Summer breaks

It’s nineteen weeks into remote working, and now it’s also summertime. Two weeks ago – while the last blog was being published – I took ten day’s leave. At short notice, my wife had booked us a rental cottage on the edge of Exmoor, which turned out to have no Wi-Fi and no phone signal,…

Aspirations

The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) is a long-term research project following the lives of some 19,000 children born in the year 2000. When the children in the study were toddlers, their mothers were asked what aspirations they had for their children. The overwhelming majority – nine in ten of them – wanted their children to…

Class of 2020

As the UK government lowers the Covid-19 alert level to 3 and more shops and businesses start to open their doors again, there is a sense that we are beginning to return to normal: the news over the last week, of crowded beaches suggests a suppressed desire for a traditional summer. But the reality is,…

We need to do more

If you ever believed that the world is not deeply intertwined, 2020 has disabused you. A virus is transmitted across species, almost certainly in a Chinese live animal market, and within a matter of months economies around the world are closed down in response to a global pandemic. A man is killed by police on…

Moving forwards

Lockdown is now ten weeks old. Spring has slipped into summer; evenings have lengthened and the days have warmed: last week was glorious May weather. At Sheffield Hallam, as elsewhere, our minds are increasingly turning to the next season, to Autumn and to the new academic year. We announced last week that the university campus…

Wellbeing in lockdown

At least the weather has been good. Every day, after hours of zoom meetings, e-mail processing and document drafting, I’ve been able to jump onto my bike and cycle around the Mayfield Valley. I’ve seen the tiny lambs of late March grow, the grass become greener and lusher and the cow parsley shoot up. There’s…

Adapting

We are all – in this and every other university – adapting quickly to a new way of working as the nation responds to the challenges posed by the Coronavirus. Just a fortnight ago, it was unclear what impacts the virus would have on the nation; just a week ago the Prime Minister asked everyone…

What’s next?

My first degree was in history.   One of the most difficult things in learning, and teaching, history is to avoid the trap of inevitability: the belief that what happened in the past was in some way bound to happen. It’s the belief that the great turning points of history were unavoidable: that the first world…

Healthy Hallam, Healthy Future

Of course you noticed: we tried to make sure that you couldn’t miss it. On Friday the University formally opened the Advanced Well-Being Research Centre. After five years of hard work, the handsome new building at Attercliffe is open. It could be the single most important investment anyone will make in the north of England…

Holocaust Memorial Day

For me, at least, it’s the human details. The single shoe, the pile of discarded spectacles. Seventy-five years on from the end of the Second World War, the sheer scale of the Holocaust is almost impossible to comprehend. Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. In the next decade, perhaps a little more, perhaps a little less…