John Drury is a social psychologist whose research focuses on crowd behaviour. He is particularly interested in (i) the psychological changes such as empowerment that may take place through participation in conflictual collective action (riots and non-violent direct actions) (ii) solidarity and resilience in mass emergencies, and (iii) responses to situations of crowding. Some of the crowd events he has researched and published on include the poll tax riot, the No M11 anti roads campaign, the evacuation of the World Trade Center, the July 7th London bombings, the Hillsborough disaster, and the Fatboy Slim beach parties in Brighton in 2002 and 2007. With his PhD students he is currently looking at crowd behaviour on the Muslim Hajj, crowd reactions to mass decontamination, and the Greek anti-austerity movement. He teaches a module on crowd safety management to professionals involved in the events industry and is the editor (with Clifford Stott) of a forthcoming book bringing together crowd researchers from different disciplines, Crowds in the 21st century: Perspectives from contemporary social science (Routledge).
Middle East revolutions: hopes and fears?
"I thought the Battle of Ideas was wonderful. Especially the extent and quality of audience participation. I can't imagine how I missed this exciting forum for exchange of ideas in the past. I will certainly not miss another one and look forward already to 2012 Battle of Ideas."
Professor Marilyn Monk, emeritus professor of molecular embryology, University College London