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Dr Jack Symes stood in front of a wall. The text reads BBC New Generation Thinker

Dr Jack Symes has been recognised as one of the UK’s most promising arts and humanities early career researchers.

Jack, who works in our Philosophy department, has been named one of the BBC’s 2024 New Generation Thinkers, a prestigious award, which is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Researchers at the beginning of their academic careers are invited to submit their ideas to impress BBC Radio 4 producers and share their research on national radio.

A tough application process

Hundreds of applications were submitted before being whittled down to a final shortlist.  The winners were announced on a New Thinking episode of the Arts & Ideas podcast, hosted by former New Generation Thinker, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough.

Jack, whose research focusses on exploring new approaches to the philosophy of religion, was one of 10 chosen to receive the accolade. This means he will now work with BBC Radio 4 producers, appearing on the radio station throughout the year.

A great opportunity


I feel immensely grateful to the people who helped me get here. There are so many people who contribute to the projects that I work on, and I’m honoured to have them in my life. Without their support, this award wouldn’t have been possible.

Dr Jack Symes
Durham Philosophy department, author and Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast

The award comes as Jack releases the third book of his career called ‘Defeating the Evil-God Challenge’ on Thursday 16 May.

Find out more

Ranked 5th in the UK for graduate prospects with a score of 87.8 per cent in the Times Good University Guide 2024, our Philosophy Department has also achieved worldwide notoriety, ranking 29th in the in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024. 

Students learn how to think about difficult questions and the answers that can be given to them and finish their course equipped to make a positive impact on global debates and policy. 

Feeling inspired? Visit our Philosophy webpages for more information on our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.