POLSIS academic is announced as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker

Posted on Tuesday 21st May 2013

After a nationwide search, BBC Radio 3 and the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have today unveiled the ten academics that have been named New Generation Thinkers 2013. The list includes Dr Rebecca Steinfeld, Visiting Lecturer and Teaching Fellow with the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) at the University of Birmingham.

The partnership between BBC Radio 3 and the AHRC aims to find the academic broadcasters of the future - the brightest minds who have the potential to turn groundbreaking ideas into fascinating radio programmes.

Rebecca will now spend a year working with Radio 3 presenters and producers to develop her research and ideas into broadcasts. She will make her debut appearance on Radio 3's arts and ideas programme, Night Waves and will be invited to make regular contributions to the network throughout the year. She will also deliver a talk at Radio 3's annual Free Thinking Festival of Ideas at the Sage, Gateshead in October 2013. This is a unique opportunity for academics to have an opportunity to develop their ideas for television, including working with BBC Television Arts to make short taster films to be shown on bbc.co.uk/arts.

The scheme received hundreds of applications from academics who are at the start of their careers and are passionate about communicating modern scholarship to a wider audience. 

Following a six-month selection process, Rebecca was chosen 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 Radio 3 and BBC Television Arts and academics from the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Matthew Dodd, Head of Speech programming for BBC Radio 3, says:

Radio 3 commissions and nurtures new talent across music and the arts - and the New Generation Thinkers scheme is an integral part of that. Radio 3/AHRC New Generation Thinkers is a unique scheme: It's a partnership that helps academics begin thinking about the public dissemination of their work at the very start of their careers and make broadcasting integral to what they do.

This year's applicants showed a sharp sophistication about how their research might make strong programmes - and a real willingness to reach beyond academia into the lives of our audience, and to find new formats to do that."

Rebecca Steinfeld added:

I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to share my research with a wider audience, and to acquire useful broadcasting skills to help me achieve impact with my research in the future. BBC Radio 3 listeners will hear about my research on the role of demography in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the history and politics of reproduction in Israel." 

For more details about the BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinkers award visit:
www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2013/newgenthinkers.html