Strigoi: The Undead, by Rebecca Williams

In her book Our Vampires, Ourselves theorist Nina Auerbach famously stated that ‘every age embraces the vampire it needs’[1]. Indeed, there is a long history of belief in, and representation of the vampire, from Ancient Greece and Rome to England, from Norse mythology and witch trials in the Middle Ages, through to the Gothic literature of England in the Victorian era.

Terra Forming and Silent Running

In the film Silent Running, the Earth has become uninhabitable to all but humans, and a fleet of space ships out in the vicinity of Saturn each have 6 large geodesic domes. Some plant and animal life is being sustained in these domes, in the hope that planet Earth will be able to support them once more in the future. In this article I will discuss the evolution of Earth's current human-friendly environment, and also the idea of terra-forming, creating an Earth-like environment elsewhere.

Silent Running: An Ecologist's Perspective

The world is changing, and has already changed. Global temperatures are rising, weather patterns are altering and evidence for these changes being driven by human changes to the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere has (in the view of most mainstream scientists) become compelling.

Silent Running: Why Biodiversity Matters

Film actors and directors have for a number of years now had a high profile in speaking out about environmental issues. The Earth Communications Office in Los Angeles was a consortium of film directors, producers and actors using their position to raise environmental awareness within the industry and to make the industry more environmentally sustainable.

Space exploration: present and future

Silent Running was released at a time when there were almost no limits on the imagination of science fiction writers and screenwriters. The advent of the space age led to the belief that we really would be travelling through the Solar System in a few decades. Sure, there were technical challenges, but these were thought to be easily surmountable. Other films of that era, such as Arthur C Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey", treat the difficulties of space travel with some respect for the science, while others exercise a little more poetic licence.

We Need to Talk About Kevin, Genetics of Postnatal Depression and Puerperal Psychosis

Throughout the film We Need to Talk About Kevin there is the question of whether the mother, Eva, was in anyway 'at fault' for the atrocities performed by her son Kevin, or whether Kevin was just born evil. This, of course, can direct us to the sometimes over-used and possibly unhelpful Nature/Nurture divide. Leaving debates of this divide aside, though, there is a strong suggestion that Eva suffered from some sort of postnatal depression, and it is from this perspective that I will discuss my research.

Research on the psychobiological basis of antisocial behaviour in children

My main interest has been the neurobiological basis of antisocial behaviour in children. It is from this perspective which I approach We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Moral Responsibility and Morality in We Need to Talk About Kevin

One of the issues raised by the film, and in Lionel Shriver’s book, ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’, is that of moral responsibility. Is Kevin morally responsible for the massacre? Is Eva responsible for her child’s behaviour? Is she rational to feel responsible?

Let's Talk About Kevin

Work in my laboratory looks at a range of problem behaviours that include violence to others, sexual crime and self injury. In particular, we deal with how we can assess the risks, manage these risk public protection, and help with recovery and rehabilitation. Inevitably such work must also take into consideration mental disorders and their possible effects on these behaviours – these include brain injury, mental illness, and personality disorders.