Professor to ask tough questions of social science
The lecture, which will get underway at 6pm on Wednesday 18 February in the Rose Bowl, will see Professor Carless use a range of storytelling and performance-based approaches to showcase research conducted through a 15 year collaboration with Dr Kitrina Douglas, now also at Leeds Beckett.
Professor Carless commented: “Through the lecture, I want to address some big questions such as: What kind of social science do our societies want – and need – in the 21st century? How might the kinds of research that support this be conducted? How can this research be shared in ways that help individuals, strengthen communities and support societies to negotiate the challenges of our times?”
Speaking about his academic journey, Professor Carless, who joined Leeds Beckett University in 2006, added: “My life took both a personal and professional turn during my doctoral studies. My research at the time involved me interacting with people who had recently suffered a heart attack. Whilst sitting at these patients’ bedsides in cardiac wards, I was privileged to hear powerful stories of personal change that challenged mainstream theories and assumptions about illness, health, relationships and ageing.
“I felt frustrated how often these kinds of insights were excluded in traditional social science. I wanted to find ways to include the wisdom of participants’ accounts in an evocative, engaging and emotionally rich way. To do that, Dr Douglas and I have turned to storytelling, songwriting and the performing arts in an effort to reinvigorate social science and, hopefully, engage the public with our work.”
Over the past decade, David has continued to use stories both as a way of making sense of human experience and as a way of sharing research findings with others. He has used these arts-based, performative and narrative methods across diverse sport and physical activity contexts including: the role of sport and physical activity in recovery from severe mental health problems; identity development and mental health among elite and professional athletes; the value of sport and adventure activity for military personnel who have experienced physical injury and/or psychological trauma.