Research News: September 2018

Golf: the neuroscience of the perfect putt

Sports fans across the world watched the American golfer Tiger Woods roll in a putt to win the PGA tour’s season ending Tour Championship on September 23. His victory caps a remarkable comeback from personal struggles and injuries that caused him to plummet to 1,199 in the world rankings less than a year ago, and restores him as one of the world’s best.

This article by Andrew Michael Cooke, Lecturer in Performance Psychology,  at the School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Publication date: 28 September 2018

The launch of a 'unique reference book on Welsh music'

On Thursday, September 27th, at Powis Hall, Bangor University, an event was held to mark the launch of a new and highly significant volume on music in Wales. Cydymaith i Gerddoriaeth Cymru (‘Companion to the Music of Wales’) is an authoritative encyclopedia that covers all aspects of music in Wales from the 6th Century to the present day and is the result of a collaborative project between the School of Music and Media at Bangor University and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.

Publication date: 28 September 2018

‘High-yield’ farming costs the environment less than previously thought – and could help spare habitats

New findings suggest that more intensive agriculture might be the “least bad” option for feeding the world while saving its species – provided use of such “land-efficient” systems prevents further conversion of wilderness to farmland.

Agriculture that appears to be more eco-friendly but uses more land may actually have greater environmental costs per unit of food than “high-yield” farming that uses less land, a new study has found.

There is mounting evidence that the best way to meet rising food demand while conserving biodiversity is to wring as much food as sustainably possible from the land we do farm, so that more natural habitats can be “spared from the plough”.   

Publication date: 14 September 2018

Historic wrecks to assist Wales’ marine renewable energy future

Historic wrecks around Wales’ coastline, such as that of a German submarine sunk 10 miles off Bardsey Island at the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula on Christmas Day 1917, are to play a part in assisting Wales’ growing marine renewable energy sector.

Over the next two years, marine scientists from Bangor University will be surveying the coast of Wales as part of the ERDF-funded SEACAMS2 project led by the University in partnership with Swansea University. The researchers at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences and Centre for Applied Marine Sciences are undertaking collaborative research, including marine surveys, to support the sustainable growth of the marine renewable energy sector in Wales. 

Publication date: 8 September 2018

Free school meal funds help pay for school trips too – but self-imposed stigma stops parents claiming

Each and every one of us define success in our way. But in schools, it is mostly limited to a grading system, with pupils who achieve better marks considered to be more of a “success”. The barriers to this success are not just natural intelligence, or lack of hard work, however, they come from a variety of different places.

For our recently published study, we looked at how poverty and educational attainment are linked in rural Wales. We spoke to children, teachers and other key stakeholders to explore the problems that they experience and perceive. We also looked at national, regional and local plans and policies for combating poverty and increasing educational attainment in pupils.

This article by Gwilym Siôn ap Gruffudd, Lecturer/ Researcher in Education, School of Education and Human Development, was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 6 September 2018

Life's purpose rests in our mind's spectacular drive to extract meaning from the world

What is the purpose of life? Whatever you may think is the answer, you might, from time to time at least, find your own definition unsatisfactory. After all, how can one say why any living creature is on Earth in just one simple phrase?

This article by Guillaume Thierry, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 4 September 2018