Three northern thinkers tipped for broadcast success

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by sarah

bbc radio 3Three northern academics are among ten from the UK to be handpicked for their potential to become broadcast stars of the future.

BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have named the academics for this year’s New Generation Thinkers and who will now spend a year working with Radio 3 presenters and producers to develop their ideas into broadcasts.

They include:

  • Alasdair Cochrane from the University of Sheffield whose research is an analysis of animal rights and how international politics might take animals into consideration when producing new policies.
  • Sophie Coulombeau of the University of York whose current research is on personal naming and identity in England.
  • Naomi Paxton from University of Manchester who is exploring the Suffrage campaign and the Actresses’ Franchise League.

Selected from eight British universities, the 'thinkers' will turn their ground-breaking academic ideas into radio and television programmes that will be broadcast across the BBC. Each will also make short films for BBC Arts Online.

They will make their debut appearance on Radio 3's arts and ideas programme, Free Thinking, on successive editions beginning Tuesday 10 June and will be invited to make regular contributions to the network throughout the year. They will also deliver talks at Radio 3's annual Free Thinking Festival of Ideas at Sage, Gateshead in November.

Finally, each New Generation Thinker will develop their ideas for television, making short films for BBC Arts Online.

Head of Speech programming for BBC Radio 3, Matthew Dodd, said the selection process had been stimulating: “Nurturing new talent across the arts is a key part of Radio 3 and Hay Festival is a fitting place to announce this year's participants. We’re confident that the New Generation Thinkers 2014 will introduce listeners to charismatic new voices and compelling stories from contemporary research."

The winners were chosen following a six-month selection process, from a group of 60 finalists, who attended a series of day-long workshops at the BBC's bases in Salford and London. The 10 were chosen by a judging panel made up of producers from BBC Radio 3 and BBC Arts and academics from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Professor Rick Rylance, said: “As ever, the work presented by this year’s winners allows us to celebrate the value of arts and humanities research in our everyday lives. I look forward to hearing their programmes with enthusiasm. “

As part of the BBC’s new three-year long arts partnership with the Hay Festival, the 2014 New Generation Thinkers were announced at an event during the annual literary and arts festival in front of a gathered audience from the world of arts, media and academia.

The full list of New Generation Thinkers is here.

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