Rachel Seabrook
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Rachel coding

Hello, if you're interested in knowing a bit more about me, here goes...

I have a background in
I have a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Oxford University and a DPhil in Cognitive Psychology from Sussex University. I worked as a research associate at Warwick University, before getting a lectureship at Oxford Brookes University. There I taught Research Methods and Statistics to both undergraduate and postgraduate students in Psychology.
science communication

I worked as Research Manager at the Institute for Alcohol Studies for a few years, where I conducted research on the affordability of alcohol, promplting the ONS to changet he way they measured it after I found a mistake in their methods (but not as much as I would have liked; there are some measures in the National Accounts that are frankly weird, and should be left there and never taken out of context).

I spoke to journalists for print, radio and television when they needed an expert to comment on an alcohol news story. I also learned a great deal about political lobbying by the alcohol industry.

, a commitment to
reducing my impact on the environment
I gave up paid work and moved to Wales, to a cottage in the hills with a little bit of land for growing veg, to try to live a more self-sufficient life. It turned out that I'm not much of a gardener, but I learnt a great deal about plants, particularly wild ones, as I got increasingly intereted in foraging. I also learnt about fermentation, both in the narrow sense of making booze, and in the broader sense of microbes transforming things: In the kitchen as food preservation, and in the garden to make compost, the ultimate foundation of life. I documented my various adventures and experiments in my blog, Growing Things and Making things.
, and a passionate desire to
change the world for the better.

I have always been a socialist. I was brought up to believe in fairness and the right of all people to have a say in how they are governed; that the aim of government is to achieve the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people, and that distribution of resources should be, "From each according to their means, to each according to their needs." These fundamental ideas have guided me throughout my whole life.

When Jeremy Corbyn stood for leader of the Labour Party in the UK, I thought he had no chance: He didn't look like a politician. He didn't have the polish and smooth-talking presentation of a politician. What he did have, as far as I could tell, was principles aligned with mine and the honesty and integrity to defend them, even if it did make him unpopular. I wanted to support him. So, it turned out, did a great many other people.

This desire has led me to give a great deal of my time over the last five years to the Labour Party, where I have learned a great deal about the machinery of politics. I have worked - and continue to work - to promote democracy.

I'm aware that stating my political affiliation upfront will lead some to dismiss what I have to say on plitically-related matters, but it would be dishonest not to. We all have our biases; some are more open about it than others.

I have an eclectic range of skills and interests, and this is reflected in this website. My love of the natural world and a desire to slow down and appriate it leads me to share Moments of Stillness videos. My passion for getting to the bottom of a story and understanding things for myself leads me to share the tools for doing so, in my How to Read the News videos (forthcoming). Many things interest me, and I share my thoughts in a haphazard manner on my blog, Living in the Land Where Clouds are Born.