Friday, 9 September 2011

scientists' research misused

Just seen an excellent article in the Guardian written by scientists from Cardiff University complaining about how some research they did into impulsivity got mis-reported by the tabloid press as explaining why people got involved in the recent riots (something they never claimed). It's vital that the Press accurately report scientific findings, as otherwise public confidence in research could be fatally undermined if they are pilloried for things that they do not say

Web cam of seminar

I attended a  seminar this summer organised by The Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute at London Metropolitan University on 'Policing and protest in an age of austerity', with Sir Hugh Orde (head of ACPO), human rights lawyers, and activists on the panel. It was recently put on YouTube, and a link to it follows below.  I manage to get my tuppence worth in about 1 hr 23.45 into it, if you can't bear to watch the whole thing!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Riots not incited by Twitter shock!

Some rather interesting & welcome news from the Guardian today in a study of over 2.5million tweets put out during the recent riots. While there is some anecdotal evidence of people encouraging others to meet up and misbehave via Twitter, Blackberry & Facebook etc, the vast majority of social media traffic seems to have come from people trying to follow events as they were worried about what was going on, or trying to discourage others from rioting. Riots happened before we had mobile phones and so we should be careful not to overstate their significance in simplistic attempts to explain complex social processes!