Thank you, CeMoRe!

I’m just finishing the last of two visits I’ve made in May and June, as a CeMoRe Visiting Research Fellow.

It’s been a great chance to catch up with people, meet some new people and generally get head space for research somewhere that’s something of a spiritual home for me, if that doesn’t sound too pretentious. My background is in qualitative sociology and then, via cycling, into transport, and even mathematical modelling, so not exactly Orthodox Transpo. Sometimes, I feel a bit out of place among both groups. So it’s been lovely to feel part of places and networks where sociology and transport (along with arts and humanities, and computing, and other disciplines…!) have created the flourising field of Mobilities.

What have I been up to, then? On the 9th and 10th June I organised a symposium on Transport in the Media. This was an intense, in-depth event with formal business lasting till 7pm (and then till some time later, less formally, in the pub!) on Monday and starting again at 9:30am on Tuesday. You can see a longer write-up of the event with various downloadable resources here. In due course, I plan to put together a volume entitled ‘Mediatised Mobilities’ (thanks John for the idea and title.)

Group work on Monday.

I then participated in the CeMoRe research event on Tuesday afternoon, with the great joy of being able to act as discussant for the four fantastic papers closing the evening. (Everyone else had the possibly less great joy of my keeping them from the buffet and drinks, of course…!) On the Friday I led a webinar on qualitative data and agent-based modelling, bringing together two of my diverse hats.

I’ve been continuing to work on the Changing Commutes project, as well as working on a couple of small research projects while here, one looking at quantitative and qualitative shifts in media coverage of cycling deaths, and another looking at how preferences for cycling environments vary depending on whether people are travelling with children. One paper – on gender and age equity in relation to cycling uptake – is nearly ready to go, and another (re-analysing qualitative data about cycling ‘safety gear’) is getting there. Another paper is being signed off for Mobilities journal itself after peer review. I’ve continued my social media engagement. (OK, I have been blogging and tweeting, including live tweeting the #mediatransport event for some sessions).

And although I’ve missed the big city, I’ll miss my time here, the place that CeMoRe represents (as well as the experience of riding down towards the Lune Estuary on a long beautiful evening with the sun streaming across the bay – or even getting comically and completely soaked because as a long adopted Londoner I forget that the weather can change like that). I look forward to ongoing collaboration and to coming back for one of the excellent events that CeMoRe puts on so regularly and Pennie makes happen so efficiently.

Thank you all!

Rachel Aldred

Westminster University

CeMoRe Visiting Research Fellow 2014

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