21 June 2013

Former Daiwa Scholar Dr Christopher Harding has been selected as a New Generation Thinker 2013

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After a nationwide search, BBC Radio 3 and the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) unveiled the ten academics that have been named New Generation Thinkers 2013.

The partnership between BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (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.

The ten winners will spend a year working with Radio 3 presenters and producers to develop their research and ideas into broadcasts. They will make their debut appearance on Radio 3’s arts and ideas programme, Night Waves, on successive editions beginning Monday 3 June and will be invited to make regular contributions to the network throughout the year. They will deliver talks at Radio 3’s annual Free Thinking Festival of Ideas at the Sage, Gateshead from 25 to 27 October 2013. The academics will also have an opportunity to develop their ideas for television, including working with BBC Television Arts to make short taster films to be shown on

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, 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 ten 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.

Dr Chris Harding, Lecturer in Asian History at the University of Edinburgh, researches the modern West’s cultural dialogue with Japan and India. He looks in particular at how religion, psychology, and psychiatry have become increasingly intertwined, changing the way we think about spiritual versus mental and emotional health.

In 2004, he became a Daiwa  Scholar and trained as a journalist with Tokyo’s Asahi Shimbun. He returned to the UK at the start of 2007 to take up his post at the University of  Edinburgh.

Chris featured on Night Waves on 17 June 2013. You can hear the programme here:

For more about the New Generation Thinkers, click here.

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