Dr Rene Brauer
Rene is interested in the epistemological justification of what makes social science claims reliable.
- history of science
- application of evolutionary thinking to understanding social processes
- philosophy of mind
- research impact
- human geography
- science and technology studies
- tourism studies
- rural and urban theory
Rene's thesis investigated the research impact discourse surrounding the REF’s 2014 (Research Excellence Framework) evaluation of research in the UK. The addressed knowledge gap dealt with critically evaluating the newly introduced disciplinary regime surrounding research impact and what influence it has on academic praxis and the research ecosystem as a whole. The utilised research methodology represented an evaluation of the research impact guidelines, submitted impact claims and interviews with academics. Specifically, a critical discourse analysis of the research impact case studies (in relation to tourism) and impact templates (of the submitting tourism studies faculties) was conducted. This was complemented with semi-structured interviews of tourism academics on all levels of the academic hierarchy.
The key findings are; firstly the research shows empirically that the newly introduced discourse of research impact shapes academic conduct to affiliate itself within the performance measures in a very pragmatic fashion (small scale and easy to reference). Secondly, the research showed that the research impact discourse disciplines behaviour along the entire chain of the social construction, from setting a word to the page all the way to employment decisions and universities budgets. Lastly, the analysis of the interviews showed the different levels of cognitive learning within the researchers’ resulted in that each individual approached the same discourse differently, this multiplicity and the resulting uncertainty represents a force that is shaping the research ecosystem in its own right.