Research: the new social networking platform?

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Presented to Sussex Partnership R&D conference June 10th 2010

Presented to Sussex Partnership R&D conference June 10th 2010

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  • ThreeDee Shepherd: retired professor, Stanford University Milton Broome: Simon Bignall, Derby University Gentle Heron: Alice Krueger
  • 1. Had idea out of the blue while doing nothing. 2. Saw a problem to be solved. 3. Was the ex-schoolmate, neighbour, club member who was an engineer. Networking with the resources available at the time. They had an ability to think beyond the immediate.
  • RDF – Resource Description Framework. Improves searching and navigation.


  • 1.
      • Research: the new social networking platform?
    Research & Development conference: 10 th June 2010
  • 2. Once upon a time…
    • Research was a lonely, insular activity.
    • We taught our students and developing clinicians that it was a rite of passage, and the more painful and alienating it was, the more credible it would be.
    • Then we threw them out into a world where other demands meant they need never face the horror of the statistical inquisition again.
    • It’s a puzzle how clinical research got so low on most people’s agenda...
  • 3. Not any more…
    • September 2007. Rainy weekend. What’s this Second Life business all about then?
    • October 2007. Aha! Not only is this fun, it has HUGE research and clinical potential. Germ of a project beginning to form. Find Threedee Shepherd, Milton Broome, Gentle Heron, Simon Walsh and Second Health.
    • Also find Lord Darzi giving a virtual tour of a virtual polyclinic.
    • May 2008. Take idea about a project that pulls together learning disabilities, virtual reality, a forensic interview technique and the Mental Capacity Act to our director of research. Mark doesn’t bat an eyelid but says ‘Go and find some friends’.
    • June 2008. R&D conference, Val Hall’s presentation about the RDS. I email the next day and get a meeting within a couple of weeks. First friend found!
    • June 2008. Dem Tigerpaw is ‘born’ and starts networking in SL. Finds Davee Commerce of Imperial College and starts conversations. Val and I arrange to meet him in London. But – is he real or is he a psychopathic imposter?! I let Val go in first.
    • September 2008. We sell the idea to the Grace Eyre Foundation and they say we can use their IT suite. It’s better than anything we could imagine! Now we have a bid to submit.
    • Christmas Eve 2008. Santa delivers NIHR i4i funding – cracking job, Tinkerbell!
      • Diary of a learning curve
  • 4. Funded studies & active bids Second Life, capacity and consent: collaborations with Imperial College London, University of Brighton & Grace Eyre Foundation. Funded by NIHR Invention for Innovation stream. Phase 2 application submitted . Positive psychology in challenging behaviour services; SenseCam technology: collaborations with Microsoft/Cambridge University, University of Brighton, University of Dublin. Funding bid to RfPB in progress. Connect for Care touch screen contact support for adults with LD living independently: C ollaborations with Brighton University, Connect for Care (Newcastle). In discussion with Technology Strategy Board (ALIP), SDO, YOU (Hampshire).
  • 5. Even more new friends Current collaborations :
    • Imperial College (co-applicant)
    • Brighton University (lead applicant)
    • Cambridge University
    • Microsoft
    • University of Dublin
    • Connect for Care, Newcastle (co-applicant)
    • Grace Eyre Foundation (co-applicant)
    • Care Management Group (co-applicant)
    • The YOU Trust, Hampshire (prospective co-applicant)
    Prospective collaborations:
    • Northumbria University – Connect 4 Care
    • Canterbury Christ Church University (Salomons) – challenging behaviour DClinPsy research project using SL
    • Special Olympics – fitness/sport (with CCCU) using SL
    • Sussex University – MSc clinical psychology Masters research project on facial disfigurement using SL
    • Surrey & Borders Partnership Trust – building design & service modelling in SL, staff training in SL
  • 6. The way I see it… Research is the reason we don’t have to eat raw liver to treat a blood disorder But there was a person who first framed the question about the active ingredient (speculative) And one who wondered how to form it into something people could swallow (problem solving) And another who designed machinery that compressed and shaped and stamped things (applied) Common feature? Creative thinking that goes beyond the immediate
  • 7. And the social networking? The 17th century anatomical theatre in Gustavianum, Uppsala university, Sweden. Gentlemen’s club
  • 8.
    • Phone
    • Email
    • WordPress provides a free blog platform that allows access to the public. Will this help with PI?
    • Blogging as a research tool is becoming more popular and encourages accessible communication cf ethnography .
    • Networking sites: FaceBook, LinkedIn, Ning, allow growth of communities with a common interest and promote communication.
    • Twitter is a marketing and dissemination tool – and you have to get your message into 140 characters.
    • Second Life is the ultimate social network medium. Available for meetings, media presentations, audio contact, and world-wide information exchange. : ‘We are drawing on the expertise and wisdom of Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt to publish government data as RDF – enabling data to be linked together.’ see TED Talk March 2010