Hillcroft LRC

Archive for March 2016

 

Kathleen Lonsdale

Do you love science? Do you want to follow in the steps of an inspirational figure? What about Dame Kathleen Lonsdale?

Kathleen Yardley was born on 28 January 1903. She came to Britain with her Irish family when she was 5 years old. She excelled in mathematics, physics and chemistry but as these were not taught at her girl’s school, she had to attend the local boy’s school.

She continued to do well and attended Bedford College for Women (part of the University of London) where she graduated in 1922 with the highest marks in physics for 10 years. This success brought her to the attention of Sir William Bragg at University College London (UCL) who was at the forefront of X-ray diffraction. She subsequently gained a Masters degree from UCL in 1924 and continued working with Bragg when he moved to the Royal Society. He provided her with considerable support and encouragement.

In 1927, Kathleen married another researcher, Thomas Lonsdale and they moved to Leeds when he had an employment opportunity there. She joined the physics department of Leeds University and built her own experimental equipment enabling her to analyse hexamethylbenzene using x-ray crystallography. This was her first major discovery. Between 1928 and 1934 she had three children but continued to work. She gained a Science Doctorate in 1936. She published at least 200 research papers during her lifetime. She was the first female professor of Chemistry at UCL (1949 – 1968).

She was a religious woman practising as a Quaker and as Europe headed towards war in the 1930s, she considered this an evil activity. When war was declared in 1939, she was informed of her civil defence duties as her young children exempted her from war work. She refused this work, or pay the necessary fine and was sent to Holloway prison for one month. When she left prison, she began to support prison reform groups.

She took other stands against the war – as a scientist joining the Atomic Scientist Association and as a woman joining the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. In 1945/6 she was one of two women allowed to join The Royal Society and ten years later she was created Dame of the British Empire. She died at the age of 68 on 1 April 1971.

References

Text materials on Kathleen and X-ray crystallography in our LRC:

Cambridge Dictionary of Scientists 2nd edn. by Millar

Oxford Dictionary of Chemistry 6th edn. by Daintith

skullsinthestars (2015) Kathleen Lonsdale: Master of crystallography. Available at: http://skullsinthestars.com/2015/04/06/kathleen-lonsdale-master-of-crystallography/ (Accessed: 29 March 2016).

CBT + Psychology Review

Last week saw the launch of a World Health Organisation Report on the increasing use of antidepressants in children across the developed world reported by BBC News.

Those under 18 years old are often prescribed anti-depressants and no other forms of treatment are made available. These other treatments can include talking therapies such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) however, there are long waiting lists.

This prompted a longer look at our current issue of Philip Allen’s ‘Psychology Review’ which has a double page spread on CBT. Don’t forget this resource is available on the VLE under eresources > Dynamic Learning ejournals. The article is written by Dr Judith Beck, daughter of the ‘father’ of CBT, Aaron Beck. She covers the following aspects:

  • What CBT is
  • How did it develop?
  • What is its effectiveness?
  • How does it work?
  • Contents of an average session

At the end of the article, it directs you to Beck Institute audio clips and their blog.  Hodder Education also direct you to a YouTube clip on CBT.

Other LRC resources covering CBT:

Collins Key Concepts in Psychology by Kendall

Psychology: a very short introduction 2nd edn. by Butler & McManus

Introduction to Psychology 16th edn. by Nolen-Hoeksema et al.

Mindfulness booksFrom our September bookshop run – where we hit the high street and look for books covering our curriculum areas and boost our progression collection – we’ve added some new books on mindfulness.

What is mindfulness? It’s a technique based on meditation from Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and Christianity that keeps you in the present moment and gets you to push aside negative thoughts and anxieties about the past and the future. It promotes wellbeing in your mind and in your body. Being mindful is about scanning your mind and body to check out how you are feeling and how you are breathing. Once you’ve done your barometer health check then you can put into action ways of getting your mind and body on an even keel.

Here’s three of the books we’ve bought:

Mindfulness on the Go: Peace in Your Pocket by by Padraig O’Morain

The Mindfulness Survival Kit by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Rough Guide to Mindfulness by Albert Tobler and Susann Herrmann

We’ve also added an ebook :

Mindfulness Pocket Book: Little Exercises for a Calmer Life by Gill Hasson

They’ll explain what mindfulness is, its origins and equip you with the techniques to practise on a daily basis.

The Rough Guides book comes with a free set of downloads to assist you with meditations. To find out more about mindfulness take a look at the NHS Choices information on Mindfulness on Mind’s website.

 

This Monday was International Women’s Day. We celebrate women’s achievements every IMG_0012day at Hillcroft College but this is an annual occasion when we can highlight women who inspire us and draw attention to gender inequalities. Names that have been put forward this week for special mention are: Anne Frank, Mary Wollstonecraft and Hildegard of Bingen. The Open University have created an interactive map showing world-changing women because women are not as visible in history. In the LRC are resources that give voices to women whose lives are remarkable in ways that wouldn’t normally make the history books or be given screen time.

Here are our top 5 resources for finding out more about women’s experiences and strength against opposition and/or oppression:

  1. ‘If you knew me you would care’ by Zainab Salbi and photographs by Rennio Maifredi. (Pictured)
  2. ‘Everyday sexism’ by Laura Bates.
  3. ‘Laughing all the way to the mosque’ by Zarqa Nawaz.
  4. ‘A Passion for Birth’ by Sheila Kitzinger.
  5. ‘The Gold Diggers’ directed by Sally Potter.

 

WordPress bacteria

In a recent article in the Independent newspaper, Synchrotron, a particle accelerator at the Diamond Light Source in Oxford is at the forefront of finding out how bacteria resist antibiotics. Drug resistant bacteria are a global health issue and so-called superbugs are increasing at a startling rate. Many superbugs are gram negative bacteria which cause particularly fatal conditions e.g. pneumonia, meningitis and food poisoning.

A light source millions of times brighter than the sun enables researchers to see how the molecular machinery is arranged at the atomic scale in the bacterial walls. This knowledge and understanding will hopefully result in the development of new antibiotics to treat some of the diseases mentioned above.

There were 2 earlier online articles in the Independent in November and December 2015 about the risks of not trying to resolve the issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria leading to potential epidemics across not just the UK but across the world.

If you want to know more about antibiotic resistant bacteria from resources in the LRC, look at the items below:

AS & A Level Biology through diagrams

Britannica Academic

Critical thinking booksStella Cottrell’s book Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Arguments is a guide that can take you from college to university. It helps you look at what you read in a different light by demonstrating and explaining how academic authors build up their arguments in their writing.

How does that help you? It will help you understand arguments and guides you into weighing up the logic of them. This will not only assist you in evaluating different authors’ opinions and theories but will also benefit you in developing your own writing style to convince your tutors of how you have assessed others’ work and built up your own arguments with persuasive evidence.

The book gets you to identify bias, hidden meanings and follow a line of reasoning to its logical conclusion. It’s not only useful for essay writing, reading and making notes from academic literature but is also invaluable for debating and any piece of writing or presentation where you would need to persuade your audience of your arguments.

Cottrell’s book gives you exercises to do to build up your skills of critique, analysis and argument. It’s one you can dip into time and time again. Having read it myself it’s easy to recognise that had a book like this existed when I was university it would have been a key to getting a top grade!

Palgrave who publish the book also have a free companion website area Critical Thinking which sits under their useful Study Skills website.

If you’re just starting your studies then the Pocket Guide by Kate Williams called Getting Critical is a good starter guide and similarly advises on reading with a critical eye and developing your writing skills so you are analytical too. We also have another Critical Thinking guide by Debra Hills. Hills’s guide gives you a definition and takes you through the steps in the process of reading and writing critically and has a number of tips on using sources, note taking and planning your answers.