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FASS academic chosen out of hundreds for a broadcast project

Bio picture of Dan Taylor, Lecturer in Social and Political Thought

An academic from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) has won one of the nation’s 10 coveted places as a “New Generation Thinker” to bring fresh thinking to a range of topics on the world around us.

It’s the brainchild of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and BBC Radio 3, and Dr Dan Taylor, Lecturer in Social and Political Thought at The Open University, is one of the 10 researchers picked.

He was among hundreds of academics from the ‘most promising arts and humanities early career researchers’ who applied this year.

Sixty were invited to day-long workshops with the BBC to develop their ideas with experienced BBC producers. From these workshops, Dan was one of the 10 selected as a New Generation Thinker.

They were revealed as part of a special episode of Free Thinking on the radio station that was set to be broadcast on Tuesday 4 April at 10pm.

As a New Generation Thinker, Dan will be able to bring to the public his intriguing research on the A13 that runs from London into south Essex. But it’s not about the arterial road itself, more the industrial history that it flows through, the development of London and the future of work and society.

He said: “It is an honour to be chosen out of so many people and what a thrill to be able to share my research like this. I’m really grateful to OU colleagues for helping shape and finesse my thinking, and I’m really looking forward to working with the BBC and AHRC over the next year to make engaging, rigorous programmes.”

They will benefit from training and development with the AHRC and spend a year being mentored by producers from the Free Thinking programme, where they will appear and take part in discussions throughout the year.

They will also be working on episodes of The Essay to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 next spring.

Professor Christopher Smith, AHRC Executive Chair, said: “The New Generation Thinkers programme brings interesting, important ideas to a wider audience, shaping public thought and discussion.

“From fascinating insights into feminism and philosophy, to the way we heat our homes and Viking burial rites, to the most challenging problems of our day, this is research at its most original, vital and compelling.

“These 10 brilliant, original thinkers demonstrate the potential for the arts and humanities to help us to better understand ourselves, our past, our present and our future.”

Story also available on OU News.

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