Dr Lucy Weir is one of ten UK academics who have been selected by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to bring the best of university research and scholarly ideas to a broad audience through the media and public engagement.

Since 2010 the New Generation Thinkers scheme has been a chance for early career researchers to cultivate the skills to communicate their research findings to those outside the academic community.

Lucy's research centres on performance, gender, and mental health, ranging from German modern dance to Norway's black metal scene. She published her first book, Pina Bausch’s Dance Theatre, in 2018. She is particularly interested in the relationships between gender, sexuality, and the body, analysing the ways in which performance holds up a mirror to contemporary society. After completing her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Glasgow, Lucy taught at the Glasgow School of Art for several years, before taking up her current post at the University of Edinburgh.

"I'm delighted to have been selected as a New Generation Thinker by the AHRC and BBC," said Lucy, "It is an exciting, transformative opportunity to communicate my research beyond the world of academia, and it is a privilege to share this experience with a fantastic cohort of peers who are conducting such diverse and vital work."

Being one of the New Generation Thinkers includes working with BBC Radio 3 and a chance to develop a programme for the station. The AHRC also provides media training for Thinkers, and offers the possibility of working with BBC TV, speaking opportunities, and involvement with the AHRC-funded Being Human Festival.

Introducing the 2020 New Generation Thinkers

"I use the early Norwegian Black Metal scene as a case study and I want to try and get beneath this veneer of sensationalist coverage and moral panics."

Dr Lucy Weir, Teaching Fellow, Modern and Contemporary Art, History of Art

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the scheme. New Generation Thinkers alumni have gone on to become prominent public figures in their field as well as the face of major documentaries, TV series, and regular figures in public debate.

“Now, more than ever, we need to share the rich and diverse array of research in the world of arts and humanities with the public and open the window to a world of research that will amaze and engage,” said Professor Andrew Thompson, Executive Chair of the AHRC.

“At Radio 3 we want as many people as possible to have life enhancing cultural experiences, especially in these extraordinary times," said Alan Davey, Controller, BBC Radio 3, "Since the New Generation Thinkers launch ten years ago in 2010, it has changed the nature of academic debate on Radio 3. The scheme has supported and nurtured some extraordinary talent, and given the broadcasters of tomorrow a platform to spotlight fresh ways of thinking about both the past and present."

"What most excites me about this scheme is the platform it presents for disseminating my work to a much wider audience, as I have always been passionate about widening access to the arts and to education," said Lucy, "Translating academic research into a digestible, radio-friendly format is certainly a challenge, but a hugely enjoyable one. On an individual level, I'm also learning to look at my research with fresh eyes and renewed enthusiasm."

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