On Wednesday 8 January 2020, hundreds of staff, students and members of the public joined us for a day of inspirational short talks about the world-leading research happening at York.
Given just 15 minutes each, 16 of our academics introduced their research.
The talks were grouped together into four sessions, followed by a question and answer session. Visitors could attend a single session or all four.
9.10am - 11am: Session 1
Singing in a virtual world: understanding the real world benefits of singing together
Department of Electronic Engineering
From computer says no to robot says yes: engineering a positive future for robotics
Department of Computer Science
Interactive competitive esports are revolutionising digital creativity and providing deep insights into human cognition
Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
Drawing on the direct testimony of prisoners in the Jewish ghetto at Terezín (in German, Theresienstadt), Dr Lisa Peschel revealed how comedy and cabaret were key to their survival.
Coupling her interviews with the recovery of songs and other dramatic texts created in the ghetto, her research provided deep insights into the ways in which these cabaret narratives helped those trapped in the ghetto to endure their imprisonment. Dr Peschel showed how this vibrant theatrical scene also helped the prisoners reclaim their right to interpret their own experiences. By trivialising even the most shocking events in comic performances, they resisted potentially debilitating fear and were able to carry on with the fight for life.
11.30am - 1.00pm: Session 2
The carbon dioxide refinery: turning the challenge of climate change into a solution
Department of Chemistry
Energy down the drain: how microbial communities can aid us in turning wastewater into low carbon energy
Department of Biology
Extreme swimming: inside the secret world of archaea, one of the planet’s greatest survivors
Department of Physics
The mountains and people of Africa: creating a more sustainable future from the ground up
Department of Environment and Geography
1.45pm - 3.15pm: Session 3
Food for thought: exposing the hidden consequences of food insecurity in Britain and the poverty of government thinking on work and welfare
Department of Health Sciences
Yet another meeting: are LGBT+ networks inside the NHS breaking the mould?
York Management School
The doctor of everything: the teeming world of a 17th century physician
Department of English and Related Literature
Counter culture: unearthing the truth about complexity, diversity and inequality in Neolithic times
Department of Archaeology
3.45pm - 5.15pm: Session 4
Challenging the face race: creating a new emotional framework for face transplants
Fay Bound Alberti,
Department of History
Bodies, bugs and hospital architectures: Designing healthcare for the post-antibiotic age
Department of Sociology
Caring about the evidence: changing the face of palliative care for children in the UK
Department of Health Sciences
Professor Maria Goddard, Director of the Centre for Health Economics (CHE), revealed how her 60-strong team of researchers has shaped the health landscape at a national and global level: from developing robust tools for more effective, efficient and equitable healthcare here in the UK, through to research collaborations with academics and policymakers across Europe, America, Africa and Asia.
She showed that, while former Health Secretary Ken Clarke may have scoffed at taking advice from a newly formed research centre led by ‘a punk professor’ in the 1980s, Ken Clarke’s successors and counterparts across the world frequently seek advice from CHE researchers as they grapple with important questions about how best to spend a global $7.3 trillion healthcare budget.
PhD Research Spotlight competition
Alongside the talks, PhD students from across the University were invited to create exhibition pieces introducing their work. The winners were:
- Arts & Humanities: Kristal Kirk, Music
- Social Science: Petronel Geyser, York Law School; James Killen, York Law School (joint)
- Science: Evelyn Tam, Computer Science
- Overall winner: Petronel Geyser, York Law School
Talks in 2019 included research into child wellbeing and creativity within the sciences.YorkTalks 2019
Fire in the African savannah and pilotless drone warfare were topics featured in 2018.YorkTalks 2018
2017's event featured research into the biological life of robots and ozone depletion.YorkTalks 2017
The role of sleep in vocabulary development and the formation of democracy were 2016 talks.YorkTalks 2016