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

65 – Improving organic solar cell technology

Solar energy is a renewable energy source much needed as the global energy demand and the speed of climate change increase. Solar energy can be converted to electric energy by means of organic photovoltaics (OPV). This is a technology that uses organic molecules, such as polymers, to absorb sunlight and generate electricity. While OPV devices have become more efficient, one problem is that their operational lifetime is still short. One reason for this, is that the polymer and fullerene materials used in OPV:s degrades when it is exposed to light and air. This problem is addressed in Vanja Blazinic’s research in physics. In our conversation, he explains how his research contributes to a better practical understanding of material degradation in OPV devices. This is much needed for this technology to contribute to a brighter future.

Vanja Blazinic’s doctoral thesis in physics can be downloaded from DiVA: Probing the effects of photodegradation of acceptor materials in polymer solar cells: bulk, surface, and molecular level

64 – Does criticism in digital spaces matter to journalism?

With the power of digitalization, criticisms toward journalism now often are aired in digital spaces, such as social networks and blogs. But does criticism in digital spaces matter to journalism, and how do journalists handle this? These are questions asked by David Cheruiyot in his doctoral thesis in Media and Communication Studies. Through in-depth interviews with journalists, media critics, and media accountability agents, David’s research gives us an understanding of how journalistic practice in Kenya and South Africa is affected by new forms for mainstream media criticism. Prior to the digital era, journalists could deal with criticism in controlled spaces, such as letters to editors. Today, they may need to grapple with open hashtag campaigns built up by many different stakeholders of journalism. As David explains in our interview, this has profound effects on journalists and journalistic practice.

63 – Modelling the life span of the sewage system mathematically?

When old sewage pipes break, they can undermine the soil. In the worst case, this can lead to the formation of sink holes that devour buildings, vehicles and other things.

In our podcast we talk to Arthur J. Vromans who does research that can potentially predict the degradation of sewage pipes and thus prevent the formation of sink holes. For this he has developed a mathematical model that can assess the life span of existing sewage pipes and estimate the degradation rate in the sewer system over a long time period.  His work offers a way to estimate error margins, predict degradation processes and hopefully avoid series of unfortunate events related to broken sewage pipes.

58 – Academics’ reactions to managerialism

What is managerialism in higher education? And how do academics react to it? These are the two principal questions posed by Jo Ese, in his doctoral thesis in Working Life Science Defending the university? Academics reactions to managerialism in Norwegian higher education? While managerialism has been developed in the world of business, many government run universities also have adopted this belief system. In our interview, Jo Ese explains the emergence of the concept. Also, we learn more about the strategies academics use to cope with or – as is often the case – resist managerialism.

Jo Ese’s doctoral thesis can be downloaded from DiVA.