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MCR/SCR talks

The Caius MCR/SCR research talks are a series of cross-disciplinary after-dinner research talks during term time given by members of the Gonville & Caius MCR and SCR. In addition to highlighting the exciting research conducted by Caians, the series also provides the perfect opportunity for Fellows and students to meet in a casual environment. Details of these bi-weekly talks are advertised on The Venn.

Below are some abstracts from previous talks. 


The Exuvial Rennaisance

Jason Scott Warren - SCR

When we think about human identity we often look inward, to interiority or subjectivity. In his 1998 study Art and Agency, the anthropologist Alfred Gell explores the idea that human personhood might more profitably be thought of as distributed beyond the body. We are made present, he suggests, in many times and places simultaneously, via innumerable intermediaries that remain part of the self as they are separated from it. He goes on to think of these distributions as ‘exuviae’, borrowing a Latin word for ‘that which is stripped, drawn or taken off from the body, clothing, equipments, arms, etc’, ‘the skin of an animal ... his slough, hide, fleece or hair’, and ‘spoils stripped from an enemy, as arms, booty, etc’. A short list of exuvial properties might set out from bodily extrusions such as blood, sweat and tears, moving outward through physical objects such as clothes, souvenirs, coins and funerary monuments, and onwards to posthumous avatars such as corpses, ghosts, relics and children; seemingly intangible things such as your name and fame must be somewhere in the mix too. In this talk I will offer a very short introduction to the theory and practice of the exuvial, and will explore some of its implications for thinking about the literary culture of the Renaissance.


Paramedic Live Tweeting: Bioethical Violations in the Public Square

Dannielle M. Cagliuso - MCR

Social media can exert a positive influence on healthcare, e.g. through the spread of Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAMed), but it can also wreak havoc. For years, paramedics have faced disciplinary consequences due to inappropriate posts on their personal social media accounts. Now, however, controversy is developing over a different problem: the live tweeting of patient encounters by UK paramedics and ambulance services who/that use Twitter in their professional capacities. Though some defend the practice, it is receiving strong condemnation from both healthcare professionals and members of the public, including at least one of the affected patients.

Now, before public outcry increases and further breaches of confidentiality occur, the Health & Care Professions Council (UK paramedics’ regulatory body) and NHS ambulance trusts must revise their policies. However, it is first necessary to reanalyse paramedics’ obligations of confidentiality. UK data protection law is about to change due to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which becomes enforceable in the UK on 25 May, and the Data Protection Bill currently going through Parliament. This talk will include an analysis of these new laws in its examination of paramedic live tweeting. I will present paramedics’ ethical, regulatory/professional, and legal obligations in regard to patient confidentiality; analyse recent examples of live tweets and conclude that the live tweeting of patient encounters violates the ethical, regulatory, and legal tenets of the profession and ought to be condemned by the HCPC. Though I will focus on paramedics, much of what I will discuss is applicable to other healthcare professionals.