Current Research

Simulation-based Holistic Approach for Reducing & Preventing Knife violence (SHARP)

Simulation-based Holistic Approach for Reducing & Preventing Knife violence (SHARP)
This project aims to reduce the involvement of young Londoners aged 11-14 in gang violence and knife-related crime. We have been funded by the Youth Endowment Fund to work with The Prince’s Trust and The Change Foundation, two charity partners with extensive experience of working with vulnerable young people across London. We are using immersive physical and virtual reality simulation ways to tell the story of Adam (not his real name), a young man who was stabbed and underwent extensive surgery before being discharged from hospital with a life-changing injury.We are working with young people in schools across London to raise their awareness of what to do if someone is injured with a knife. We are also using a range of arts-based activities to help participants express their feelings. This work has the potential to make a real difference to one of the most urgent challenges facing young people in the UK. Now that the initial phase of our project is drawing to a close, we are looking for support to expand our work into the criminal justice system, showing the pathway from arrest and remand to trial, prison and eventual release.


Performing Science

This unconventional project (which started in November 2022) is exploring what it means to perform in science, engineering and medicine at Imperial College London, one of the world’s leading research-intensive universities. This groundbreaking work will document the lived experiences of doing, becoming and communicating which often escape attention in publications and other third-person outputs of scientific research. The project will include observing, documenting and analysing laboratory and workshop practices; exploring the human experience of becoming a scientist or engineer; and examining the complex nature of communication within and beyond the university. Further insights into what it means to perform as a professional will come from the Imperial-Royal College of Music Centre for Performance Science, which I direct with Aaron Williamon (RCM Professor of Performance Science. There we have access to leading experts in music and other performing arts, high level sport and safety-critical industries. The initial three-year programme is funded by Imperial’s Learning & Teaching Strategy. A postdoctoral research associate and two PhD students have joined a group of academics led by me and my colleagues Professor Martyn Kingsbury and Professor Aaron Williamon.


Research Across Sectors (Future Leaders Fellows Development Network)

In the next of our Research Insights series Professor Roger Kneebone explores cross-sector influences between academia and practitioners in other fields and disciplines, with a focus on how cross-sector interactions can enhance each other’s research, skills and capabilities.

The Serendipity Programme – How to have conversations with people you haven’t met

The Albertopolis cluster of institutions in London’s South Kensington quarter is a unique melting pot of creativity. Scientists, engineers and clinicians at Imperial College London work within a stone’s throw of some of the world’s most iconic museums, cultural institutions and performance venues. Yet they don’t often get the chance to meet. The most exciting collaborations often come from unlikely encounters. But many people find it difficult to strike up conversations with people they haven’t met. How might artists talk with scientists? First year students with professors? People from different global cultures? And how can we take advantage of the unrecognised gifts which neurodiverse people bring? The Imperial Serendipity Programme (funded by Research England’s Enhancing Research Culture) aims to help this happen. We’re launching the programme during spring and summer 2023. We’ll bring performers-in-residence at the Imperial-RCM Centre for Performance Science together with experts from many other fields to develop unconventional approaches - using skills from close-up magic and puppetry to broadcasting, drawing and dance.

Image Copyright © Estate of Vanessa Bell.
All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Photo credit: The Courtauld

Music, Medicine and Dance – Exploring What it Means to Perform

Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), this Research Networking Award in collaboration with Prof Sarah Whatley (director of Centre for Dance Research at Coventry University) and Prof Aaron Williamon (Royal College of Music) will develop a network of musicians, dancers, performing artists, clinicians and scientists to explore what it means to perform across different disciplines and map the pathway to becoming a performer.

The Chemical Kitchen at Imperial College London

I co-founded this pioneering project with my colleagues Alan Spivey (Professor of Synthetic Chemistry at Imperial) and Jozef Youssef (Founder and Chef Patron of Kitchen Theory, a leading gastronomic design studio). The Chemical Kitchen aims to help undergraduate chemistry students at Imperial develop the skills they need for experimental work in the laboratory - by learning to cook. Chemistry experiments require accuracy, precision, exact measurement, attention to detail and the ability to describe exactly what you have done and document the results. You have to be able to use apparatus, handle reagents and ensure your own safety and that of everyone around you. Professional kitchens demand very similar skills. Many chemistry students start at university without having learned these skills. The Chemical Kitchen provides a safe, non-threatening environment where students design and create dishes in a specially-designed space, supervised by expert chefs. The initiative has proved highly successful and is now being extended to students from other subjects.

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