Hispanic Studies lecturer joins new UK-wide Young Academy

An aerial view of the Learning & teaching and Graham Hills campus buildings

A lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Strathclyde is among the inaugural members of the new UK-wide Young Academy.

Dr Charles Pigott, of Strathclyde’s School of Humanities, is one of 67 academics announced as the first members of the Academy, a network of early career researchers and professionals established to help tackle local and global issues and promote meaningful change.

Dr Pigott and his colleagues in the first cohort of Academy members will have the opportunity to help shape the strategy and focus of this new organisation, based on areas that matter to them.

Along with their fellow members from across academia, charity organisations and the private sector, they will have the chance to inform local and global policy discussions, galvanising their skills, knowledge, and experience to find innovative solutions to the challenges facing societies now and in the future.

Dr Pigott’s research and teaching focus on literature produced in Spanish and four indigenous languages of Latin America: Yucatec Maya, Nahuatl and both Central and Southern Quechua, spoken in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia, respectively. He combines Literary Studies, Linguistics, Anthropology and Philosophy to explore how indigenous literatures engage with questions of cultural memory and biocultural heritage.

Dr Pigott said: “Joining the UK Young Academy will catalyse my main goal in academia: to help forge a shared framework for the study, conservation and promotion of cultural, linguistic and ecological diversity.

“The current environmental crisis coincides with the increasing endangerment of most of the world’s languages, together with the traditional ecological knowledge that they contain. At the same time, globalization provides an opportunity to transcend previously impermeable boundaries between cultures, languages and academic disciplines.

“As a member of the UK Young Academy, I will seek to build these bridges and, collectively, set in motion a new paradigm that celebrates human diversity and safeguards the many ecosystems on which we depend.”

The UK Young Academy has been established as an interdisciplinary collaboration with the Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy, Learned Society of Wales, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Irish Academy, Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Royal Society. It joins the global initiative of Young Academies, with the UK Young Academy becoming the 50th to join the Young Academy movement.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Strathclyde, said: “I am pleased to see the number and diversity of engineers included in this first cohort of members, some of whom are already involved in our own Academy’s activities.

“I’m sure their passion, creativity and leadership will make an important contribution to the success of this exciting new interdisciplinary forum and that these talented people will help the Young Academy to make a positive impact on our future.”