Becca Voelcker announced as 2024 BBC New Generation Thinker

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Dr Becca Voelcker has been named as a New Generation Thinker in an announcement made today (Thursday 16 May 2024). The announcement comes after a nationwide search to find the 10 most promising arts and humanities academics in their early stages of their career.

Head shot of Dr Becca Voelcker

Dr Becca Voelcker is one of 10 New Generation Thinkers for 2024

The New Generation Thinker’s scheme, run by the BBC and the AHRC, provides a platform for academics to share their research and ideas with BBC radio listeners and a global audience.

With support and training from the AHRC, New Generation Thinkers will also benefit from a yearlong mentoring by BBC producers along with taking part in and shaping BBC programmes.

Dr Voelcker is currently working on her first book on eco-political cinema – a cross cultural history based in 10 locations including Wales where she grew up, and Japan where she lived as a young adult.

The opportunity to translate my academic work into public broadcast for a global, not just a British, audience, was immensely exciting. I want to test, share, and develop ideas and take them beyond the academy.

Dr Becca Voelcker, Lecturer in Fine Art Critical Studies

“The selection process was intense and involved, but each stage taught me more about this act of translation from my ideas and academic language into content that is approachable, and that will grab people's attention.

“Skills that I honed are really valuable, not only for using inside the broadcasting studio, but also for the classroom, lecture theatre, and at my writing desk.”

“I've always listened to radio and podcasts from around the world. I love having interesting voices in my ear. The opportunity to get behind the mic is a dream come true.”

The New Generation Thinkers programme brings interesting, important ideas into the public consciousness, shaping thought and discussion.

Professor Christopher Smith, AHRC Executive Chair

“These ten brilliant, original thinkers demonstrate the ability of the arts and humanities to help us to better understand both ourselves and the world around us.”

“From fundamental questions about the nature of reality to how political propagandists harnessed the seductive power of Technicolor, and the impact of imprisonment on mothers and children, and the most challenging problems of our day, these are ideas of thrilling originality and importance.”

A key element for selecting the new cohort was that their research has the potential to redefine current understanding on topics, history to the way we speak. Dr Voelcker, a lecturer in Fine Art and Critical Studies, earned her PhD at Harvard writing a global history of eco-political film. Her research explores artistic and filmic responses to climate change.

You can find our more about  New Generation Thinkers on the BBC website.