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Science communication and comedy


   Sociology

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  Dr Hauke Riesch, Dr Sharon Lockyer  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Humorous popular science books such as Terry Pratchett’s “Science of Discworld” or Ben Miller’s “It’s not rocket science” as well as various stand-up performances, radio shows and TV programmes demonstrates that many science communicators see value in using humour. Science comedy is driven both by comedians who have taken an interest in science and scientists/communicators who have taken an interest in comedy. Despite this, there does not yet exist much research on the way humour is used as a communication tool. This project will take a sociological look at the use of humour and comedy in science communication: linking the sociology of science and critical comedy studies, it will investigate how humour is constructed and used by science communicators, how science communicators and science comedians feel about the use of humour and/or how audiences engage with it.

Applicants would ideally have a background in either sociology or communications and media studies or closely related subjects.


Funding Notes

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

How good is research at Brunel University London in Sociology?


Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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