Residency Launch Event

The NHS NW R&D residency was officially launched at an evening reception at the Bluecoat Arts Centre in Liverpool on 29 November 2018. Cellist Georgina Aasgaard gave a live musical performance and the evening included talks from the following people. Click their photo to watch the talk.

Bryan Biggs, Artistic Director, Bluecoat Arts Centre

“At the Bluecoat, Yiota’s impact on our thinking about our work and engagement with audiences was invaluable. I am very delighted that the Philosopher-in-Residence programme we started here in 2013 is having a life beyond the art centre. It’s a good idea to have philosophers in residence everywhere. Small changes can turn things around.” Click to watch Bryan's talk.

Prof. Fiona Beveridge, Executive Pro-Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Liverpool

“It’s very important as a University that we are able to take our work outside the University. Philosophers sitting on hills aren’t going to change the world, but philosophers out in the community really can make a difference. We are very proud of the in-Residence model and the way we’ve been able to expand it.” Click to watch Fiona's talk.

Prof. Stuart Eglin, Chief Executive, NHS R&D North West

“It’s very much an organic piece of work that we will be developing step by step because I think we need to learn and develop together. I really do look forward to introducing philosophical discourse and methods to the world of health research and clinical practice. I am sure the NHS is going to be a richer place as a result.” Click to watch Stuart's talk.

Prof. Michael Beresford, Brough Chair Professor of Child Health, Director of the NIHR Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility of Experimental Medicine.

“What we can learn from each other is absolutely critical. Although we have advanced enormously in medical care, a huge number of the questions that challenge us as healthcare professionals, the NHS as a big organisation, and above all the families that walk through our doors cannot be answered only by the medical knowledge that I learned at the University. So many of the challenges I had when I was a young clinician, were not answered either by education or the environment in which I was working.” Click to watch Michael's talk.

Georgina Aasgaard, Cellist, Musician-in-Residence at Alder Hey Hospital

“I have personally witnessed how music and art can help those in need; I truly believe that Philosophy, just like music, has a contribution to make. Having lived through countless emotional moments with patients and families, I believe that there is a real need for us all to take the time to reflect. This new residency is ground breaking and so important; it will help us reflect together as a team of multidisciplinary professionals on all those sensitive and deeply moving subjects linked to our health and daily lives.” Click to watch Georgina's talk and performance.

Prof. Ramona Dickson, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool

“This new programme is exciting, it is new, it is unique. It is going to provide protected time and a different lens for people to look through, and I would liken that lens to a kaleidoscope: when you look through all its colourful glasses, you only have to turn it one degree and the whole picture changes. And this what I anticipate to happen with this programme: to allow people to think, to think differently. Thinking matters and you are allowed to do it, and you are allowed to do it aloud, and this makes all the difference”. Click to watch Ramona's talk.

Prof. Martin Lombard, Clinical Director, NIHR Clinical Research Network North West Coast

“The most important question of all is ‘why?’ Why do we do research, why do we do a job, why do we get out of bed in the morning, why bother? Researching those questions for which we do not have the answers does contribute to the economy. And actually, the economy and lifting people’s standard of living, will contribute more to their health and well being than anything I can ever do in clinic, or by an operation or with a pill. I am really looking forward to where this project leads us and I hope it will inform public debate about research in the NHS.” Click to watch Martin's talk.

Dr Yiota Vassilopoulou, Department of Philosophy, University of Liverpool

“We are, or should be, like children when we ask philosophical questions. What motivated me to develop the Philosopher-in-Residence Programme is an understanding of Philosophy not only as an academic discipline, but also as public inquiry and research co-developed with the public, with those that it primarily concerns.” Click to watch Yiota's talk.

Have Your Say

What does philosophy/philosophical reasoning mean to you? Why do you think philosophy might be important in the current context of the NHS? What is the most important question this Residency should address? Any other thoughts/ recommendations/ questions? Click to enter your responses.

Academic-in-residence Model

The academic-in-residence model was introduced and developed through a partnership between Bluecoat and University of Liverpool’s Department of Philosophy in 2013. Dr Yiota Vassilopoulou became the UK’s first philosopher in residence. The residency has opened up new doors to collaboration between the University and its institutional partners.

The Philosopher-in-Residence programme is a framework for cross-institutional collaboration between the University and external partners, which implements philosophical research as a collaborative and continuous process of dialogue, reflection and evaluation with the public.

Since its inception, academics have been in residence at Bluecoat, Open Eye Gallery and Bury Museum. This new residency takes the model outside of the cultural sector for the first time.