BBC and AHRC announce New Generation Thinkers 2015

Lecturer successful in national competition

The nationwide search for the brightest minds with the potential to share their cutting-edge academic ideas via radio and television is over.

BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have unveiled the ten academics - and their research - who will be the New Generation Thinkers 2015, with one of them residing at LJMU. 

Dr Nadine Muller, Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural History, has worked on projects exploring the Victorians in the 21st century, as well as carrying out research relating to women and belief. As a New Generation Thinker, she will be broadcasting her research on the history of widows in British literature and culture in order to share it with the public. New Generation Thinkers 2015 has been a successful first step for many academics, with previous thinkers going on to appear across television and radio.

Other ideas from this year’s selection of academics range from the history of tickling to the secret discovery hidden in a chair in Prague; how the lives of the disabled were portrayed in Victorian literature to the symbolism of power. 

The ten New Generation Thinkers 2015 were selected from hundreds of applications from academics at the start of their careers, who demonstrated their passion to communicate modern scholarship to a wider audience. After a six-month selection process involving a series of day-long workshops at the BBC in Salford and London, the final ten were chosen by a panel of BBC Radio 3 and BBC Arts producers, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Dr Muller commented: 

"It’s been a really enjoyable process, right from the online application through to the workshop at Media City, and of course our launch and first broadcast recording which took place at the Hay Festival. I’m incredibly excited to have been selected as one of the final ten New Generation Thinkers this year, and I think it wasn’t until we were assessed on our 2.5 minute programme pitch and an improvised debate that I realised just how much I would enjoy presenting my research via radio and television. It’s a pleasure to write for a medium other than academic publications, and it’s a privilege to bring my work to such a big, new audience, not only because it’s a fascinating topic from a scholarly perspective but also because my research involves women whose stories have been ignored for a long time and are now at risk of being lost forever. To be able to work with an organisation as prestigious as the BBC and to have recognition of the importance and relevance of my work from the AHRC makes this opportunity particularly wonderful."

Alan Davey, Controller, BBC Radio 3, said: 

"BBC Radio 3 is about pushing boundaries. We are dedicated to nurturing emerging talent across culture and music, and encouraging new ways of looking at things and surprising audiences. Our New Generation Thinker Partnership with the AHRC has given us access to fresh thinking and new approaches to ideas by scholars at the start of their careers. This helps us as a broadcaster to present fascinating and complex ideas in new ways, and I hope it will give our New Generation Thinkers a huge canvas to make a big impact with their work."

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It’s been a really enjoyable process, right from the online application through to the workshop at Media City, and of course our launch and first broadcast recording which took place at the Hay Festival. I’m incredibly excited to have been selected as one of the final ten New Generation Thinkers this year, and I think it wasn’t until we were assessed on our 2.5 minute programme pitch and an improvised debate that I realised just how much I would enjoy presenting my research via radio and television. It’s a pleasure to write for a medium other than academic publications, and it’s a privilege to bring my work to such a big, new audience, not only because it’s a fascinating topic from a scholarly perspective but also because my research involves women whose stories have been ignored for a long time and are now at risk of being lost forever. To be able to work with an organisation as prestigious as the BBC and to have recognition of the importance and relevance of my work from the AHRC makes this opportunity particularly wonderful.
Dr Nadine Muller, Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural History