Students Staff

10 June 2016

Old bloke on an old bike raising money for Alzheimer’s Society

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 9:46 am
Professor Steve Pudney's bike

Professor Steve Pudney’s bike

Professor Steve Pudney from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex is marking his 65th birthday by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society.

He’ll be doing the ride on a restored bicycle that’s the same age as he is – a 65-year-old bloke, riding a 65-year-old bike 65 miles a day, and aiming to raise 65 hundred pounds for charity.

He has a website and blog, oldblokeonanoldbike.com, that tells the story of the restoration of the bike using 1950s vintage components, and will carry updates on progress after the ride begins on Sunday 12 June.

Steve says: “Many people still regard a sixty-fifth birthday as the beginning of old age and incapacity. They’re wrong! I want to mark this personal event in a way that emphasises the capabilities of older people but also does something to help those people who do face disability in later life.

“Dementia is a disability that causes terrible suffering for many older people and their families. It also generates enormous costs of long-term care for the rest of society. We all stand to gain from progress in the treatment and care of dementia. I want to appeal to everyone who visits this blog to consider sponsoring this effort through a donation, small or large, to Alzheimer’s Society. You can do this by visiting our JustGiving page. Please help us to reach our target of £6,500.

“I’ve had great fun restoring the bike, starting from a frame that was built by a firm called Ellis-Briggs at the start of the 1950s. It is quite similar to the bike that Ken Russell rode to win the 1952 Tour of Britain. That achievement by the one-man Ellis-Briggs team was probably the last time that a major road race was won by a rider without team support. Ellis Briggs are still in business, building beautiful bikes in Shipley, West Yorkshire. I’ll be stopping there to visit them – on June 20 if all goes to plan.”

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20 January 2014

Research round-up

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , , , — Communications Office @ 3:10 pm
Dr Greg Brooke

Dr Greg Brooke

Research into creating a “designer” protein that could be effective at treating prostate cancer was just one of many top research stories to come out of Essex in the past week.

Working with colleagues at  Imperial College London, Dr Greg Brooke, from the School of Biological Sciences, is hoping to develop the protein into a treatment that could be trialled in patients within five years.

Other studies which received national coverage included research into what influences growth and decline in church attendances by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER).

Quantitative sociologist Professor David Voas, based at ISER, carried out research into church attendances as part of the Church Growth Research Programme funded by the Church of England and his report was welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

New research from the Department of Government, shows that the changing fortunes of the British economy are having little impact on the popularity of the Coalition government.

Whereas evidence shows that when Labour was in office, support for the party was strongly influenced by the state of the economy – as was support for the Conservatives – all that has changed, with the current Coalition feeling none of the effects of a fairly rapid growth in economic optimism which has taken place since early 2013.

 

 

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13 September 2013

Recession damages job prospects for a decade

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 2:23 pm

A major new study on the impact of the recession on the jobs market has revealed that school leavers today will still feel the effects a decade from now.

Jobs adverts in newspapers

The jobs market will continue to feel the effect of recession a decade on

Professor Mark Taylor of the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) has shown that the impact on an individual’s job prospects and earning potential if they leave school during a time of recession lasts much longer than previously thought.

The study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, looked at cohorts of young people leaving school, entering the labour market and competing for jobs at a time when labour demand is low. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society, Professor Taylor followed young people leaving school between 1991 and 2008 and monitored their ability to find employment, with an emphasis on permanent employment, long term and short term.

Findings showed a definite impact, more pronounced for men than women, with those leaving during times of higher unemployment earning less and inevitably finding it harder to get a full-time, permanent job. Leaving school when unemployment rates are relatively high translates into a reduction in wages for young people by up to 17 per cent in the short term and up to 7 per cent long term.

Professor Taylor said: “For men in particular, a higher unemployment rate on leaving full-time education reduces their propensity to be employed, especially in full-time and permanent jobs, reduces their wages and occupational attainment and increases their propensity to be unemployed and NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) both in the short term and in the medium to long term.”

Read the paper online.

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2 August 2013

Poor parents perceive poorer pay-off from a degree

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 2:05 pm

Research presented at the recent Understanding Society Research Conference has shown that more needs to be done to communicate the benefits of getting a university education.

Graduating students throwing their mortar-boards in the air

Wealthy parents expected their children at aged 30 to be earning nearly £15,000 more than their peers without a degree

Early findings, presented by Professor Adeline Delavande of the Institute for Social and Economic Research, revealed that parents from poorer backgrounds believe the financial benefits of getting a degree are less than those from wealthier backgrounds.

Wealthy parents expected their children at aged 30 to be earning nearly £15,000 more than their peers without a degree. Poorer parents put the figure at less than £12,000.

Commenting on the findings, Professor Delavande said: “Since there are misconceptions about potential earnings, there might be room for policy interventions that provide parents and youths with objective information about returns to a university degree, in order to allow households to make more informed decisions regarding education, and increase participation in higher education.”

Find out more about the study, and other research presented at the conference on the Understanding Society website.

 

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25 July 2013

Conference highlights unique longitudinal study

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 2:17 pm

The University’s Colchester Campus has welcomed 250 delegates from more than 30 research institutions this week for the Understanding Society Research Conference.

Picture of a small girl playing in a park

Understanding Society explores life in the UK from childhood to old age.

Now in its seventh year, the conference put issues such as marriage, environment, the labour market, working time, and health on the agenda.

Opened with a welcome speech by Director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), Professor Heather Laurie, the three-day event features 60 leading-edge presentations.

In one of the opening presentations, Maarten van Ham from Delft University explored reasons why people move house, and sometimes do not, even when they want to. Entitled ‘Linking Lives through Time and Space,’ van Ham showed the advantages of utilising longitudinal data when examining moving habits.

Understanding Society, a unique academic study capturing information about how we live our lives from 40,000 UK households, is run by ISER and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It builds on the 18-year history of the British Household Panel Survey to paint a picture of the social and economic circumstances and attitudes of the British public.

To find out more about the conference, presentations and speakers, see the conference website.

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