George Gaskell

George Gaskell

George Gaskell is a British Professor of Social Psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science LSE. Formerly Director of the "Methodology Institute", he is now Deputy Director for Planning and Resources and a member of the LSE Council and Court of Governors. George Gaskell is also a member of the ESRC Evaluation Committee and a participant in an EC research programme on biobanks. He was coordinator of 'Life Sciences in European Society', a project funded under the European Commission's 5th Framework Programme, which involves researchers in 14 European countries, with associate teams in Canada and the US, conducting a comparative investigation into the reception of modern biotechnologies in the public sphere. His new 7th Framework European collaborative project, due to start in early 2008, is called Sensitive Technologies and European Public Ethics (STEPE).


George Gaskell graduated from "University College London" in 1969, and completed his PhD in social psychology under the supervision of Professor Rob Farr. He joined the "Institute of Social Psychology" at the "London School of Economics" in 1971.

Research and Intellectual Interests

George Gaskell’s research interests fall under the rubric of societal psychology, an approach he developed with the late Hilde Himmelweit, which suggests that a neglected focus in social psychology is the study of social phenomena and cultural forces that both shape, and in turn are shaped by, people's outlooks and actions. His past research projects have included the study of energy use and conservation, the crowd in contemporary Britain, youth and unemployment, social and cognitive aspects of survey methodology and community care. His current research, involves the coordination of an international comparative study of biotechnology in the public sphere, drawing on "social representations theory".

George Gaskell is well known for developing the toblerone model of social representations with Martin Bauer. He is also well known for his edited handbook with Martin Bauer, "Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound: A Practical Handbook" (2000), which provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to a broad range of research methods with the objective of clarifying procedures, good practice and public accountability. Following an introduction which discusses quality and quantity, and how these relate to issues of representation and knowledge interests in social research, the book is organized into four parts: · Part I covers different ways of collecting data and different types of data relating to text, image and sound: corpus construction, individual and group interviewing, narrative and episodic interviewing, video and film, and bemetology. · Part II introduces the main analytic approaches for text, image and sound: classical content analysis, argumentation, discourse, conversation analysis, rhetoric, semiotics, analysis of moving images, and of noise and music - each includes an introduction with examples and step-by-step advice on how to do it. · Part III covers computer-assisted analysis - including computer-assisted qualitative data analysis and key-word-in-context analysis. · Part IV addresses issues of good practice, looking at problems and fallacies in interpretation and develops quality criteria for qualitative research. This book provides researchers with the skills and knowledge to make the appropriate choices between different methods, types of data, and analytic procedures, and gives examples and criteria of good practice for each one. (publisher's description)


Edited books and monographs

Gaskell, G., and Bauer, M. (Eds). (2001). Biotechnology 1996-2000: The years of controversy. London: Science Museum Press.

Bauer, M., and Gaskell, G. (Eds). (2000). Qualitative researching with text, image and sound. London: Sage.

Durant, J., Bauer, M., and Gaskell, G. (1998). Biotechnology in the Public Sphere: a European Source Book. London: Science Museum Publications.

Wright, D.B., and Gaskell, G. (Eds). (1998). Surveying memory processes. Hove, Psychology Press

Himmelweit, H., and Gaskell, G. (Eds). (1990). Societal Psychology. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Fraser, C., and Gaskell, G. (Eds). (1990). The Social Psychological Study of Widespread Beliefs. Oxford University Press.

Gaskell, G., and Benewick, R. (1987). The Crowd in Contemporary Britain. London: Sage.

Gaskell, G., and Joerges, B. (Eds). (1987) Public Policies and Private Actions. Aldershot: Avebury WZB

Monnier, E., Gaskell, G., Ester, P., Joerges, B., LaPillone, C.J.H., Midden, C., and Puiseux, L. (Eds). (1986). Consumer Behavior and Energy Policy. New York: Praeger.

Hutton, S., Gaskell, G., Corden, A, Pike, R, and Bradshaw, J. (1985). Energy efficiency in low income households: An evaluation of local insulation projects. Department of Energy, HMSO, London.

Ester, P., Gaskell, G., Joerges, B., Midden, C., de Vries, T., and van Raaij, W. (Eds) (1984). Consumer Behaviour and Energy Policy. North Holland, Amsterdam, New York.

Gaskell, G., and Sealy, A.P. (1976). Groups: Block 13, D305 Social Psychology, p.81. Open University Press.

Selected articles and chapters post 1994

Gaskell, G., Allum, N., Wagner, W., Kronberger, N., Torgensen, H., and Bardes, J. (2004). GM foods and the misperception of risk perception. Risk analysis, 24. (1). 183 - 192.

Ten Eyck, T., Gaskell, G., and Jackson, J.P. (2004). Seeds, food and trade wars: Public opinion and policy responses in the US and Europe. Journal of Commercial Biotechnology. 10: 3, 258-267.

Gaskell,G., Allum, N., Bauer, M., Jackson, J.P., Howard, S. and Lindsey, N. (2003). Climate change for biotechnology? UK public opinion 1991-2002. AgBioForum, vol 6 nos 1&2.

