Event summary

Edinburgh Campus

Event details

Heriot-Watt University’s Festival of Research – celebrating research excellence; enhancing research culture; building research capacity.

Chair – Mr Grant Innes, Director, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia; Member of Court, Heriot-Watt University

Prof Jemina Napier - Sign of the times: citizenship, deaf sign language users & jury service

One aspect of civic duty for any citizen in countries with an adversarial court system is to be ready to serve as a juror when called upon. Historically, deaf sign language users have been excluded from jury service. But a social view of deafness regards civic participation through sign language interpreters as a civil right. A ten-year programme of four related studies, funded through the New South Wales Law Reform Commission and the Australian Research Council, has found that there is no impediment to deaf sign language users serving as jurors. The linked studies have led to confirmation of jury participation as a human right by the UN Committee for the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and law reform in several countries.

Prof Alan Gow - Beyond brain training

As we age, we might experience some changes in our thinking, reasoning and memory skills. As the extent of these changes vary from person to person, identifying the factors that promote better brain health in old age is a global research priority. While ‘brain training’ has generated a lot of attention, there is still limited evidence of the effectiveness of these relatively focussed approaches. Our research at Heriot-Watt is taking a more engagement-based approach, exploring how novel learning in real-world settings might be beneficial for our thinking skills as we age. Our 3-year project has been shortlisted for the Nature Research Awards for Driving Global Impact to be announced in November 2019.

Prof Kate Sang - Intersections of gender and disability

While the poor representation of women in senior positions in universities is well established, far less is known about other oppressed groups. Disabled people are particularly marginalised in society, with disabled women standing at the intersection of two forms of disadvantage. Drawing on research across multiple projects, Kate’s talk will explore highly skilled careers and the experiences of women and disabled people, highlighting recent work gynaecological health at work.

'Pioneering Research' Strand

From discovery to application, our pioneering research delivers impact, helping to transform society, stimulate economic growth, and change lives. Find out more about the award-winning, pioneering research being undertaken at Heriot-Watt University and why it is attracting academic and innovation interest worldwide.


Research Futures Academy