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UCLan to feature in national campaign to highlight value of university research

03 June 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Researchers invited to showcase work at public event  

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) will feature in a UK-wide campaign next week to highlight the value and importance of university research to our everyday lives.

Universities Week 2014 will be launched on Monday 9 June at the Natural History Museum in London where a week-long public event will showcase some of the best of UK university research.

Researchers from UCLan will join teams from 46 other UK universities represented at the Museum during the week. The exhibition will include research stations, pop-up performances, debates and live research demonstrations, covering a range of research themes.

Led by linguistics expert Professor Dawn Archer and psychologist Dr Paul Seager, the research team from the Institute for the study of Credibility, Emotions and Deception (iCrED) at UCLan; Dr Kathryn Gardner, Dr Sam Larner, Dr Sheryl Prentice, Dr Beth Richardson, Dr Sarita Robinson and Rebecca Smithson, will deliver two sessions at the Natural History Museum.

The first, entitled ‘How to spot a liar’, will aim to highlight the intricacies involved in detecting deception and will give the audience an insight into how they might improve their accuracy in spotting a lie as well as some emotions. The second event is billed as the ‘UCLan poker school’, where staff will be on hand to help members of the public to improve their poker game through the application of psychological and linguistic techniques.

“The event will give the public a chance to chat to academics and see what we do. In the case of our two sessions, we will aim to give people a chance to learn how to improve their lie detection skills, and see how our work can be applied"

Dr Paul Seager commented: “The event will give the public a chance to chat to academics and see what we do. In the case of our two sessions, we will aim to give people a chance to learn how to improve their lie detection skills, and see how our work can be applied to both crime and leisure activities.”

Professor Dawn Archer added: “In respect to our particular sessions, we hope that the public come away appreciating why they can often find it difficult to spot someone in a lie, but also know what to focus on when attempting to distinguish a credible comment from a lie; and, perhaps more usefully, which myths about lie detecting are just that – myths.

“The two sessions will show that the academic research that we and others engage in, in understanding credibility, emotions and deception, can – and does - have real and practical impact on our everyday lives.”

The week will be launched officially on Monday evening 9 June by the Universities and Science Minister David Willetts MP at the Natural History Museum.

As well as the week-long exhibition at the Natural History Museum, there will be a range of other activities taking place across the UK as part of Universities Week 2014 to promote and engage the public with the value and importance of university research.

Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “The aim of Universities Week is to inspire the public about the world-leading research taking place in our universities.

“Led by some of the top researchers in the UK, the event at the Natural History Museum will be a fantastic showcase event for UK higher education. By hosting this free-to-attend and high-profile event, we hope that members of the public will be inspired and will leave having learned something new about how universities are helping to solve some of the UK’s, and world’s biggest challenges.”