While film and TV production is in lockdown, the University of Kent had original research documentaries for you to discover.

Researchers and field experts hosted interactive talks featuring topical discussions as the university launched the Think Kent “Discovers” series, a series of 9 cutting edge research documentaries produced by the University of Kent in association with KMTV.

Each event started with the screening of a research documentary followed by a live panel discussion on the topic.

The series was live streamed via Research Services ‘YouTube channel and the university’s facebook page.

Screenings included:

Tuesday 19th May: “Restoring the Palace of Westminster”

Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt from the Kent School of Architecture and Planning has been analysing the Houses of Parliament’s historic ventilation system and how it shaped the overall design of the building. His investigation is feeding directly into the Palace of Westminster’s Restoration and Renewal Programme, an ambitious (and expensive) project to ensure the building’s preserved at a time when it faces major structural and maintenance issues.

Panel members:
– Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt, Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Architecture at the University of Kent
– Professor Dean Hawkes, Emeritus Professor of Architectural Design at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University and an Emeritus Fellow of Darwin College, University of Cambridge
– Richard Ware, Former Director of the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme

To view the recording of the event, visit Research’s YouTube channel

Thursday 28th May: “Mary Rose – A Chemical Conundrum”

When the Mary Rose was raised from the bottom of the Solent in 1982, it was regarded as a watershed moment in conservation. Speaking at the opening of the Mary Rose Museum in 2013, historian Dan Snow called the ship “the most important piece of archaeology to come out of Britain in our lifetime. This is a time capsule perfectly preserved, this is Britain’s Pompeii.”
The documentary explores how a team from the University of Kent’s School of Physical Sciences helped to preserve, and put on display, the pride of the Tudor fleet.

Panel members:
– Professor Alan Chadwick, Emeritus Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Kent
– Professor Eleanor Schofield, Head of Conservation & Collections Care at the Mary Rose Trust
– Professor Fred Mosselmans, Principal Beamline Scientist responsible for I20 at Diamond Light Source

To view the recording of the event, visit Research’s Youtube channel

Tuesday 2nd June: “Peru – A Living Memory” 

The country’s history dates back to the cradle of civilisation and over the millennia have seen empires rise and fall, from the mighty Incas to the Spanish conquistadors. Next year sees Peru celebrating ‘El Bicentenario’, 200 years of independence. But its recent past has been blighted with unprecedented violence and political corruption. Researcher Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, from the University of Kent’s School of European Culture and Languages, wants to teach citizens about all aspects of the country’s history in order to create a fully realised national identity for future generations of Peruvians.

Panel members:
– Professor Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, Professor of Latin American History at the University of Kent
– M.A.Soc. Eduardo Gonzalez Cuerva, Transition Justice Expert
– Dr. Ines Ruiz, Academic Research Director, School of Humanities at Universidad Cientifica del Sur in Peru

To view the recording of the event, visit Research’s YouTube channel

Thursday 11th June: “La Cristiada – A Civil War” 

The Cristero War of 1926-29, fought in the deeply religious centre-west, was a bloody and violent episode in Mexico’s history. The rural rebellion was instigated as a response to President Plutarco Elías Calles, who sought to eliminate the power of the Catholic Church. Almost 100 years later, Dr Mark Lawrence, from the School of History,  has explored the country’s memory of the war and delves into the different motivations of those involved and the innocent civilians who are the forgotten victims caught in one of Mexico’s bloodiest civil wars.

Panel members:
– Dr Mark Lawrence, Lecturer in Latin American History at the  University of Kent
– Dr Nathaniel Morris, Leverhulme Research Fellow at University College London
– Dr Ben Fallaw, Professor of Latin American History at Colby College in USA (Maine)

To view the recording of the event, visit Research’s YouTube channel

Thursday 18th June: “PCV2: Virus to Vaccine”

Fifteen million pigs are produced annually in Thailand, with the pork industry a key asset to the national economy. But such a high concentration of pigs also means the country is more susceptible to the outbreak of disease.  This film follows a team of world leading scientists led by Prof Colin Robinson (School of Biosciences) at the University of Kent as they battle to develop a process for Thailand to be able to mass produce its own animal vaccines.

Panel members:
– Professor Colin Robinson, Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Kent
– Professor Daniel Bracewell. Professor of Bioprocess Analysis at University College
– Dr Alison Walters, GCRF Project Manager at the University of Kent

To view the recording of the event, visit Research’s YouTube channel 

Thursday 25th June: “Counting Butterflies”

Butterflies have an essential role to play in the UK’s ecosystem and many environmental factors can impact on whether they flourish in our landscape. Follow how the University of Kent has collaborated with Butterfly Conservation to establish methods to track butterfly populations and the effects their environment has on sustaining them.

Panel members:
– Professor Byron Morgan, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at the University of Kent
– Dr Emily Dennis, Senior Ecological Statistician at Butterfly Conservation
– Ian Middlebrook, Butterfly Monitoring Coordinator at Butterfly Conservation

To view the recording of the event, visit Research Services’ Youtube channel

Thursday 2nd July: “The Mohawk of Consciousness”

Can the investigation into brain injury and analysing brain activity reveal the true level of consciousness in patients believed to be in a vegetative state?
Dr Srivas Chennu, School of Computing, uses advanced technology to look inside the brain of patients who are unable to move, talk or respond to those around them. Often the result of a stroke or brain injury, the condition is often called locked-in syndrome or persistent vegetative state. Dr Chennu’s research helps to assess the quality of someone’s life when they are suffering from these conditions.

Panel members:
– Dr Srivas Chennu, School of Computing at the University of Kent
– Dr Anita Rose, Director of Clinical Development and Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist at the Raphael Hospital
– Professor David Menon, Head of the Division of Anaesthesia at the University of Cambridge

To view the recording of the event, visit Research Services’ YouTube channel

Wednesday 8th July: “Catching Cancer: Rapid Diagnosis”

Breaking Boundaries: Could a simple pin-prick kit diagnose Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in minutes?
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) is a devastating blood and bone marrow cancer affecting more than 250,000 people per year worldwide. Critically, the illness is difficult to detect and patients are often diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective. This film follows the work of scientist Dr Vadim Sumbayev as he races to develop rapid pin-prick technology that could save the lives of millions.

Panel members:
– Dr Vadim Sumbayev, Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, Medway School of Pharmacy at the University of Kent
– Prof. Dmitry Pshezhetskiy, Expert in basic and clinical cancer research, School of Medicine at University of East Anglia
– Prof. Bernhard Gibbs, Principal Research Associate, Division of Experimental Allergology and Immunodermatology at the University of Oldenburg (Germany)

To view the recording of the event, visit Research Services’ YouTube channel

Thursday 16th July at 7pm: “The Science of Making Babies”

In July 1978, the world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in Oldham to her parents, Lesley and John. It’s now estimated 1 in 50 babies born in Britain today are the result of IVF or similar methods that allow an egg to be fertilised. The film depicts the work of Professor Darren Griffin and Prof. Alan Thornhill, School of Biosciences, as leaders in the field whose work has helped transform the lives of parents around the world.
Panel members:
– Prof. Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics at the University of Kent
– Prof. Alan Thornhill, Honorary Professor of reproductive Genetics at the University of Kent and Country Manager at Igenomix
– Prof. David Brown, Honorary Professor in Structural Biology at the University of Kent and Head of Structural Sciences at Servier Paris-Saclay Research Institute (France)

To view the recording of the event, visit Research Services’ YouTube Channel