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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Welcome to the

Transforming The Way We Think

The Institute of Advanced Study is a prestigious, ideas-based Institute with global reach. We bring together world-leading researchers from all disciplines to work with Durham colleagues on collaborative projects of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. At least twenty visiting IAS Fellows join us in Durham each year to work with Durham scholars to spark new investigations, set tomorrow's agenda and participate in a varied programme of activities.

Each year, the IAS supports four ambitious interdisciplinary projects tackling major research questions. Leading researchers from around the globe join Durham colleagues in collaborative teams to develop ground-breaking ideas, explore interdisciplinary synergies and develop new programmes of research.

The Institute also serves as a top-level forum, enabling key-decision makers and experts to discuss pressing policy problems in an intellectually stimulating and unrestricted manner. We put on a wide range of public lectures and other events. There are also opportunities for postgraduates and other early career researchers to get involved.

The IAS aims to build research capacity, realise potential, and meet the challenges of a changing world. There are many ways to participate in the life and work of the institute. We warmly welcome your involvement.

IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - Transitions to vaping in the land of the long white cloud

27th November 2019, 17:30 to 18:30, Saltwell Building, Stephenson College, Howlands Farm, Professor Janet Hoek (University of Otago)


E-cigarettes, or vapes, are variously described as a disruptive technology that could dramatically reduce smoking and ‘a weapon of mass distraction’ that will prolong the smoking epidemic. The public health benefits these novel devices offer remain vigorously contested. Yet, how can such radically different perspectives co-exist? Addressing this question requires us to move beyond dominant biomedical addiction discourse and consider vaping as a social practice and not merely an alternative nicotine delivery system.

To explore how e-cigarettes, a disputed and ambiguous innovation, could improve health and well-being, we must first discover how people who smoke negotiate new identity positions as they attempt to transition to vaping. By probing the retention, creation or relinquishment of rituals formerly paired with smoking, we may gain new insights into these fundamentally different views on vaping and its likely impact on population health

This lecture is free and open to all.

Details about Professor Janet Hoek

Directions to Stephenson College

MapStephenson College is denoted as building No.63

Contact for more information about this event.

IAS Contribution to the evaluation of interdisciplinary research in the REF

For a number of years the IAS has been closely involved in the development of methods of evaluating interdisciplinary research, working collaboratively with UK funding bodies/the REF. Its Executive Director, Professor Veronica Strang, is a member of the UKRI Interdisciplinary Advisory Panel, which is guiding this aspect of the REF process, and a regular speaker at the Annual REF Forum and related events. Her report Evaluating Interdisciplinary Research: a practical guide (Strang and McLeish 2015), written in consultation with a range of funding bodies, has been taken up widely, nationally and internationally. With the REF submission date coming up soon, colleagues who are considering interdisciplinary outputs for submission, or who will be involved in evaluating such research for REF sub-panels, may find this publication helpful.