In order to support students from a range of backgrounds develop their interdisciplinary knowledge and skills, the Centre provides a suite of opportunities for students, across varying levels of study, to co-create in interdisciplinary teams. Projects also encourage students to develop team-working and professional skills, and support them to visualise how their disciplinary focus fits in to a wider, interconnected constellation of knowledge.
The Centre has supported the Nuffield Foundation’s Summer Placement Scheme since 2017. The Nuffield Foundation is an independent charitable trust with a mission to advance educational opportunity and social well-being. The scheme provides Post-16 students the opportunity to take part in STEM-associated “ engaging, hands-on research projects” alongside researchers and industry professionals. Placements support students to develop subject knowledge, enhance their career prospects, and to learn about Higher Education and varying career paths. Placements also support students to apply for a Gold CREST Award or the Big Bang Competition. The Centre has focused on shaping placements that provide students with, one, an introduction to how STEM disciplines can interplay with law, and, two, an experience of university life. Placement projects have included exploring vaccination scepticism and mandatory vaccination; the operation of healthcare tribunals; focus groups with healthcare professionals; and wrongful conviction cases involving forensic science. Students also have the opportunity to attend university conferences, office share with academic staff, meet undergraduate and PhD students and academic staff, and to attend and present at workshops.
The Centre supports the School of Law’s extensive student and staff research collaborations portfolio, providing undergraduate students the opportunity to be (funded and voluntary) research assistants on centre-based projects. Projects have included supporting the development of teaching materials, Amicus Briefs, literature reviews, mock juror studies, teaching simulations, case chronologies, and argument maps.
Vaccines Argument Map
The Centre with funding from a Small Development Grant has employed two undergraduate students to undertake an analysis of arguments of those that are anti and pro vaccination. An extensive literature search was completed which led to a detailed and comprehensive argument map that will provide very useful in ongoing research within the Centre on vaccines and vaccine skepticism.
Amicus Briefs: Recognition of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
The School of Law’s research centres have a history of preparing Amicus Briefs for submission to legal proceedings in the United States. In 2019, the centres were invited to submit a brief addressing the UK justice system’s recognition of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which was to consider an appeal in a capital case raising questions about the diagnosis and implications of FASD. Through engaging with resources across medicine and healthcare, law, government, and civil society, the team produced a brief argueing that, in the UK, FASD is a recognised term used to describe a range of life-long conditions caused by the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. The brief presented this position in three parts. First, the recognition of FASD by scientific and healthcare communities in the U.K. Second, the recognition of FASD by U.K. politicians. Third, the recognition of FASD by the U.K. judiciary in civil and criminal legal proceedings, and in criminal justice-focused scholarship.
The Centre supports a flourishing PhD community, with a particular focus on intersections of law and science, and the application of interdisciplinary research methods.
Title: An examination of judicial decision-making in Shaken Baby Syndrome cases in the United States
Title: An examination of judicial decision-making in vaccine harm cases in the United States.
Supervisory Team: Dr Sarah L. Cooper and Dr Mark Eccleston-Turner.
Title: A Model for Analysing and Grading the Quality of Scientific Authorities Presented to State Legislative Committees
Title: Compassionate Release in the United States
Minh Thy Van Pham
Title: Do copyright laws of the United Kingdom and the United States effectively protect the authors of fanfiction?
Title: International Investment Regime and Tobacco Regulatory Chill in the Post-Soviet Space: Case Studies from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.
Supervisory Team: Dr Friso Jansen, and Dr Mark Eccleston Turner