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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Travel Grant Report by Thomas Davies

01.09.2018, by Tina Keil in grant report

University of Edinburgh, UK; Research visit to Professor Gordon Hodson at Brock University in Canada

Thomas Davies
Thomas Davies

In April 2018 I had the pleasure of visiting Professor Gordon Hodson at Brock University in Canada. This visit was partly funded by an EASP travel grant, and partly funded by a travel grant from the School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences (PPLS), from the University of Edinburgh.

I first met Gordon Hodson at the 2017 EASP conference in Granada, Spain. We briefly exchanged ideas, and with the help of the connection between Gordon and my PhD supervisor Steve Loughnan, the three of us developed a plan for me to come over and spend some time in Gordon Hodson’s lab at Brock University. After a few skype chats, we made the plan for 3 weeks in April. My primary goal of the visit was to spend time with Gordon and brainstorm research ideas. I had a great time at Brock University and look forward to visiting again in the future. I happened to arrive in Toronto to an unusually late snowstorm, and after the storm had passed, had the privilege of seeing Ontario covered in snow, but during fine spring weather. It was my first time in North America, and it was a wonderful trip. Outside of the beautiful scenery, I had an enjoyable and productive time in Canada.

Gordon and I came up with some interesting new lines of research surrounding human animal relations and dehumanization. Gordon was able to spend a generous amount of time with me during my visit, and we had numerous brainstorm sessions lasting hours at a time. We had the time to really mull over our mutual interests, and it was fruitful to see what a few days in front of a white board with an international expert can produce. Gordon Hodson researches dehumanization from a slightly different perspective than I do here at Edinburgh, and it was very humbling to learn from him during my stay. I was also fortunate to spend time with two of Gordon’s research students, Megan and Elvira, who also do similar lines of research.

It was very beneficial to learn some new approaches to my topic, and I already feel that my PhD has benefited from my trip. I found it very useful to be able to meet face to face with Gordon, and it was nice to be shown around his lab, and chat with other members of staff at Brock University. Gordon’s colleagues at Brock were always helpful and friendly with me, and I felt very welcome throughout my stay. Travelling to Canada gave me a wonderful time to re-explore existing ideas, and look to the future in my own career. I know that I will take what I learnt at Brock University forward with me in the next stage of my career.

I would like to thank Gordon Hodson for hosting me at Brock University, my supervisor Steve Loughnan for helping to organise the trip, the EASP and the University of Edinburgh for funding this trip, and for Mary Lou whom I spent most of my time staying with.