104 – Off-gassing in wood pellets

Today, wood pellets are often used as fuel for heat and power generation. However, when stored, fresh wood pellets produced from fresh sawdust can self-heat and emit gasses (off-gassing). Self-heating may lead to fires while off-gassing of toxic gasses such as carbon monoxide is a human health and environmental hazard. Workson Siwale’s research focuses on off-gassing and investigates how wood extractives influence the emission of gasses. Understanding the mechanisms behind off-gassing better, can inform raw material selection and pre-treatment so as to produce pellets with reduced off-gassing abilities. In our conversation, Workson explains the contributions of his research for sustaining product quality, and we learn more about the environmental and health benefits that can come out of improvements in pellets handling.

Workson Siwale’s licentiate thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: Understanding the Influence of Wood Extractives on Off-Gassing during Storage of Wood Pellets

102 – Students’ art-based exploration of science in a third space

Research shows that due to contextual differences between museums and schools, teachers often find it difficult to adapt their teaching to museum settings. Therefore, there is a need for museums to develop and improve student experiences of school trips to their institutions. Against this backdrop, museum educator and researcher Harald Raaijmakers‘ has developed a museum programme which aims to bridge borders between educational contexts and school disciplines. Harald’s research aims at validating the programme and to analyse students’ aesthetic experiences and imagination in art-based exploration of science issues. In our conversation, Harald explains that elaborated museum-school partnerships can create a third space where science education becomes integrated with society and students’ lived experiences.

Harald Raaijmakers’ licentiate thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: Powerful eyes, imaginative minds: Experiencing contemporary art and science in a third space

99 – Free and open source software

LibreOffice is an office suite that can be downloaded, used, shared, modified and redistributed freely. It is available for most operating systems, including Mac OS and Windows, and estimated to have 200 million active users worldwide. It is one of the largest and longstanding free and open source software projects.

In his ethnographic study, Reinhard Handler investigates the collaborative practices that forms LibreOffice. With the aim to understand how collaborative practices emerge, are negotiated and ordered in the context of free and open source software, he has followed collaborators at conferences, interviewed them, and participated in their discussions. In our conversation, Reinhard describes and explains the interplay of ethical ideas, technical skills, and governance mechanisms that together form LibreOffice as a software project.

Reinhard Handler’s doctoral thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: Colliberate : The practices of free and open source software

97 – Privacy and security of digital health technologies

During the early phase of the Corona pandemic public health actors rapidly deployed contact tracing applications for mobile phones. The apps aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, by aiding manual contact tracing. In Samuel Wairimu’s research in Computer Science he investigates the security and privacy risks of these apps and how patients can be harmed by those risks.

In his licentiate thesis, Samuel has used an experimental approach to assess the risks and combined it with a theoretical approach which goes on to assess what impacts and consequences a state-sponsored cyberattack could have to the healthcare sector, and to patients especially.

In our conversation, Samuel explains the results of his study and he argues that more emphasis needs to be put on information security in the healthcare sector, as it is prone for experiencing cyberattacks and the risks for patients can be severe. 

Samuel Wairimu’s licentiate thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: Privacy and Security Analysis : Assessing Risks and Harm to Patients

92 – Mot mätstandarder och klassificeringssystem för kolnanorör

Dags att ta en tur till pyttelandet. I detta avsnittet av Forskningspodden träffar vi Mattias Flygare som har skrivit en avhandling om så kallade kolnanorör, pyttesmå strukturer på nanometernivå med stor potential för vetenskaplig forskning och industriella och kommersiella applikationer. Precis som med alla material så växer dessa små rör av kolatomer dock oftast inte fram med en perfekt atomstruktur utan kan vara oregelbundna, vilket påverkar till exempel deras elektriska ledningsförmåga och böjstyrka. Mattias använde ett speciellt mikroskop för sin forskning för att undersöka kolananorörens egenskaper i mer detalj. Hans arbete har bidragit till bättre metoder för att studera kolnanorör och har fört fältet ett steg närmare industristandarder för mätningar av kolnanorör, vilket är viktigt för att rätt sorts rör ska kunna användas till rätt syfte.

