Students Staff

12 June 2012

Essex philosopher chosen by AHRC and BBC Radio 3 as New Generation Thinker

Graduate student Timothy Secret is among 10 academics chosen by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and BBC Radio 3 as a New Generation Thinker 2012.

As part of the initiative producers from BBC Radio 3, BBC Television Arts and the AHRC have scoured the UK to find the brightest, early-career academics who have the potential to turn their ground-breaking ideas into exceptional broadcasting.

Timothy is researching the act of eulogy and the responsibility of mourning in the School of Philosophy and Art History at Essex under the supervision of Dr David McNeill.

He will now be part of BBC Radio 3’s second generation of resident New Generation Thinkers, receiving top-level mentoring and advice on how to develop their ideas into viable programme propositions and spending time shadowing the work of presenters and producers alike.

Timothy said: "It's a great honour to be asked to work with the BBC's radio and television producers on bringing some of the ideas from my research to a wider audience. I think it reflects well on the fantastic school of philosophy that we have here at Essex and on the university as a whole which does so much to encourage us to reach out for these opportunities.

"I'm really looking forward to getting into the recording studio later this week for my first piece which - fingers crossed - should be going out on Radio 3's Night Waves in the next fortnight!"

Head of the School of Philosophy and Art History Professor Wayne Martin said: “The School is very pleased to hear that Timothy has been selected as a Next Generation Thinker. His work uses resources from Levinas and Derrida, as well as from the Hungarian psychoanalytic tradition, to probe the phenomenon of mourning – both for its psychological and ethical significance and for what it tells us about our own condition. He has served very ably as a Graduate student teacher here at Essex, and has a passion not only for his subject, but for communicating it in public settings. We look forward to seeing and hearing the fruits of his collaboration with the BBC.”

Timothy will make his debut appearance talking about an idea that has inspired his research on BBC Radio 3’s arts and ideas programme Night Waves, broadcast on Mondays through to Thursdays from 10.00 to 10.45pm, from Monday 18 June.

The New Generation Thinkers will also be invited to make regular appearances on BBC Radio 3 to discuss their work and the world of ideas, and will deliver talks at BBC Radio 3’s annual Free Thinking Festival of Ideas, at the Sage in Gateshead in November 2012.

For the first time the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers Scheme has partnered with BBC Television Arts to provide an opportunity for the New Generation Thinkers to develop their ideas for television.

The scheme, now in its second year, received hundreds of applications from early-career academics across the country who are passionate about communicating modern scholarship to a wider audience.

Following a six month selection process, the final winners were chosen from a group of over 50 finalists who attended a series of day-long workshops at the BBC in Salford and London.

The final 10 were chosen by a judging panel made up of BBC Radio 3 Night Waves producers, BBC Television Arts Executives, and Arts and Humanities Research Council academics.


For more information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377.

BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3 broadcasts classical music, jazz, world music, arts and over 30 new drama programmes a year. As the home of classical music, BBC 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 largest commissioner of new musical works in the country and is committed to supporting new talent; composers, writers and new young performers through schemes such as World Routes Academy, New Generation Artists and New Generation Thinkers.


The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) supports research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from languages and law, archaeology and English literature to design and creative and performing arts. The AHRC makes research awards every year ranging from individual fellowships to major collaborative projects as well as over 1,100 studentship awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded.

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