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PodMag April 2016

Updated Thursday, 14 April 2016
PodMag is the monthly update of news, views and interviews from the Faculty of Social Sciences at The Open University.

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The April 2016 edition of the PodMag focuses on book launches. Karen Foley interviews Professor Paul Anand about ‘Happiness Explained’, Dr Meg-John Barker on ‘Secrets of Enduring Love, how to make relationships last’, Dr Edward Wastnidge on ‘Diplomacy and Reform in Iran’, and Dr Gerry Mooney on ‘Poverty in Scotland 2016 – Tools for Transformation’.

Select here for a copy of the transcript of this audio

Professor Paul Anand

Karen interviews Paul Anand about his new book Happiness Explained, which encapsulates his research into human flourishing, what it is, how it’s determined and what we can do to promote it.  The book draws on scientific research from economics, psychology, philosophy and politics that looks at quality of life, wellbeing and happiness across the human life course.

Dr Meg-John Barker

Karen speaks to Meg-John Barker about Secrets of Enduring Love, how to make relationships last, and why the book is a good read for anyone interested in successful, long-term relationships.

The book is a bit different from normal self-help books because it’s based on a research project, the Enduring Love Study, carried out by Jacqui Gabb and Janet Fink at the Open University, which surveyed people’s experiences of long term relationships. Meg-John and Jacqui draw on the research throughout the book, bringing the statistics to life with individual life stories from interviewees. The book aims to help readers to find out what works for them.

Dr Edward Wastnidge

Karen speaks to Eddie about Diplomacy and Reform in Iran, his new book on Iranian foreign policy under former reformist-president Mohammed Khatami. Eddie explores how ideas translate into foreign policy, the way Khatami’s ideas about opening up civil society, increasing rights for women, increasing democratic participation and opening Iran up to the world have transformed Iran’s foreign policy.

Dr Gerry Mooney

Finally Karen talks to Gerry about the latest book in the Poverty in Scotland series Poverty in Scotland 2016 – Tools for Transformation, which Gerry edited and co-authored.  The book is concerned with the issues of poverty and equality disadvantage within Scotland.  A ‘knowledge exchange’ event was held at the OU in Scotland to formally launch the book, with the start of the campaign ready for the May 2016 Scottish Elections.  Attendees included researchers, academics, journalists, policy makers, representatives from various campaigning and third sector organisations and politicians. The book aims to influence the political debate and feed through to policy for the new Parliament.

You can catch up on the previous editions of PodMag from here.

This blog post is part of Society Matters. The blog seeks to inform, stimulate and challenge our understanding of this changing world and of our humbling role within it.
Want to know more about studying social sciences at The Open University? Visit the Social Sciences faculty site.

Please note: The opinions expressed in Society Matters posts are those of the individual authors, and do not represent the views of The Open University.


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