Dr Hannah Little

Science Communication Unit staff profiles - Hannah Little

Hannah Little is a Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at UWE Bristol. She teaches at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate levels, specifically focussing on online engagement and digital projects. She teaches lectures on podcasts, online video, citizen science and other online content. She also teaches on science and comedy, and sometimes even does some stand-up herself!

Before going into academia, Hannah worked in Science Communication professionally. She worked full time co-ordinating the STEM Ambassador programme and the Nuffield Research Placements in the North East of England. Since then, she has taken part in many public engagement events: she has worked in the press office for the British Science Festival, she was a scientist in “I’m a scientist, get me out of here!”, and once appeared on Cbeebies’ “Mr. Bloom’s Nursery Roadshow, Ready, Set, Grow!” running a disco that was powered by bicycles!

Research, Practice and Projects

At the level of research, Hannah's main interest is in cultural evolution and science communication. During her PhD, she used experimental methods to investigate how cultural transmission affects the emergence of structure in language. She plans to use similar methods from the field of cultural evolution to look at how scientific information is transmitted online, in the lab, and in the real world. She is interested in what affects the quantity and quality of information transmission, and what information survives and spreads.

Hannah also has a special interest in the challenges of communicating issues relating to computer science, particularly methods to engage children and other populations in how to code. She is interested in addressing questions relating to gender equality in education and communication around computer science. Previously, she has done some coding workshops with “Greenlight for Girls” (an organisation in Belgium), and in 2012 participated in the European Gender Summit ran by the European Science Foundation.

She is also interested in promoting public engagement with digital rights and communicating about the problems that occur when policy to protect civil liberties does not keep up with the growth of technology.

Publication, Dissemination and Impact

Hannah has published in journals including Cognition, Behavior Research Methods, Interaction Studies and the Journal of Language Evolution. She has edited a special issue for the Journal of Language Evolution on the emergence of sound systems. She has presented work at international conferences including the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society and International Congress of Phonetic Sciences.

She is on the Scientific Committee for the EvoLang conferences and the board of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics. She writes frequently for Babel, a magazine aimed at non-specialist readers with an interest in linguistic and language-related issues.

Further information