Producer : Michael Schubert
Listen: Stop Doing So Much Work
Hearing Lessons for Creative Research
Focusing on work rather than thinking gets in the way of innovative research and collaboration, says David McAlpine. David heads a communication research group, The Hearing Hub and he walks his own talk. Collaborating with researchers, not for profits and corporate partners, he is demonstrating a new model for outcome-based research. With a focus on improving the communication experience over the lifetime, he’s worth listening to.
There are two narratives in this story. First, The Hearing Hub is a multidisciplinary collaborative research centre located within a university. The centre collaborates with academic, not for profit, government and corporate stakeholders. Making this model work, without compromising the research outcomes, is a major accomplishment for The Hearing Hub and its Director. The second narrative is a compelling ‘call to action’. David asks us to consider new paradigms of research; incorporating diverse members of the research community as well as the beneficiaries of the research. It is a model based on quality not quantity, creativity and rigour, and it is an approach that is not tied to the publish or perish imperative that drives many contemporary research centres.
Professor David McAlpine is Macquarie University’s Director of Hearing Research at the Australian Hearing Hub and is a 2016 Australian Laureate Fellow by the Australian Research Council (ARC). Dr McAlpine joined Macquarie University in 2015, after a decade as the Professor of Auditory Neuroscience at University College London and Director of the UCL Ear Institute.
He says that communication is a vital aspect of what it means to be human, and hearing is critical to communication. His research interests span neural modeling, methods for recording individual neurons in the brain, as well as brain-imaging and electrophysiology in normal and hearing-impaired listeners, including those who use cochlear implants. The outcomes of this research could help to improve our understanding of how we naturally perform these remarkable feats, with potential applications in how we can restore the ability in individuals who have lost their hearing and rely on hearing devices to hear.