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Ideas Alive

A Series of Podcast Talks by Academics from The University of Sheffield

Talks will be live on this page from 20 October 2020 and can be accessed free of charge until 7 November 2020.

Instagram: Visual Social Media Cultures

Dr Tim Highfield – Department of Sociological Studies

Instagram and related apps are growing in popularity. This talk looks at visual social media and everyday life and the use of apps during the COVID-19 crisis.


Motivational Factors Influencing Entrepreneurship?

Professor Vania Sena – Sheffield University Management School

The talk explores the drivers of entrepreneurial motivation and addresses the key questions: are entrepreneurs born or made and what sustains them over time?


Can algorithms be fair?

Professor Helen Kennedy – Department of Sociological Studies

After this summer’s A level results fiasco, there is more public awareness of the roles that algorithms play in decision-making. But can algorithms ever be fair?


Justice and Punishment in Executioners’ Memoirs

Dr Katherine Ebury – School of English

A talk on executioners’ memoirs from the end of public execution in 1868 and the abolition of the UK death penalty in 1965.  With reflections from James Berry, John Ellis, Albert Pierrepoint.


Who Enters Politics and Why?

Dr James Weinberg – Department of Politics and International Relations

The results of unique survey research with hundreds of local and national politicians looking at who occupies elected office and why they choose to do so.


Floods in Contemporary Graphic Novels

Gemma Curto Alonso – School of English

A talk about how the language of graphic novels captures growing public awareness about climate change, its consequences in the form of floods and possible responses to it.


The Pains of Police Detention

Dr Layla Skinns – School of Law

What is it is like inside police custody?  A look at how detention causes different experiences including lack of control, being cut off from friends and family and insecurity.


The Future of Food

Dr Josh Milburn. -Department of Politics and International Relations

Could we have a food system that respects animals, humans and the environment, but is not fully vegan?  One with “alternative proteins” and radically different forms of “farming”.


Rethinking Capitalism

Professor Michael Jacobs – Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute

A talk on how we need to rethink economics and policy for sustainable, inclusive growth in the light of recent crises – financial, inequality, climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.