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Cardiff Professor appointed as National Museum’s Head of Research

4 March 2016

National Museum Cardiff
National Museum Cardiff

Cardiff University's Professor Bella Dicks has been appointed as Head of Research for Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. 

Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, Bella will join the museum on 31 May 2016 for a three year secondment. This role will enable Bella to use her existing research strengths and experience to support the National Museum in realising its goal of becoming a research-led institution.

Announcing the appointment, David Anderson, Director General for Amgueddfa Cymru said: “We are delighted to appoint Bella Dicks as our first Head of Research.  Her commitment over many years to research on the role of museums in society, and her achievements as a senior academic, will enable the Museum to take our world class research to wider audiences and to build partnerships with universities across Wales.”

Bella’s research interests include heritage, museums, community development, social disadvantage, urban studies and qualitative methodology. Her 2000 book Heritage, Place and Community, traced the processes through which a south Wales coal-mine was transformed into a 'living history' museum, while the 2004 book Culture on Display appraised the contemporary regeneration focus on the production of place 'visitability'. More recently Bella has undertaken research on regeneration within the Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD).

Bella has been an academic staff member at Cardiff University since 1993, becoming Professor in 2014. She says of her new appointment: “I'm really looking forward to exploring this fascinating world of objects and meanings that is so important to the people of Wales and their sense of their own past. It will be good to meet the staff who work at the different sites and to find out what makes each individual museum unique. I’m excited to work with them to explore new ideas and links between the objects in collections and the lives and histories of the people of Wales.”

Professor Amanda Coffey, head of the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University welcomed the appointment: “I am delighted that Bella has been appointed as the Museum’s first Head of Research, and look forward to working with her in her new role.”

Amgueddfa Cymru has long been committed to going beyond its buildings, reaching out to and working with communities across Wales. Bella’s role will support this work, and boost the National Museum’s reputation as a research leader, both locally and globally.

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