Students Staff

15 August 2011

Discover what inspires our experts

Professor Sam Warren

What motivates academics to dedicate their professional lives to a particular field of study? This is the question answered by a series of short films – or vodcasts – from the University of Essex, called Research Discoveries.

In these short, high-quality interviews, a number of world-leading academics go in front of the camera to explain what drives their specific interests and their desire to teach. As a collection, the impressive breadth of expertise at the University of Essex – which is rated ninth in the UK for the quality of its academic research – is unveiled.

From literature lecturer Dr Owen Robinson’s tales of his teenage road trip across America, to Dr Clara Sandoval’s urge to follow a career teaching law, prompted by a childhood exposed to conflict in her home country of Colombia, each one of these two-to-three-minute stories is interesting, informative and inspiring.

One of the interviewees is environmental Professor Jules Pretty, who also leads the University’s new media group that was involved in making the 22 vodcasts. His early interest in outdoor botany classes in rural East Anglia prompted a career exploring the relationship between people and landscape.

He said: “Generating knowledge and passing that onto students is one of Essex’s greatest qualities.

“We hope each film reveals the things that motivate us as academics, and that the full portfolio helps to inspire any future students to become as fascinated with their own area of interest.”

Research Discoveries are now available for all to discover on YouTube.

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