Gaskell, G., Allum, N. and Stares, S. (2003). Europeans and Biotechnology in 2002: Eurobarometer 58.0 ( [] )

Gaskell, G., and Allum, N. (2001). Sound science, problematic publics? Contrasting representations of risk and uncertainty. Politeia XV11, 63, 13-25.

Gaskell, G. et al. (2000). Biotechnology and the European Public. Nature Biotechnology, 18, 935-938.

Gaskell, G., Wright, D. and O'Muircheartaigh, C. (2000). Telescoping landmark events: Implications for survey research. Public Opinion Quarterly, 64, 77-89.

Gaskell, G. (2000). Individual and group interviewing, pp 38-56, in Bauer M and G Gaskell (eds) Qualitative researching with text, image and sound. London: Sage.

Gaskell, G. and Bauer, M. (2000). Towards public accountability: Beyond sampling, reliability and validity, pp336-350, In Bauer M & G Gaskell (eds) Qualitative researching with text, image and sound. London: Sage.

Bauer, M., Gaskell, G. and Allum, N. (2000). Quantity, quality and knowledge interests: Avoiding confusions, pp3-18, in Bauer M & G Gaskell (eds) Qualitative researching with text, image and sound. London: Sage.

Durant, J., Bauer, M., Gaskell, G., Midden, C., Liakopoulos, M., and Sholten, L. (2000). Industrial and post-industrial public understanding of science, in: Dierkes M and C von Grote (eds) Between understanding and trust: the public, science and technology, Reading, Harwood, Academics Publisher.

Gaskell, G., Bauer, M., Durant, J. and Allum, N. (1999). Worlds apart: The reception of GM foods in the United States and Europe. Science. July 16.

Bauer, M and Gaskell, G. (1999). Towards a paradigm for research on social representations, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 29(2), 163-186.

Gaskell, G., Bauer, M. and Durant, J. (1998). The representations of biotechnology: policy,media and public perceptions. In Durant, J., Bauer, M. and Gaskell, G. (eds) Biotechnology in the public sphere: a European source book. London: Science Museum Press.

Gaskell, G., Bauer,M. and Durant, J. (1998). Public perceptions of biotechnology. Eurobarometer 46.1. In Durant,J.,Bauer,M. and Gaskell, G. (eds) Biotechnology in the public sphere: a European source book. London: Science Museum Press.

Bauer, M,. Durant,J,. Gaskell,G., Bridgman,E, and Liakopoulos, M. (1998). United Kingdom: national profile. In Durant.J., Bauer,M. and Gaskell, G. (eds) Biotechnology in the public sphere: a European source book. London: Science Museum Press.

Bauer.M., Durant,J. and Gaskell,G. (1998). Biotechnology in the public sphere: a comparative review. In Durant,J,.Bauer,M. and Gaskell,G. (eds) Biotechnology in the public sphere: a European source book. London: Science Museum Press.

Wright, D. B., Gaskell, G. D. and O'Muircheartaigh, C. A. (1998). Flashbulb memory assumptions: Using national surveys to explore cognitive phenomena. British journal of psychology, 36, 443-456.

Gaskell , G et al. (1997). Europe ambivalent on biotechnology. Nature, 387, pp 845-847

Wright, D.B., Gaskell, G.D. and O'Muircheartaigh, C.A. (1997). Temporal estimation of major news events: Re-examining the accessibility principle. Applied cognitive psychology, 11, 35-46.

Wright, D.B., Gaskell, G.D. and O'Muircheartaigh, C.A. (1997). The reliability of the subjective reports of memories. European journal of cognitive psychology, 9, 313-323.

Gaskell, G., Bauer, M. and Durant, J. (1997) Survey research on public attitudes to public to science and technology in S. Sjoberg and E. Kallerud (eds) Science, technology and citizenship.Oslo. NIFU.

Gaskell, G and Wright, D (1997) Group differences for memory of a political event. In J.W. Pennebaker, D. Paez and D. Rime (eds) Collective memory of political events: Social psychological perspectives. New York: LEA.

O'Muircheartaigh, C, Gaskell, G and Wright, D. (1996). Weighing anchors:verbal and numeric labels for response scales. Journal of Official Statistics. 11, 3, 295-307.

Gaskell, G. (1996). On the lure of metrication: Attitudes and social representations. Papers on Social Representations. 5, no.1.

Gaskell, G. (1996). People's understanding of vague quantifiers. Survey Methods Centre Newsletter. vol. 16, no.2.

Gaskell, G, Wright, D and O'Muircheartaigh, C. (1995). Context effects in the measurement of attitudes: A comparison of the consistency and framing explanations. British Journal of Social Psychology, 34, 383-393.

Gaskell, G, Dockrell, J and Rehman, H. (1995). Community care for people with challenging behaviours and mild learning disability. An evaluation of an assessment and treatment unit. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 34, 385-395.

Dockrell, J, Gaskell, G, Normand, C and Rehman, H. (1995). An economic analysis of the resettlement of people with mild learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. Social Science and Medicine, 40, 7, 895-901.

Wright, D and Gaskell, G. (1995). Flashbulb memories: Conceptual and methodological issues. Memory, 3, 1, 67-80.

External links

* [ Gaskell's page at LSE]

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