My thanks to Chris Archer-Brown for inviting me to one of his lectures on digital marketing this week. I learned about the 'Paid Owned Earned' model of content marketing and how social media has blurred the lines. Also got to enjoy a Carlsberg (other lagers are available) viral YouTube video which demonstrated some of the key points of this marketing approach, such as the use of humour and subtly encouraging people to drink beer in cinemas. Great mix of material - I don't remember my old Mechanical Engineering lectures being that interesting, unless someone now wants to prove different!
A different type of lecture, but immediately after I went to the AthenaSWAN lecture by Melanie Welham (ex of this University and BBSRC Chief Executive). What struck me was the interesting data she shared about the number of grant applications made, and those which were successful by men and women. Despite a strong female population in the Biology/Biotech field, it was surprising that, of all the Research Councils, women submitted fewer grant proposals and had a lower success rate. Clearly many cultural factors at play here, and there seemed to be no single reason but it will be interesting to see what Melanie's further investigations turn up and what lessons there are for us.
Sitting in my cell in HR, its easy to forget why the University exists. It has been great to get out and see people teaching, people learning and the application of academic ideas to real life problems. Any other invitations to get out and see the breadth of what we do and broaden my education will be very welcome. Any offers?