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BBC Radio and TV Broadcasters of the Future Announced at Hay Festival

Date: 28/05/2014

After a nationwide search, BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) today announced the names of the ten academics that will be this year's 'New Generation Thinkers'.

The New Generation Thinkers scheme strives to find the brightest minds of the future- who have the ability to turn ground-breaking academic ideas into radio and television programmes.

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 10 winners will spend a year working with Radio 3 presenters and producers to develop their ideas into broadcasts. 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 2014.

Finally, each New Generation Thinker will develop their ideas for television, making short films for BBC Arts Online (bbc.co.uk/arts).

The 2014 New Generation Thinkers are:

Will Abberley- University of Oxford
Will Abberley currently explores how 'natural deception'' complicated scientific facts for Alfred Russel Wallace and his contemporaries.

Alasdair Cochrane- University of Sheffield
Alasdair Cochrane's research is an analysis of animal rights and how international politics might take animals into consideration when producing new policies.

Joanna Cohen- Queen Mary University, London
Joanna Cohen is researching how Americans turned consumerism into an act of good citizenship.

Tom Charlton- University of Stirling
Tom Charlton's current research is a profile of John Twyn, the 17th century printer executed for publishing a seditious tract.

Sophie Coulombeau- University of York
Sophie Coulombeau's current research is on personal naming and identity in England.

Daisy Hay- University of Exeter
Daisy Hay is writing a biography of Benjamin and Mary Anne Disraeli and her current research focuses on Disraeli as one of the last Romantics.

Naomi Paxton- University of Manchester
Naomi Paxton is exploring the Suffrage campaign and the Actresses Franchise League.

Preti Taneja- Jesus College, Cambridge University
Preti Taneja's current research is on rewriting Shakespeare for the 21st century.

Tiffany Watt-Smith- Queen Mary, University of London
Tiffany Watt-Smith's research is on the cultural history of our compulsion to imitate each other's expressions and gestures.

Alun Withey - University of Exeter
Alun Withey is researching The Medical World of Early Modern England 1500-1715 including, The Cultural History of the Beard.

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

Following a thorough six-month selection process, the winners were 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 BBC Radio 3 and BBC Arts and academics from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Matthew Dodd, Head of Speech programming, BBC Radio 3, said:

Selecting this year's New Generation Thinkers has been a stimulating experience. The huge range of dynamic researchers who aspire to bring their work to a broadcast audience made the choice of our final ten a very tough series of decisions. 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.

Professor Rick Rylance, Chief Executive Arts and Humanities Research Council, said: Once again we are delighted with the success of this year's scheme. 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. I'm also delighted that, as the AHRC continues to work with the BBC, two other research councils Economic and Social Research Council and Medical Research Council- have joined us this year to cover an even broader range of projects.

Peter Florence, Director of Hay Festival, says: We hope that these New Generation Thinkers will be part of the Hay Festivals here in Britain and around the world over the next three years.

For enquiries regarding BBC Radio 3 and the AHRC respectively please contact:

Maddie Castell, BBC: 07753 309065 Madeleine.Castell@bbc.co.uk

Danielle Moore-Chick, AHRC: 07825 609 382 d.moore-chick@ahrc.ac.uk  

For media enquiries relating to Hay Festival please contact Fiona McMorrough or Kate Cooper at FMcM Associates on 0207 405 7422 or email fionam@fmcm.co.uk katec@fmcm.co.uk

Notes to Editors

New Generation Thinkers

New Generation Thinkers was launched in November 2010 at Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival of Ideas. The New Generation Thinkers scheme invites applications from academics at an early stage of their career who are passionate about communicating modern scholarship to a wider audience. Since 2010, 30 academics from across the UK have presented documentaries on Radio 3, taken part in discussion programmes and made taster films for BBC Arts Online. Listeners can hear contributions from previous New Generation Thinkers on Radio 3's Free Thinking programme and via the Free Thinking website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0144txn

BBC Radio 3

Radio 3 broadcasts classical music, jazz, world music, arts and over 25 new drama programmes a year. As the home of classical music, Radio 3 features more live classical music programming than any other and is the home of the BBC Proms, broadcasting every Prom live and over 600 complete concerts a year. The station is the most significant commissioner of new musical works in the country and is committed to supporting new talent, from composers to writers and new young performers, through schemes such as New Generation Artists and of course, New Generation Thinkers.

Arts and Humanities Research Council

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. www.ahrc.ac.uk

About BBC Arts

There is more arts on the BBC than ever before across TV, radio and online. BBC Arts is giving the British public a front row seat at some of the most exciting cultural events across the UK- offering the audience access, nationally and globally, to the greatest writers, performers and thinkers in a way that no one else can.

BBC Arts Online, www.bbc.co.uk/arts, captures the best arts programming across the BBC and is an open space for arts journalism, comment, opinion and debate. Recent arts highlights on television include The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain (BBC Four), The Story of Women and Art (BBC Two), imagine... (BBC One) and the recent launch of BBC Arts at... (BBC Two).

Hay Festival

Hay Festival runs from 22 May to 1 June 2014. With over 700 events for adults and children there is something to inspire, entertain and challenge everyone, including Judi Dench in conversation with Richard Eyre, Kate Adie examining the legacy of women in World War One, comedy from Ruby Wax and Bill Bailey plus Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ian McEwan and Toni Morrison heading up the fiction bill. Highlights for children include Michael Morpurgo discussing dislocation and refugees and celebrating the Gruffalo's 15th birthday with Julia Donaldson. Browse the full programme: HayFestival.org

Hay Festival partners with some of the UK's most dynamic and innovative universities, including Cambridge University, Cardiff University, Kings College London, LSE, University of Birmingham, The Open University Wales and the University of York.

Hay Festival works with great teachers at universities nationwide and this year launches Hay-Levels, three minute films to deliver inspirational teaching to enquiring young minds during their A-Levels.

There are now Hay Festivals in Bangladesh, Colombia, Hungary, Kenya, Ireland, Lebanon, Mexico and Spain as well as in Wales.

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