Photo of Rachael Durrant

Rachael Durrant
Research Fellow SPRU (SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit)
T: +44 (0)1273 678280


I am interested in the roles that people and organisations can play in guiding transformations towards greener, fairer and more healthy societal systems. My recent work has provided me with opportunities to explore these issues through a socio-technological lens and to focus on the material and governmental aspects of societal change. However, I am also fascinated in the cultural and longer-term historical aspects of change, which is something that I carry forward from my background in Geography and my early research into collective identities. It is this angle that I would particularly like to connect with more deeply in future research. 

An equally important strand of interest within academia and my professional life is engaging with non-academics in the co-creation of knowledge. I have experimented with different approaches including participant observation, co-designing research with non-academic beneficiaries, building collaborative networks with non-academics, and designing research outputs that are practice-focussed, visually impactful and user-friendly. I have been invited to speak on a number of occasions about these experiences and am keen to continue learning from new and diverse people and projects.

Research Interests

  • Food systems, social movements and societal change towards sustainability
  • Collective identities and connection to place, especially re festivals and special events, alternative communities and subcultures
  • Social theories, especially post-Marxist, post-feminist, post-structural and psychoanalytical approaches
  • Creativity, reflexive self-expression and psycho-therapeutic communities
  • Community-engaged reflexive research and the use of art and therapuetic approaches to co-create knowledge