REN network meeting 6.30 pm Wednesday 25th June

Led by Kayleigh (KW) and Femke (FB)

Key points:

  • Attendance = 30 + 3 late comers
  • Recap of what REN is and any updates (KW & FB). The most important updates included the new website URL, new REN emails, and the departure of two of our valued members: Kathryn Colley (formally Gilchrist), and Adam Day.
  • A suggestion was made to use REN as a platform to share ideas and build collaborations – will include as a feature in the newsletter (to do) where members can advertise their idea / request and provide contact details (e.g. a research idea, offering facilities, requesting facilities / expertise etc.) – e.g. Ellie Ratcliffe kicked it off with “interest in the links between personal memory and restorative experiences”
  • Need to publish / share non-statistically significant results – discussion of using the new Frontiers Journal as a possible avenue + trialling another blog page on the website where people can deposit summaries of their work (REN looking into)
  • What tools / measures work? Was discussed to have a database but as this would involve continuous work updating and managing it (as well as the high reliance on input of members), it was concluded a symposium on this would be useful
  • Can learn from other disciplines and sub-disciplines (e.g. positive psychology, social ecology)
  • ART vs. other theories (e.g. ego-depletion); what is the necessity of these theories? Do they need amending?
  • Looking outside of restoration and looking at other health impacts
  • Discussed the need for a new (or improved) restoration theory. The necessity of looking at spatial-temporal patterns of restorative experiences was raised, including the need to look beyond natural versus urban environments, and the importance of considering environment variability (e.g. low level visual features, the gradual changes through restoration, Behaviour Setting Theory, fractals)
  • Suggested to have a handbook on restorative environment (theory, method, findings, approaches, practice / implication, fails). As it’s an every growing research field, a handbook was seen to date too quickly, but was seen as another possibility for the new Frontiers journal. Plus new reviews will be coming out shortly (White et al., and Hartig et al)
  • Members expressed an interest in looking beyond visual properties of the environment which nicely illustrated the link between REN and the Sensory Environments Network.
  • Linking with other networks (e.g. Sensory Network + REN); As Sarah Payne is convener of both REN and SEN, the lines between these networks will be very short.