Samuel, who is our Lecturer in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, has recently joined us this autumn from the University of Strathclyde. His research largely focuses on the links between entrepreneurship, individual and household wellbeing, and the wider socio-economic context. Here we talk to Samuel about his work with the DHI, and what he is most looking forward to in his role as Trustee for the Institute.
Congratulations on being appoints as a Trustee to the DHI – how do you feel to have been appointed?
Thank you. I feel very excited and privileged in fact to have been appointed a Trustee of DHI and to serve alongside such a diverse group of richly experienced professionals from various walks of life. The David Hume name has been associated with some debate and controversy over the recent years, including within the university, and am excited, and a little anxious as well actually as a black person and a University of Edinburgh member of staff, about the opportunity to engage with some of that legacy directly.
How have you been involved with DHI over your career to date?
I have previously taken part at DHI events as a presenter or panellist, and other times as a member of the audience. I very much enjoyed the different approach they take to disseminating research to non-academic audiences which is something I care about deeply.
What are you looking forward to most in your role as Trustee?
I am mostly just keen to support the work of the institute and perhaps help expand their reach to younger and more diverse sections of society. I am also very keen to learn about how charitable policy think-tanks work, especially how they engage with the various stakeholders (funders, audiences, etc.) and explore opportunities to deepen linkages with academia as my sense is that there are vast synergies there that remain unexploited.
How would you describe the work that DHI does?
I would describe the work of DHI as rigorous, relevant and relatable research and engagement. I have been especially impressed by their objective non-partisan approach that means that any public policy issues of importance to society today will be researched and debated openly and insightfully within DHI and the diversity of opinions expressed and questions asked by their audiences reflects this. I think this provides very important space, or a highly valuable pocket even given the sharp ideological biases in modern policy research and discourse, for vibrant open debate without the pressure of allegiances.