Rachel is one of three Doctoral Researchers in the new Online Civic Culture Centre for Doctoral Training, which is part of the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture. Her research will focus on interventions to correct misinformation and disinformation on social media.
In 2014, Rachel graduated from the University of Birmingham with First Class Honours in Political Science, winning the H. S. Ferns Prize for outstanding achievement. She has worked in both community engagement and local government, with a specific focus on promoting democratic participation.
In 2016, Rachel was awarded the Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship, enabling her to spend three months in the US researching approaches to voter registration and political engagement amongst young people and marginalised groups in advance of the presidential election.
Rachel’s PhD project aims to identify the political and social psychological roots of misinformation and disinformation, and to use this understanding to explore how different types of interventions on social media might reduce individuals’ propensity to share misleading or false information.
Rachel’s scholarly ambitions are driven by the existential threat of “fake news” to democracy. She is intrigued by the potential of upskilling citizens to recognise and challenge falsehoods in their media diets, specifically via educational interventions and exposure to “civic tech”. She is particularly interested in the intersection of citizens, open data, government and technology.