Doing things differently

Humanities researchers at The University of Manchester are working to understand the wide-ranging impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on our lives.

Watch our 'Doing things differently' series of videos to learn from our experts about how COVID-19 is changing the way that we think about society, politics, the environment and everyday life.

Science Advice

Discover how scientific advice is structured in the UK and the particular challenges of responding to a pandemic.


    Our Researchers

    Find out more about the Humanities researchers featured in our 'Doing things differently' series of videos:

    Find out more about our researchers

    Video: Science Advice

    Kieron Flanagan

    Kieron is Senior Lecturer in Science and Technology Policy at the Alliance Manchester Business School and a member of the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (formerly PREST).

    Elisa Pieri

    Dr Elisa Pieri is a social scientist with a background of interdisciplinary research. Her current research explores pandemic preparedness and its social implications.

    Andy Westwood

    Andy Westwood is Vice Dean for Social Responsibility in the Faculty of Humanities and Professor of Government Practice. He is a member of HEFCE's Strategic Advisory Board for Quality, Accountability and Regulation, and a Trustee of the National Union of Students.

    Video: Misinformation and Conspiracy Theories

    Vera Tolz and Stephen Hutchings

    Vera Tolz and Stephen Hutchings are both Professors of Russian and have been working on a research project about Russia in the global mediasphere and the move from a cold war to an information war.

    David Schoch

    Dr David Schoch is a Presidential Fellow in Sociology and has been working on a project involving disinformation campaigns on social media platforms, and the practice known as political astroturfing.

    Peter Knight

    Peter Knight is a Professor of American Studies and has written numerous papers on conspiracy theories and has contributed to The Conversation website’s recent podcast series on this topic.

    Video: Ethnic Inequalities

    Bridget Byrne

    Bridget is a Professor of Sociology and Director of CoDE (Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity). She is a co-author of Ethnicity, Race and Inequality in the UK: State of the Nation, published in April 2020 and available as an Open Access download. The book explores what progress has been made, identifies those areas where inequalities remain stubbornly resistant to change, and asks how our thinking around race and ethnicity has changed in an era of Islamophobia, Brexit and an increasingly diverse population.

    James Nazroo

    James is Professor of Sociology at The University of Manchester, researching inequalities in relation to later life, ethnicity and race, and health. He is a co-author of Ethnicity, Race and Inequality in the UK: State of the Nation, published in April 2020 and available as an Open Access download. The book explores what progress has been made, identifies those areas where inequalities remain stubbornly resistant to change, and asks how our thinking around race and ethnicity has changed in an era of Islamophobia, Brexit and an increasingly diverse population.

    Gary Younge

    Gary Younge joined as a Professor of Sociology in 2020 from The Guardian, where he was a columnist and editor-at-large. His most recent work has focussed on youth violence, relating to shootings in the United States, where he was The Guardian correspondent for 12 years, and knife crime in Britain.

    Video: Transforming Cities

    Razieh Zandieh

    Razieh is a Lecturer in Urban Design and Planning in 2017. She completed her PhD research on ‘Healthy urban planning: the influence of the built environment on older adults’ outdoor walking’ in 2017, at the department of urban and regional planning and geo-information management, ITC, University of Twente, the Netherlands.

    Richard Kingston

    Richard is Professor of Urban Planning and GISc, the Deputy Director of the Spatial Policy Analysis Lab and leads the Cities and Environment theme at Digital Futures. Richard has been at the forefront of developing web-based GIS tools to support spatial decision making for smarter cities and is responsible for GIS toolkits such as and

    Jonatan Pinkse

    Jonatan is a Professor of strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship at and Executive Director of the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR), Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester. His research interests focus on corporate sustainability, business model innovation, social entrepreneurship, cross-sector partnerships, and the sharing economy.

    Joe Ravetz

    Joe Ravetz is Co-Director of the Collaboratory for Urban Resilience & Energy at the Manchester Urban Institute, University of Manchester. He has pioneered the art of strategic thinking for sustainable cities and regions and has recently published Deeper City; Collective Intelligence and the Pathways from Smart to Wise

    Video: Women and Work

    Bina Agarwal

    Bina is a Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the Global Development Institute (GDI). She has written extensively on gender inequalities in land and property, environmental governance, and agrarian change. In April 2020 she wrote about whether global lockdowns were affecting women more than men, and has also participated in a webinar focused on the effect of COVID-19 on women’s livelihoods in India. Her most recent book publication is Gender Challenges (Oxford University Press), a three-volume compendium of her selected papers. In 2017 she was awarded the International Balzan Prize.

    Francesca Gains

    Francesca is a Professor of Public Policy and the Academic Co-Director of Policy@Manchester. Her key interests are in gender, devolution and policy-making processes. She was key to the publication on On Gender, a collection of edited research blogs putting gender on the devolution agenda. Recently she hasn’t written about how to build a more gender-balanced future following COVID-19.

    Debora Price

    Debora is a Professor of Social Gerontology and the former Director of the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA). She is interested in pensioner poverty and in how women’s situations throughout their lives affect their circumstances as pensioners.

    Jill Rubery

    Jill is a Professor of Comparative Employment Systems and the Director of the Work and Equalities Institute at Alliance Manchester Business School. Her research focuses on employment and social policies, with a focus on gender and comparative employment research in Europe.

    Video: Creative Industries, Communities and the Creative Sector

    Abi Gilmore

    Abi is Senior Lecturer, Programme Director for Arts Management and Cultural Policy at University of Manchester. Her sociological background encourages her to critically engage with social, philosophical and historical aspects of the arts and culture and the politics of how they are managed.

    Kostas Arvanitis

    Kostas is Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices. His expertise lies in the area of Digital Heritage that includes the theory and practice of digital technology in museums, galleries and heritage sites.

    Rebecca Parnell

    Rebecca is Creative Producer at Creative Manchester and Manchester Camerata. Her three-year role involves producing concerts and undertaking research and knowledge exchange projects with The University of Manchester.

    Wendy Gallagher

    Wendy Gallagher is Head of Learning and Engagement at Manchester Museum. Wendy leads on the Museum’s hello future development project, which aims to become the UK's most imaginative, inclusive and caring museum.

    Wendy is also strategic lead for health and culture across the Manchester partnership (Manchester Museum, The Whitworth Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery) and was recognised for outstanding and innovative contributions to arts and health research and practice by Royal Society of Public Health in 2012.

    Giorgio Fazio

    Giorgio is Chair of Macroeconomics and in the Creative Industries Policy Evidence Centre. He is Co-Investigator on a PEC research project which aims to understand the changes to the way that we consume culture at home during COVID-19, the findings of which are discussed in the seminar.

    Video: History of Pandemics

    Pratik Chakrabarti

    Pratik is Director of the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. Pratik’s expertise spans South Asian, Caribbean and Atlantic history from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.

    Pratik leads the University College for Interdisciplinary Learning unit ‘From Cholera to COVID-19: A Global History of Epidemics’. He recently wrote for The India Forum about how India’s response to COVID-19 reflects its colonial past.

    Jaime García-Iglesias

    Jaime is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Sciences. His research focuses on sexuality, public health and the online environment. His recent work examines gay men’s changing relationship with HIV/AIDS.

    Tanja Müller

    Tanja is Professor of Political Sociology at the Global Development Institute (GDI). Her research spans a number of areas including convening the GDI’s Research Group on Migration, Refugees and Asylum. She has previously worked on the implications of the HIV/AIDS pandemic for rural development in sub-Saharan Africa.