Grant winners – 27 August 2015

A round-up of recent recipients of research council cash

August 27, 2015
Grant Winners header

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Sequential assembly of the bacterial flagellum outside the living cell

Effect of the topography of the human epidermal-dermal junction in influencing stem cell behaviour

The auxetic nucleus: nuclear mechanotransduction and its role in regulating stem cell differentiation

Royal Society/Academy of Medical Sciences/British Academy

Newton Advanced Fellowships

The scheme provides researchers with a chance to develop the strengths of their research groups through collaboration and reciprocal visits with a UK partner

  • Award winner: Nadia Martínez-Villegas
  • Institution: Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica AC, Mexico (host: Heriot-Watt University)
  • Value: £111,000

Distribution of arsenic on agricultural soils and its influence on exposure risks through maize ingestion and agricultural activities in Matehuala, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Arts and Humanities Research Council

Research grants

Television from small nations: building a network for cultural and commercial success

Melting pot: food and identity in the age of the Vikings

The listening zones of NGOs: languages and cultural knowledge in development programmes


Building bridges in ethics: connecting metaethics and normative ethics

In detail

Wellcome Trust

Award winner: Michael Brown
Institution: University of Roehampton
Value: £570,000

A theatre of emotions: the affective landscape of 19th-century British surgery

This project will explore the sympathy, pity, pain and fear that 19th-century surgeons and their patients experienced during the time before anaesthetic was used. Specifically, the study will look at deep-set emotions felt by surgeons and patients during operations in both civil and military hospitals. It is hoped that the research will challenge conventional views that surgeons, including those in the Napoleonic and First World Wars, were dispassionate, a state referred to as “clinical detachment”. The project’s initial findings suggest that instead they felt fear, pity and many more emotions for their patients, owing to the great pain experienced, the prevalence of post-operative illnesses and high mortality rates. “Historians have generally emphasised the emotional detachment of surgeons at that time, but I believe their mindset was more complex,” said Michael Brown, senior lecturer in history at the University of Roehampton. “There was no real pain medication, and as intelligent and ‘sensible’ gentlemen, surgeons did sympathise with their patients, feeling pity for them and anxiety on their behalf. We will bring clarity to the extent of these feelings and examine how they subsequently shaped surgeons’ professional identities and their representation in popular culture.”

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