Royal Society of Edinburgh New Fellows’ Induction Day, 15 May 2017

RSE roll book signatures 1856-57

RSE roll book signatures 1856-57 (credit D. Miell)

Annually the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) holds an Induction Day to admit its new Fellows, and to introduce them to the work of the Society. I enjoyed yesterday’s event as one of the new cohort of Fellows in 2017.

The order of the day included a number of presentations. The first was a welcome speech from RSE President Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell. Later on there were short talks on the history of the RSE, the work of the RSE Young Academy, and what it means to be a Fellow.

There was also an opportunity to take a tour of the RSE‘s headquarters at 22-26 George Street. As we were guided through the building we learnt more about the people who have played key roles in the work of the RSE (while some of them looked down at us from their portraits).  We were also invited to examine some of the RSE‘s treasures, including scientific notes in the handwriting of James Clerk Maxwell, and the Crown Charter of Incorporation that constituted the formation of the society in 1783.

There was plenty of time built into the schedule to meet and chat with other new Fellows, and to get to know the staff of the RSE, both over lunch and in the breaks. The exhibition stands hosted by the staff provided more information on the work of the RSE, and ways in which the new Fellows can contribute to this.

The formal admission ceremony lasted for just over an hour from 5pm. This was orchestrated by President Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Fellowship Secretary Professor John Connell. All new Fellows were invited onto the stage to sign the roll book (the latest pages of the same book signed by all those eminent Fellows of the past, such as Benjamin Franklin, James Hutton, Lord Kelvin, Sir Walter Scott and Adam Smith), shake hands with Dame Jocelyn, and then collect their Fellowship certificate. Afterwards we returned upstairs (to the same room in which we had enjoyed lunch) for a celebratory drinks reception. My evening concluded just around the corner from the RSE building with dinner with three others at Twenty Princes Street.

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It was a fabulous day. To be surrounded by so many interesting and talented people was such a thrill – and to think that I have been admitted into their company! Some personal highlights were: joining the Fellowship at the same time as my old friend Professor Win Rampen (we first met as students in France in 1984); catching a quick word with James Naughtie about my visit to the Today Programme studio about twelve years ago; discovering that Baroness Young of Old Scone took over from my cousin (or, more precisely, my first cousin twice-removed) Ian Prestt as CEO of the RSPB and has very fond memories of him; and receiving an invitation from RSE curator Professor Chris Hall to visit the Society’s archives at a later date.

The short video (40 second) and the image sequence (4 second) below were taken as I and Win Rampen were admitted as Fellows.

Registrations open for free symposium on Everyday Life Information Seeking, and information behaviours in online environments, Edinburgh, Thursday 22 June 2017 #ELIS #CPCINapier

CPCI bannerInformation science researchers with interests in Everyday Life Information Seeking, and information behaviours in online environments, are invited to register for a research symposium to be held in Edinburgh on Thursday 22 June 2017. Registration is free to all (whether established academics, early career researchers or PhD students), with a number of travel bursaries available to support the participation of PhD students (please see below). Continue reading

Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of John Napier (1550-1617)

Merchiston Tower

Merchiston Tower

Whenever I deliver an invited presentation to an international audience I like to give a little bit of background about myself, the city of Edinburgh, the city’s four universities, and my home institution: see for example slides 7-23 in the presentation that I recently gave in Brazil. For the latter I refer to the work of John Napier (1550-1617), after whom Edinburgh Napier University is named, and whose former home – Merchiston Tower – is situated on the campus where I work. Continue reading

Reflections on a first visit to the University of São Paulo

 university of sao paulo logoLast week I was honoured to visit Brazil as a guest of the Departamento de Engenharia de Produção da Politéchnica at the University of São Paulo.

My visit was timed to coincide with a two-day research symposium that showcased the work of the University’s Laboratório de Gestão Estratégica da Tecnologia da Informação, do Conhecimento e da Inteligência Competitiva (LETICIC) on 15th and 16th March 2017. The symposium was organised by Professor Renato de Oliveira Moraes of the Departamento de Engenharia de Produção. Renato was also the main host for my visit to São Paulo. Continue reading

Knowledge sharing and networking behaviours in job search: two new papers in the latest issue of Information Research

Information Research headerThe latest issue of  Information Research published this week includes two papers that draw on research from the Centre for Social Informatics. I was a co-author on both:

Buunk, I., Hall, H., & Smith, C.F. (2017). Tacit knowledge sharing: the determination of a methodological approach to explore the intangible. Information Research, 22(1).

Mowbray, J., Hall, H., Raeside, R., Robertson, P. (2017). The role of networking and social media tools during job search: an information behaviour perspective. Information Research, 22(1). Continue reading

An invitation to speak about the Centre for Social Informatics in Brazil

Next week I am travelling to Brazil at the invitation of Professor Renato de Oliveira Moraes of the University of São Paulo. While there I will make a contribution to a research symposium hosted by the Departamento de Engenharia de Produção da Politéchnica da USP.

The main aim of the symposium is to showcase the work of the University’s Laboratório de Gestão Estratégica da Tecnologia da Informação, do Conhecimento e da Inteligência Competitiva (LETICIC) (which roughly translates as the Centre for Strategic Information Technology, Knowledge Management, and Competitive Intelligence) to an audience of academics, postgraduate students, and practitioners. Continue reading