texts in their contexts.
2.30pm(30 mins) Break (Refreshments in Foyer) 
3.00pm(1 hour) Dr. Selim Adalı (Social Sciences University of Ankara) – Persia in the Book of Ezekiel
  Ezekiel 38:5 refers to Persia alongside Cush and Put, as nations gathered around Gog and Magog. Such mention of Persia has aroused much discussion among scholars. This paper seeks to go through the reception of Persia in the Book of Ezekiel. The case is made that Persia was a recognized region and kingdom before its rise as an Empire under the Achaemenid dynasty. To this end, Assyrian and biblical references to Persia are presented. This provides for the opportunity to discuss the origins of the Persian Kingdom and its transition into the Achaemenid Empire.
4.00pm(30 mins) Questions for the SpeakersIf you would like to book on this course – click here Persia and the Bible booking

Talents Tips – Create a SmartArt graphic

By Peter Talent

Peter will be leading Become a Proficient MS Office 2010 User from Tuesday 2 February – for more information click here http://goo.gl/w8L9kV

A SmartArt graphic is a visual representation of your information that you can quickly and easily create, choosing from among many different layouts, to effectively communicate your message or ideas. You can create SmartArt graphics in

Talents Tips January image 1

You can create a SmartArt graphic in Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word. Although you cannot create in most other Office 2010 programs, (e.g. Access, Project) you can copy and paste SmartArt graphics as images into those programs.

Some layouts for SmartArt graphics contain a fixed number of shapes. For example, the Opposing Arrows layout in the Relationship type is designed to show two opposing ideas or concepts. Only two shapes can correspond to text, and the layout cannot be changed to display more ideas or concepts.

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Create a SmartArt graphic and add text to it

On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click SmartArt.

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An example of the Illustration group on the Insert tab, in PowerPoint 2010

  1. In the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box, click the type and layout that you want.
  2. Enter your text by doing one of the following:

v Click [Text] in the Text pane, and then type your text.

v Copy text from another location or program, click [Text] in the Text pane, and then paste your text.

Notes

  • If the Text pane is not visible, click the control.
  • Talents Tips January Image 4
  • To add text in an arbitrary position close to or on top of your SmartArt graphic, on the Insert tab, in the Text group, click Text Box to insert a text box. If you want only the text in your text box to appear, right-click your text box, click Format Shape or Format Text Box, and then set the text box to have no background colour and no border.
  • Click in a box in the SmartArt graphic, and then type your text. For best results, use this option after you add all of the boxes that you want.

An Example of SmartArt

Law acts through the ages

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Talents Tips January Image 6

 

Reframing Realism

By Dr Judith Walsh

Don McCullin  Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin 1961

Don McCullin Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin 1961

I decided to title my course ‘Reframing Realism’ in an effort to position realist art as interesting and radical as abstract art.

My PhD focused on British realist painting of the post-war period but I also looked at how painters in Europe and America used figuration and realism to explore the new social and political conditions in which they were working. I am very interested in how contemporary artists respond to the particular societies in which they live and how they communicate those responses to us as viewers.

Some of my research looked at the fascinating history of realism in the visual arts and I will share some of that research in our discussions at Tate. But we need to start by working out what we mean when we talk about realist art. Are we actually talking about figurative art? Does it have to represent something we know in the ‘real’ world?

I also want us to think about the different categories of realism such as Social Realism and Socialist Realism and think about the ways in which these art movements have an impact on the art produced today. Basing this courHere – enrol onlinese at Tate Liverpool presents us with some exciting learning experiences as we will be utilising the Constellation displays, looking at the art and discussing our responses to it on the gallery. Tate describes the Constellation displays on its website: ‘At the heart of each constellation is a ‘trigger’ artwork, chosen for its profound and revolutionary effect on modern and contemporary art. Surrounding the trigger works are artworks that relate to it and to each other, across time and location.  Visitors to constellations can enjoy an imaginative display of art works by Henri Matisse, Barbara Hepworth, Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, Rachel Whiteread, Glenn Ligon and many, many more.

Reframing Realism will take place at Tate Liverpool on Saturday 7 November. Tate are providing a dedicated learning space, coffee and as much time as we want on the galleries to explore these wonderful artworks. This is a day course for anyone interested in thinking about art-no experience needed.

If you would like to reserve your place on this course you can do by clicking here – enrol online

2015 John Hamilton Lifelong Learning Lecture – ‘A Palestinian Memoir: Where next for the right of return?’

Ghada Karmi

‘A Palestinian Memoir:

Where next for the right of return?’

Thursday 22 October, 6pm

The Quaker Centre, 22 School Lane, (near the Blue Coat Chambers), Liverpool

Return.indd

This year the John Hamilton Lifelong Learning Lecture will be delivered by Ghada Karmi. One of the most passionate and articulate advocates of the cause of the Palestinian people, Ghada is the author of the best-selling In Search of Fatima (Verso 2002). She has also recently published A Palestinian Memoir: Where next for the right of return? (2015).

In her writings she has described the harrowing experience that she and her family went through during the Nakba (‘Catastrophe’) of 1948 when many hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced out of their homes by the terrorism of the emerging Israeli state. The great majority were displaced to refugee camps in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan; those who are still alive remaining there with their descendants to this day. Currently around five million UNRWA registered Palestinian refugees live in camps after an expulsion lasting nearly 70 years.

Ghada and her family came eventually to London. Her father had worked for the BBC in Palestine and was able to take up a post with its Arabic service. However, the Karmi family always lived with a sense of displacement and longing for their original home and culture. In 2005, after many years of political activism campaigning for the right of the Palestinians to return to their homeland, Ghada took up an opportunity in 2005 to work as a media consultant with the Palestinian Authority. In her most recent book she tells of the frustrations of that experience, working with an organisation that whilst mimicking the manner and organisational style of a ‘state’ is actually powerless to achieve justice for Palestinians, dominated always by the political and military power of Israel.

However, she also insists that just as her own generation looks now to the young educated Palestinians who today staff the various UN funded projects and campaign offices of the Palestinian Authority, so too do they need to know the story of the 1948 generation in order to make sense of their struggle today.

For more information go to: www.liv.ac.uk/cll/johnhamiltonlectures

To book go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/john-hamilton-lecture-a-palestinian-memoir-where-next-for-the-right-of-return-tickets-18069417113