World Changers: Essays with impact by early-career researchers

A collection of essays exploring how research at Leeds is helping to change the world has been launched by Vice Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk.

A team of researchers have created the essays to celebrate how we’re helping to make the world a better place

World Changers

World Changers: Celebrating Impactful Research features writings by early-career researchers working across an array of disciplines to make the world a fairer and more equitable place.  

The collection has been curated by Vice Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk. 

She said: "Since joining the University I have been constantly inspired by the passion and dedication shown by our research community, and I wanted to celebrate in particular the contribution of the next generation of research stars in addressing the pressing questions that face our society.”

The authors’ areas of expertise are wide ranging and diverse, but the common thread tying them together is a vision of a better future for humanity, working together to tackle inequalities and create a fairer future for all.

The essays  

The 13 essays explore a number of areas:

  • Dr Vien Cheung talks about the influence of colour and its impact on the way we live;
  • Dr Bridgette Bewick outlines her Compassionate Curriculum project, where her conversations with students and staff are helping Leeds become a compassionate campus;
  • Dr Jessica Mitchell explores how we can change our behaviour to ensure we prevent catastrophic death tolls and economic shocks relating to antimicrobial resistance;
  • Dr Bronwen Swinnerton writes about how the ‘digital divide’ affects students in the UK and across the world – and what we’re doing to tackle these inequalities;
  • Dr Cristina Stefan asks why atrocities causing massive human suffering keep happening, and what it will take for the world to act together to prevent them;
  • Dr Elspeth Mitchell and Dr Gill Park present Art School for Rebel Girls – a space for girls to foster confidence, creativity and collaboration;
  • Dr Leah Henrickson outlines the digital transformation at the heart of our vision of being a university that makes a difference;
  • Dr Anne Velenturf and Michael Howroyd explain how making products for reuse, repair and recycle can address biodiversity loss, climate change and growing inequalities;
  • Dr Jade French describes the ways her project with a Leeds-based disability art studio is investigating ways to better support the professional artistic development of people with learning disabilities;
  • Dr Lucy Ziegler describes how the loss of her mum to breast cancer set her on a path to research ways of improving care for those nearing the end of their lives; 
  • Dr Laura Carter writes about the international network of academics, industry and regulators she is creating to share knowledge and design better ways to manage chemical pollution crises across the world; 
  • Dr Jasjit Singh reflects on how universities can raise the profile of ‘hardly reached’ communities – and how they can make a difference to these communities beyond the university walls; and
  • Dr Richard Tunstall explains how connecting students to real-world experiences opens up their confidence as active problem solvers, and provides communities with a creative resource.

Be sure to check back on For Staff in the new year for a series of features in which we’ll profile each researcher – and their contribution to the collection – in more detail. 

In the meantime, you can read World Changers: Celebrating Impactful Research on Spotlight.

The essays are also available as a audiobook series on our SoundCloud page.