Pudding Seminars 2019-20

Pudding Seminars take place on a Friday and are an excellent opportunity to unite two of life’s great things: new research, and pudding!


Pudding Seminars are led by members of the College (undergraduate, graduate, Senior Member), who give a brief 20 minute talk on their current research, followed by informal discussion.

Pudding Seminars in Easter Term will take place on the following dates:
Easter Term: 24 April, 1, 8, 15 May

Seminars start promptly at 1.15pm and end by 1.50pm.

In Easter Term 2020 our Pudding Seminars will be taking place online! Details for the link will be given in Newnham News.

If you are interested in giving a pudding seminar, or would like further details about the series, please contact Delphine Mordey (dmm36@cam.ac.uk).



24 April: Hannah Marshall (MCR), 'Child Criminal Exploitation in the UK’s Illicit Drug Distribution Networks'

This talk will explore original research with young people affected by criminal exploitation within the UK’s illicit drug distribution networks, and with the professionals working to support them. In particular, this talk will consider how the term ‘exploitation’ is contested, challenged and scrutinised both within the youth justice system and by young people themselves.

Hannah Marshall is a second year PhD student in the Centre for Community, Gender and Social Justice at the Institute of Criminology.

1 May: Zsofia Szlamka (alumna), ''Why are we special? We are supposed to be the same!' Empowerment of families with developmental disorders in Ethiopia'

Families and individuals with developmental disorders (DDs) often experience difficulties with claiming their rights (Bakker and Van Brakel, 2012) and a set of social determinants help or hinder how families can support their child with DD (WHO, 2003, 2017; Valentine et al., 2016). Therefore, empowerment of families and development of support services has been on the policy agenda (UNCRPD, 2007; WHO, 2008) and a focus in global research (Wakimizu et al., 2017; White et al., 2018).

In my PhD, my objective is to understand community empowerment and empowerment processes of families raising children with a DD. My project considers how socio-economic and cultural factors impact caregiver empowerment and how contextual variations affect the development and implementation of caregiver interventions. It does so in the form of two case studies, one in Ethiopia and another in Argentina, combining a global mental health approach with that of international development.

In this Pudding Seminar I will be focusing on the case study in Ethiopia, where I conducted 60 individual interviews with members of the following stakeholder groups: caregivers of children with developmental disorders, teachers, advocates, clinicians, community health workers, NGO representatives, officers from health and education ministries and members of UN agencies. Interviews were conducted in English and in Amharic and following their translation and transcription, data were analysed thematically. I will be presenting preliminary results and discuss the following themes: 1) supporting children with DDs while living in poverty; 2) single mothers and the role of gender in caregiving; 3) availability gap between policies and grassroot level.

Coming from a professional background in social and developmental psychology, conducting research in the intersection of international development and global health means having to deal with specific ethical and moral challenges. As part of this talk, I would also like to reflect on the journey of collecting disability- and mental health-related data as a PhD candidate in a cross-cultural setting. As health professionals, are we prepared for the ethical dilemmas that the intersectional work presents? Is there a clear-cut line between health research and advocacy for empowerment of families with DD?

Zsofia Szlamka is a developmental psychologist and alumna of Newnham College. She is currently a second-year PhD student in King’s College London, investigating empowerment and service development for families with developmental disorders in Ethiopia and in Argentina. She is currently serving as a curator for the Global Shapers Cambridge Hub. She is co-leading VOICES, a women’s empowerment platform connecting young women to opportunities, operating in Cambridge and Dublin. Find out more about the Project VOICES here: https://www.facebook.com/Voices-468305160581483/
And discover Zsofia’s blog here: https://travelandpsych.wordpress.com/


8 May: Caitlin Power (MCR), 'Considering the policy interventions required to reduce gendered inequalities in Australia’s superannuation (retirement income) system'

It is well-evidenced that women earn less than men; however, the incessant effects of the gender-pay disparity egregiously continue into retirement.  To this end, and, as a symptom of systemic policy failure, women are retiring with 47% less superannuation (defined-contribution retirement income) than men. Moreover, single and elderly women in Australia are at the greatest risk of absolute poverty and housing stress in retirement. Consequently, in this presentation I will explore the multi-faceted reasons behind the gender disparity in retirement (superannuation) savings in Australia, including: the gender wealth-gap, the gender pay-gap, gendered occupational segregation, and the care-penalty. Subsequently, this presentation will engage with how superannuation (retirement income) policy can be ameliorated and reformed to facilitate the diverse career trajectories and primary care responsibilities many women face. Finally, I will consider the necessary policy-interventions required to reduce the retirement income gap between men and women. 
Caitlin is studying for an Mphil in Public Policy at Newnham College. She has worked as a research intern to the former Australian Prime Minister, the Hon. Kevin Rudd, and undertook research into key policies enacted during the Rudd government. She holds interests in understanding the nexus between post-parental leave employment structures and retirement income, particularly from a gender perspective.

15 May: Josie Gaynord (MCR), 'Where do our antibiotics come from?'

Josie’s PhD research is on developing new antibiotics; in this seminar she will give an introduction to why we need new antibiotics, where they have traditionally come from and where they might come from in the future. Hopefully, rather than being a scary talk about antibiotic resistance it will be an exciting talk about drug discovery!