The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith. The official website of the Baha'i Faith is: Bahai.org. The official website of the Baha'is of the United States can be found here: Bahai.us.
Duncan A. Thomas hails from the coal and steel mining valleys of South Wales, UK. He was only the third member of his family to attend university, when he went in the 1990s to study physics at Imperial College London (a seeming ‘calling’ that he later both turned out to rather dislike, and not to be very good at!). Duncan soon switched track, slightly, by being appointed as a trainee electronic engineer at Thorn EMI Central Research Laboratories (which was first directed by TV pioneer Isaac Schoenberg, made the first stereophonic sound recordings of The Beatles, though made little money out of them at the time, and shared in the Nobel Prize awarded to Sir Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield CBE FRS, for co-inventing the X-ray CT scan). Finding he was lousy at coming with novel commercial ideas, Duncan quickly returned to academia, and continued his studies at the University of Manchester, England. When Manchester also turned out to be a ‘career limiting’ place after 20 years there, Duncan then moved his family to hopeful new horizons in Denmark, before rather abruptly moving them all back to the UK suddenly in 2023! During rather truncated 4-year sojourn in Denmark, Duncan worked at Aarhus University. This was in a social sciences area called research policy. This involves examining how science is organized, funded and evaluated and how this all slowly affects what social impacts can accrue from public or public-private partnered research. Thanks to the earlier, and far superior foresight of a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill colleague, Duncan also co-developed two online courses on water supply and sanitation planning and policy, during his Manchester ‘era’. These courses, happily, are freely available on Coursera. Duncan is a born dabbler, so he has repeatedly, yet seemingly unsuccessfully, tried to advance and support the multimedia presence and needs of the worldwide Bahá’í community. One example of this was role as assistant producer for the UK Bahá’í video website, Web Channel 9. Duncan also runs a (recently rather quiet, no pun intended) YouTube channel about electric cars and bicycles, called Zero Tailpipe. Finally, Duncan enjoys writing and performing many kinds of music. He previously led a collaborative music project called Soul Ladder and wrote (amateur) choral material that got graciously performed by the Bahá’í Choir of the UK. For BahaiTeachings, Duncan is excited to use this amazing resource and platform to learn how to better his, his friends and his colleagues’ work and personal perspectives related to or inspired by Bahá’í themes. Lastly, one of Duncan’s unrequited service prospects is in future to produce animated stories for children. This could be on any kind of fun, animated, light-hearted and inspiring content for children that someone would actually be prepared to fund him to create. This picks up on ideas Duncan first explored by co-producing a pilot about the oneness of humanity (for a pilot shown to SoulPancake in Hollywood; now part of Participant media). Duncan currently works at the award-winningTobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath. There he serves to elevate the group’s policy and research impact. This includes its Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported, rigorously research-based knowledge exchange platform (TobaccoTactics.org).