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Meet Carlos Galan-Diaz

Meet Carlos Galan-Diaz

Issued: Tue, 15 Dec 2015 15:13:00 GMT

Carlos Galan-Diaz‌Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am an environmental psychologist by training and I have spent my whole career working in topics to do with research and its applications. My PhD (Robert Gordon University) focused on psychological perspective-taking and emotion in environmental evaluation and environmental preference. My BSc (Faculty of Psychology at UNAM, Mexico City), was a study about the disciplinary differences of tacit skills and tacit knowledge at UNAM.   

Why did you choose to come to the University?

My motivation to come to Glasgow is a long affair I have with the city, which I first visited in 2005 and fell in love. Life took me up north to Aberdeen, and when I saw this opportunity I just knew I had to go for it. This is a great University with an incredible history and a very positive outlook for both research and teaching in an incredible location, and it is true people ‘do’ make Glasgow. This also resonates with my first alma mater in terms of size, location and opportunities, last year alone UNAM granted over 21 thousand undergraduate degrees.

What was your previous role?

I was the Impact Research Fellow for the RCUK funded dot.rural Digital Economy Hub at Aberdeen University for two and a bit years.  dot.rural was the first RCUK investment to have a dedicated impact post as part of its foundations, in a way I grew up with the development of the Impact Agenda, including its previous incarnation the RAE. 

Tell us about your new role?

As the CoSS Research Impact Officer I will be developing and delivering the Knowledge Exchange and Impact strategy for the College. A major aspect of my role will be to ensure that academic staff are clear about what is (and what isn't) 'impact', and that they know what to record, and how to capture and record it appropriately. All of these is needed in order to evidence impact claims, whether they are part of final reporting, project’s updates, personal development plans or research assessments, such as the next REF.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

I am genuinely passionate about research and those behind it, my aspiration is to become the person in the College that staff are happy to-go-to in order to discuss their research in order to maximise its impact and its evidence. We have hundreds of exciting research activities across the College and the challenge is capturing that in a coherent and efficient way, I am confident that an evidence-based approach to impact is the only way forward. So, my biggest hope is to be able to provide the strategy and the means for capturing that and making sure that everyone can demonstrate their research impact.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?

I love spending time with my partner and daughter, normally spending time outdoors including gardening. When I’m not doing that I’m a vintage HI-FI aficionado and subject those around me with plenty of salsa music.

Who's your biggest inspiration?

Too many to narrow it down to one, we always have inspiration at our fingertips if we remember how to take a step back and look at life reflectively. I’m an idealist, which according to a very good friend is only a few letters away from being an idiot, so on that note I will conclude with one of those inspiring minds I admire:

'He said he asked himself that question everyday: what was utopia good for?'If utopia serves any purpose... because you must note that utopia is in the horizon, and if it's in the horizon you will never reach it, because if you walk ten steps utopia will be ten steps further, and if you walk twenty steps then utopia will be twenty steps even further, so that I know I will never, ever, reach it.'

'What is utopia for?' just for that, for walking.'

- Eduardo Galeano


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