It seems a little churlish to criticise a programme for how realistic it’s dragons are, and yet here we are… First of all let me say that I love Game of Thrones. It’s dramatic, exciting and funny and the whole production is so good that I’ve even forgiven them for the under-use of the Sand Snakes. It also has something to offer those of us who are interested in teaching. I’ve used it as a basis for some of my Forensic Medicine lectures to explore…Continue Reading “Mother of Dragons vs Father of Pedants…”

I’ve been spending a bit of time this week working on Science & Justice. We’ve had some interesting new papers come in, there have been some useful reviewers comments to read through, and some decisions to make on manuscripts. Regardless of whether the decision is Accept or Reject, I never take these decisions lightly. I’m an academic myself, and I know what it’s like being on the receiving end of Editors’ decisions. Anyway, this post isn’t about editorial decision-making (as enthralling as that sounds…), but…Continue Reading ““There Are Two Typos Of People In This World: Those Who Can Edit And Those Who Can’t””

There’s no point in having a blog if you can’t get things off your chest. So here it is for this week – I’m being driven mad by the number of people asking me if I’m now off for six weeks like teachers. I’m not a teacher! I do not have a gaping summer vacation! Stop asking that every year! For sure, I take time off over the summer, and that’s important, but it’s also a key period for getting things done, as others have…Continue Reading “For the love of God, I do not have a six week summer holiday…”

The biggest event this week is not the start of Season 7 of Game of Thrones, it’s not the discussion of the new Avengers Infinity War teaser, it’s not even the announcement of a female Doctor Who (which, by the way, has generated a staggering amount of whining). No, the biggest, most hotly anticipated event this week is graduation! As I’ve said before, graduation is my favourite part of the academic cycle. It’s a moment of celebration and pride and a chance to reflect upon…Continue Reading ““I can and I will” – Graduation 2017!”

A couple of weeks ago, the University ran it’s annual conference on Learning & Teaching Enhancement. It’s a great event, where staff and students can showcase some of the great work and innovations that they’ve been implementing during the year. This year, for the first time, the organisers had arranged for a few ‘Provocation’ sessions on a range of L&T subjects. Including one on the linkages between research and teaching. Now, I’m not one to shy away from being provocative and like to shake the…Continue Reading “Finding the line between controversy and getting fired…”

[serious spoilers ahead, natch]   Baby Driver is a fast, funny and relentlessly entertaining film by Edgar Wright about a young getaway driver who just wants to drive off into the sunset with his girl. Its joyous fusion of music and onscreen action and carnage (no pun intended… well, maybe a little…) is also smart and inventively clever. Seriously, you should go and see it. Here’s the trailer to whet your appetite: But as with many movies about crime, the spectre of forensic science looms…Continue Reading “‘Baby Driver’ – a film about getaway driving with forensic science in the engine…”

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences has been working hard in recent years to improve the standing of forensic science research. A few months ago they ran a free day event for early career researchers on getting published, they have been working to support a coordinated approach to undergraduate research projects, and continue to support their peer-reviewed academic journal, Science & Justice.  One of the other things the Council has been trying to do, for a number of years actually, is get forensic sciences recognised…Continue Reading “Forensic Science and the forthcoming REF”

Working with my excellent ex-PhD student, Dr Sarah Ellingham (who, I’m proud and delighted to say, now works for the ICRC), we’ve put out a paper which presents a quick and affordable way of determining whether bone has been burned by using an SEM. One of the problems with the march of science, is that said science can be expensive to do, and therefore limits the countries and contexts in which is can be used. This is something that I’ve discussed before as a limiting…Continue Reading “It’s all SEM-antics, really…”

Well, it’s been four months since I made the move to, what I’ve since been told, is the dark side… I call it senior management, but apparently this is the same thing. Mind you, if it means I get access to a giant space-based laser weapon of unimaginable power, then I’m all for it… If you hadn’t heard, I applied for and was offered the post of Associated Dean (Learning & Teaching) in the School – and it’s something that I’m very excited about. I…Continue Reading “Associate Dean”

Sometimes you agree to do things without properly thinking them through… And so it was that I ended up at the huge Barclaycard HQ over in Stockton talking about forensic stuff and then superheroes! It was all part of Working at Work Week, and I was delighted to have been asked to give a couple of talks. We had a great turn-out and the event went really well. Everyone at Barclaycard was super-lovely too. Of course, the live-streaming of my talk around the country was…Continue Reading “Barclaycard”