Dr. Andrew Bell

We learn about Andrew's desire to learn to dance and how he is upsetting F1 fans world wide.

couple dancing swing

How long have you worked for The University of Sheffield?
I’ve worked at the SMI for nearly four years now

What do you enjoy about the work you do?
I love the variety – I research a big range of things from across the social sciences, so I never get bored, as well as teaching which is great fun as well

What is currently on your bedside table?
I’ve recently got a new cat… so probably a cat.

What research are you working on now?
I’m currently working with Aneta on a project looking at how attitudes to immigration have changed over time, and how we are influenced by when we were brought up in the attitudes we hold today.

How did you get involved with the SMI?
I needed to pay the rent.

Do you have another area of research that you’re currently not working on that you would like to?
I’m looking to do more work around educational inequalities – that is, why do school pupils achieve good and bad grades, and how does that typically change over the course of their school life? This really matters – we like to think of education as the solution to deprivation – a way an individual can escape hardship – but the reality is unfortunately not that simple.

What kind of response have you gotten to your research / findings?
Among academics, my methodological research has I think helped lots of people understand different statistical methods and what they can and cannot do. In terms of a response from outside of academia, my most ‘successful’ paper was in an area I knew very little about – Formula One driving. It came out of an undergraduate dissertation, and we were able to use statistical models to find the best F1 driver of all time, which was picked up in the news media (and annoyed a lot of fans!)

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
In terms of work, I’d like to actually be able to understand the maths you sometimes see in methods papers. Outside of work, I want to learn to dance West Coast Swing.

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Why Numbers Matter

SMI's series on why it's important to get numbers right.

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