Scholar makes waves

An Edinburgh scholar has been named as one of ten New Generation Thinkers for 2013 by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Dr Christopher Harding, a lecturer in Asian History, was selected following a nationwide search to find the academic broadcasters of the future.

Research on radio

Dr Harding will spend a year working with Radio 3 and BBC Television Arts to develop his research ideas into radio broadcasts.

His research focuses on the cultural dialogue which took place between the Western world and Asia, especially Japan and India, in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

In particular, he is interested in how religion, psychology and psychiatry have become intertwined, changing the way we think about spiritual, mental and emotional health.

Dr Harding will debut on Radio 3's arts and ideas programme, ‘Night Waves’, next month.

Following a six-month selection process, the ten winners were chosen from a group of 60 finalists, who attended a series of workshops at the BBC's bases in Salford and London.

They were chosen by a judging panel made up of producers from Radio 3 and BBC Television Arts and academics from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Ground-breaking ideas

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.

Matthew DoddHead of Speech programming

This is generation three of the New Generation Thinkers and our hope is that the previous winners and the newcomers will continue to spread the word about the enormous public appetite for hearing about arts and humanities research.

Professor Rick RylanceChief Executive of the Arts & Humanities Research Council