Dr Brendan Lawson

PhD (University of Leeds)

  • Lecturer in Communication and Media

Research groups and centres

Brendan Lawson was awarded his PhD from the University of Leeds in 2020. He began working as a University Teacher at Loughborough University in February 2021 and became a Lecturer in Communication and Media in August 2023. His research focuses on the how quantitative information is engaged with, trusted, and influences behaviour, opinion and societal change.

His current research centres on numbers, climate change and media - with a particular emphasis on "climate apps".


  • LAWSON, B.T. 2023. Life of a Number: measurement, meaning and COVID-19. Bristol: Bristol University Press. 
  • HALL, N.A., LAWSON, B.T., CHADWICK, A., VACARRI, C. 2023. Not a quick-fix: the challenges and opportunities for anti-misinformation measures on personal messaging. In progress. 
  • LAWSON, B.T. 2023. Hiding behind databases, institutions and actors: how journalists use statistics in reporting humanitarian crises. Journalism Practice. 17(3). 429-449. 
  • LUGO-OCANDO & LAWSON, B.T. 2023. Comparative trends in the portrayal of poverty and inequality. In Schifferes, S. & S. Knowles (eds). The Media and Inequality (pp.150-161). London: Routledge. 
  • LAWSON, B.T & NGUYEN, A. 2023. Balancing Between “Statistic Panic” and “Statistical Boredom”. Allan, S. (ed). The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism (pp.188-196). London: Routledge.* 


  • LAWSON, B.T. & J. LUGO-OCANDO. 2022. Political communication, press coverage and public interpretation of public health statistics during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. European Journal of Communication. 37(6). 646-662.* 
  • ORTEGA-CHAVEZ, J. & B.T. LAWSON. 2022. How journalists do memory work with numbers: The case of the 220,000 deaths during the Colombian conflict (1958-2013). Journalism. 0(0). 1-22. 
  • LAWSON, B.T. 2022. Communicating open-book governance during the NHS Winter Crisis of 2016-2017. The Information Society. 38(1). 25-35. 
  • LAWSON, B.T. 2020. Re-imagining the quantitative-qualitative relationship through colouring and anchoring. Journalism. 23(8). 1736-1750.  
  • TASSERON, M. & B.T. LAWSON. 2022. Legitimising military action through statistics and discourse in the 2014 IDF assault on Gaza. Media, War & Conflict. 15(2). 238-256. 


  • LAWSON, B.T. 2021. Review: Quantification and Humanitarianism. Journal of Humanitarian Affairs. 3(1). 53-60. 
  • NGUYEN, AN., X. ZHAO, B.T. LAWSON & D. JACKSON. 2021. Reporting from a Statistical Chaos: Journalistic Lessons from the First Year of Covid-19 Data and Science in the News. Discussion Paper. Bournemouth University, Royal Statistical Society and Association of British Science Writers. 
  • LAWSON, B.T. & M. LOVATT. 2021. Towards a Rhetorical Understanding of Statistics in Politics: Quantifying the NHS ‘Winter Crisis’. European Journal of Communication. 36(2). 110-124.* 


  • LUGO-OCANDO, J. & B.T. LAWSON, 2018. Poor Numbers, Poor News. In: NGUYEN, A. (ed.) News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 62-77. 
  • LAWSON, B.T. 2018. Support, not solutions: how the news media used statistics during the 2017 South Sudanese Famine. Radical Statistics, 1. 120. 46-64. 

*The work for this co-authored article or chapter was carried out mainly by Brendan Lawson