Closing 2020, a message from Professor Tara Brabazon

Hello everyone.  Tara here.  I am so sorry that I do not have a pet to accompanying my image for the final newsletter of the year.  Unfortunately, I have moved around too much in my career to ever commit to a pet.  Indeed, I struggle to manage the contents of my refrigerator.

Even without a dog or a cat, this photograph is saturated in meaning for me.  It captures what we have lost in 2020.

This is a photograph of me in Morecambe, a beautiful seaside town in the north-west of England.  Yes – Eric Morecambe took his stage name from the town.  The north-west of England remains my spiritual home for so many reasons.  This place matters.  These people matter.  I have been unable to visit these people and these places that I love so much this year.

This image captures for me a moment of great happiness and freedom and humour and kindness and belonging.  It also captures a deep grief, of our lives that could have been, and the moments we could have shared.

This year has been dreadful for so many.  We have seen ignorance, greed, nastiness, rudeness, jealousy and a ruthless disregard of kindness.  As researchers, such a context makes our research even more difficult.  But such a context also makes our research even more important.

As we reach the end of 2020, I have a singular wish.  May we hold on to the good, the decent, the kind, and the meaningful.  May we believe in expertise.  May we support informed thinking and powerful research.  May we – together – create an evocative, peaceful and caring 2021.

My love to you, your family and your friends for this special time of the year.

With every best wish


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