Celebrating the unremarkable items that make research possible

Date 10.10.2017

Post-it notes, soil samples, and scribbled drawings are not usually the subject of learned meetings – but they and a host of other seemingly insignificant items will be just that come next February.

The University’s Without End: ‘Documents of Research’ symposium aims to put the spotlight on those items collected, created, and sometimes just plain discarded – that chart the course of research from the germ of an idea to a significant finding.

Symposium organiser Francis Blore, a PhD student in the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology said: “The intent of this interdisciplinary event is to reflect on the research process, of being in research, and the ‘documents’ that make it possible.”

The definition of ‘document’ here is broad, he added, as it may refer to text, image, sounds, or objects.

The one-day postgraduate symposium will examine the significance of the sometimes brief moments captured by these unsung heroes of the academic process.

Co-organiser and PhD student in the Faculty of Education and Humanities, Meghann Hillier-Broadley said: “A document can look forward and back; it can be ‘reached in to’ as a source of ideas and it can be ‘reaching’ in its speculations.

“Looking back, we can see them as the stepping stones that led us to where we are now and they often represent key turning points in the evolution of our ideas.”

As well as a day of oral presentations, the organisers are planning an exhibition of ‘documents’ – and are asking for submissions such as lab books, mind maps, graphs, specimens, or photos.

Postgraduate students and Early Career Researches interested in presenting at the symposium or contributing to the exhibition can submit an abstract by the 1st November 2017.

Without End is being held at the University’s Avenue Campus on February 16th 2018 and more information can be found here