Vill ni veta mer så kan läsa hela avhandlingen i vår publikationsdatabas DiVA. Den heter The influence of crystallinity on the properties of carbon nanotubes

86 – Barn i rörelse

Fysisk aktivitet är bra för barns välmående, men idag är det många barn som rör sig för lite. Det görs många insatser för att ändra på detta, och det är dessa som står i fokus i Johan Högmans forskning i pedagogiskt arbete. I sin doktorsavhandling studerar Johan det som kan kallas alternativa idrottsaktiviteter, det vill säga satsningar som specifikt försöker nå de barn som inte redan är fysiskt aktiva. Med utgångspunkt i barnens berättelser synliggör Johans forskning det som framstår som betydelsefullt ur barnens egna perspektiv. I vårt samtal berättar Johan Högman mer om sina resultat och om vad som behöver ske för att alternativa idrottsaktiviteter ska bli framgångsrika.

85 – Biblical allusion in three Charles Dickens novels

The famous British novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870) believed in the power of fiction to affect the reader. In some of his novels he used the reader’s familiarity with the Bible so as to engage them in imagining contemporary social conditions. In Yuanyuan Zhu’s research she investigates the use of biblical allusions in Dickens’ novels Bleak House, Hard Times, and Little Dorrit. Central to the interpretation of the biblical allusions in the novels is the dialogic relation between the biblical and fictive worlds as well as both to the Victorian socio-historical context. In our conversation, Dr. Zhu explains that the biblical allusions serve many purposes in the novels. Ultimately, they instruct the reader about the need for social improvement and individual moral actions.

Yuanyuan Zhu’s doctoral thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: Biblical Allusion in Three Charles Dickens Condition-of-England Novels

80 – Empowering users of online services

Using online services means ticking a lot of boxes in consent forms, but do we always know what we are saying yes to? In this podcast we are talking to Farzaneh Karegar, PhD in Computer Science. In her research she proposed, designed, and tested usable and legally compliant tools and solutions that can empower users to take control of their data when using online services. 

We talk about the trade-offs between convenience and privacy when it comes to making online choices; tools that both users and service providers can benefit from and consent form designs that motivate users to pay more attention to what they are disclosing and for what purposes. Farzaneh introduces us also to dark patterns which are very prominent in, for example, cookie consent banners and explains why they can be a pitfall also for policy designers with good intentions. 

Farzaneh Karegar’s doctoral thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: The Lord of Their Data Under the GDPR?: Empowering Users Through Usable Transparency, Intervenability, and Consent

79 – The Public Interest in the Data Society

The public interest, in its ideal form, offers the possibility for all to exercise individual rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or the right to personal data protection. However, in practice the definition of public interest can vary depending on the context.

In Maud Bernisson’s doctoral thesis in Media and Communication Studies, she investigates how the notion of public interest was constructed in relation to digital media during the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) policymaking process. By interviewing key actors of the process, along with extensive in-depth document analyses, Maud’s research shows that the GDPR redefines the public interest in a way which diverges from its ideal form. In our conversation, Maud explains the reasons for this divergence and how it has affected how the GDPR works for EU citizens.     

Maud Bernisson’s doctoral thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: The Public Interest in the Data Society: Deconstructing the Policy Network Imaginary of the GDPR

68- The human side of idea screening

For businesses to stay competitive and survive, it is vital for them to take good care of ideas aiming at evolving the enterprise. However, assessing and evaluating new ideas, idea screening, can take time and resources, it often acts as a bottle neck during the innovation process. Thus far, research on idea screening, has focused more on the technical and procedural aspects, leaving the human side of the process aside. For this reason, in his research Alexandre Sukhov, Ph.D. in Business Administration, has taken the perspective of the individuals involved as evaluators of ideas. By investigating more than 1,300 idea screening cases performed by 245 people, he has come to the conclusion that there is more to the process than mere screening. In fact, evaluators are co-constructing the very ideas they are set to screen. In our interview, Alexandre explains what this means for our understanding of the innovation process, and how his results can help businesses improve their innovation processes .

Alexandre Sukhov’s doctoral thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: The Human Side of Idea Screening