I like to play video games to relax. I always have, ever since I had a Spectrum 48k. I tend to go through phases of what I like to play though. At the moment, it’s third person action-adventures, but often it’s something more strategy-based. One time last year, my wife asked me what I was playing, to which I replied Cities: Skylines. My town was coming along very nicely and I was rightly proud. “So, let me get this straight” she said, “In order to…Continue Reading “Tim Thompson’s ‘Sid Meier’s Memoir!’ Memoir!”

Back in the day when I was a fresh-faced PhD student at Sheffield, I had written a paper on research ethics in forensic anthropology. It was an off-shoot of my PhD work, and I felt it was an important piece to write. It was my first paper. I nervously submitted it to Medicine, Science and the Law since they had published work in the field of ethics before. They rejected the paper before it even got to peer review. I was gutted, and vowed never…Continue Reading “President Elect of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences”

There’s a well-used trope in sitcoms, in which the protagonist manages to arrange an evening where they go on two dates at the same time! Hilarity and humiliation always ensue. Well, that was basically me last Friday. I had been asked by two sets of conference organisers if I’d give a Keynote talk. It’s always very flattering to be asked, and I am very supportive of the academics who were working on both events, so I agreed. Besides, I thought, there’s six-day window for these…Continue Reading “Time flies…”

As we all know by now, when it comes to academia, I’m pretty chill. I’m both easy and breezy, and I am hardly vengeful at all. So it takes a lot to make me sit down and type furiously at this keyboard brimming as I am with righteous indignation. Although the fact that an earlier post was exactly that does kinda undermine my argument… Anyway,  a couple of times recently, I’ve been presented with the same frustrating argument that I’ve heard countless times before. And…Continue Reading “That’s my secret, I’m always angry…”

While I was having a bit of a digital clear-out before the Christmas break, I stumbled across this piece which I had written back in 2017. To be honest, I’d totally forgotten that I had written this and I thought it’d be interesting to revisit it in light of the developments that have occurred during the three years that have followed, and in particular with regard to the sudden embrace of digital tools that the pandemic has forced upon the sector. It was written for…Continue Reading “Developing and disseminating digital tools – 3 years on…”

We’ve pivoted. We’ve shifted. We’ve migrated. Take your pick – but whichever one you go for, university academic staff have moved our face-to-face teaching online to allow us to support our students during our various COVID lock-downs. But now a number of friends and colleagues who work at other universities have been told to start thinking about increasing the online delivery of degree courses. And they’ve got the summer to do it all in! Now when I was Associate Dean (Learning & Teaching) in SSED…Continue Reading “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads…”

When my twelve year old called me a nerd recently, I pointed out that ‘nerd’ pays the bills. And then pointed out that he was an even bigger nerd than I was. And then we laughed, high-fived and went to do our respective homework because that’s how we roll. Clearly, he’s not wrong. And gaming is where he usually points this out to me. The resurgence of Dungeons and Dragons, the fact that Warhammer is now worth over £1 billion, and that tabletop gaming generally…Continue Reading “Choose your own adventures…”

I quite like this time of the academic calendar. I’m usually not long back from leave and although I’m always disappointed that the School hasn’t ground to a halt in my absence, my mind starts to turn to the next semester’s teaching. As you can probably tell, I really enjoy my teaching. I can’t confirm that my students feel the same way, but I’m an AD so they can’t stop me! I pretty much only teach in Semester 1 now, but I have been doing…Continue Reading “Inspiration Station”

As someone who teaches, I spend the summer recharging my batteries to get ready for the next academic year. As someone who has responsibility for people who teach, I spend the summer wondering why more people aren’t preparing teaching material for the next academic year! It’s very stressful being me… Anyway, I guess what I should be doing is seeing if I can make such prep easier.  Which is what I’ve done! You’re very welcome… When our new team took over the editorial roles of…Continue Reading “A new forensic teaching resource: JFLM Commentaries”

Let’s face it, children are idiots. They whine a lot and rarely know what’s good for them. For example, some of them don’t even realise that a trip to a museum is not a chore. It’s fun! Who doesn’t want to learn things?! Idiots, that’s who… Anyway, it was just this attitude that we were faced with on a recent trip to Preston Park. Preston Park is a museum and gardens complex near Stockton. The large house was built in 1825 and became a museum…Continue Reading “Replica worlds – the education benefits of bloody violence in the grimy streets of physical and virtual reconstructions of the past”