Directory of Expertise

Dr Chris Chambers

02920 870331

I am a senior research fellow in cognitive neuroscience at the School of Psychology and head of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Laboratory at the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre. My main interests are in psychology and neuroscience of human cognitive control, the reform of scientific publishing to improve quality and standards, the relationship between science and the media, and the role of the academic community in helping to shape public policy. In addition to my academic duties, I am also a freelance science writer at the Guardian where I co-host the psychology blog, HeadQuarters.

About my research

My research addresses questions across a range of fields. Within cognitive neuroscience, I am primarily interested in understanding attention and impulse control, and translational applications in clinical fields such as addiction.

In 2012 I jointly established the Insciout research group together with Petroc Sumner, Jacky Boivin and Andy Williams. Insciout is a collaborative project between the School of Psychology and the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. Our aim is to identify causes of error in the translation of science to the news, and to develop evidence-based guidelines for best practice in science/media interactions.

I am also the co-founder of the UK Evidence Information Service, a research-led initiative that aims to facilitate interaction between academia and politicians in the service of evidence-based policy. Click here for more information.

Awards and recognition

British Psychological Society, 2007 Spearman Medal Fellow of the British Psychological Society

Membership of professional bodies

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • British Psychological Society
  • Association of British Science Writers

Media and speaking experience

I work regularly with various branches of the print and broadcast media, both in the UK and internationally. I have been interviewed by BBC online, BBC radio, Newstalk Ireland, New Scientist, Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and several European newspapers (e.g. Volkskrant, Netherlands) and science magazines (e.g. Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Germany).

I also write regularly in the media on science-related issues of public interest. Key issues have included challenges in science journalism, proposals to reform media policy, the importance of replication in science, and academic publishing reform. I have also entered a submission to the Leveson Inquiry and served as a consultant for a Channel Four documentary about addiction.

In March 2012, I participated in a debate at the Royal Institution that focused on ways scientists and journalists can cooperate to ensure more effective communication of science. I have since participated in related panel discussions at the CASE Europe conference (Aug 2012), Guardian LiveChat (Aug 2012) and the Spot On science communication conference (Nov 2012). Together with Petroc Sumner, Jacky Boivin and Andy Williams (JOMEC), I jointly manage the Insciout project, which aims to determine the role of press releases issued by universities and journals in shaping science news. The medium-term aim of the Insciout project is to develop evidence-based guidelines for best practice in the preparation of science-related press releases.

In August 2013, I jointly established the Guardian blog HeadQuarters together with Pete Etchells (Bath Spa University), Molly Crockett (University of Oxford) and Thalia Gjersoe (Open University). The aim of our blog is to raise awareness about exciting new research in psychology and related issues of public interest. I have written articles on topics such as psychological solutions to trolling, the neuroscience of near death experiences, traffic psychology, the effects of government mass surveillance on mental health, and the psychological challenges of the Mars One program.

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