For over 16 years, initially as a newspaper, Society Matters, has been informing a wide audience about society and the Social Sciences and has been seeking to convey a sense of what a Social Sciences identity is. It aims to continue to present topical, analytical and general interest materials. While it is intended particularly for those studying or teaching the Social Sciences, we welcome accessible, engaging articles from all students and staff at The Open University and from people beyond as well. Articles should offer reflections, comic or serious, on our understandings of our university, our communities and our world. This is not a blog with a focus on any one department or theoretical approach and nor is it simply a showcase for the work of one faculty. Rather we want to find new connections and assess ideas from many disciplines. Learning is a social, collaborative activity and we welcome new members to contribute to our online community of life-long learners. The editor welcomes ideas for lively, intelligent, items of between 600 and 800 words. The opinions expressed in Society Matters posts are those of the individual authors, and do not represent the views of The Open University.
About the editor
Dan Weinbren has grown up with The Open University. He first heard of it in the 1970s when his mother began her journey towards an OU degree by studying the entry-level mathematics module. He took his first job at the university in 1986 and has worked full-time for the OU since 1999. He has been an OU student and has contributed teaching materials to both Arts, Social Sciences and interdisciplinary modules as well as working as a Tutor, a Forum Moderator in both Arts and Social Sciences, and as a AL monitor. He has written books, articles and for a range of magazines. His most recent book is The Open University. A history. When not in front of a screenful of pixels he can often be found running around the lakes near the Walton Hall campus.
About the illustrators
Catherine Pain has drawn and painted all her life. As well as designing and publishing greeting cards she illustrates for The Tablet, the international Catholic weekly. Catherine studied psychology with The Open University gaining her honours degree in 2003. She is married with two sons and spends her days drawing her cat and the local birds and animals. Her website is at //catherinepain.co.uk/
Gary has a London Art College Diploma in Cartooning as well as a Diploma in Freelance Cartooning and Illustration and he is a contributing cartoonist for the French magazine, Speakeasy. He is also a columnist for both the Leeds United Matchday Programme and The Peacock News, a magazine for Scandinavian Leeds’ supporters. He is a fully qualified Wall Muralist with award winning murals both interior and exterior. His website is: www.paint-it-white.com