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BA Funded

We are funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme. The research team are from Loughborough University

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Mental Health

We investigate the emotional health of astronauts on space missions.

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In the News

Our research has been covered by News Media

About the project

Astronauts experience poor mental health despite their military grade training. In this project we investigate why poor mental health persists in space-work using a novel combination of critical, social and emotion theory. We focus on emotional health because it is missing from space research as well as the cognate field of systems science which has recognised the importance of emotion. Emotional health is fundamental to mental health and cognitive function. We propose a humanistic, critical examination which investigates the organisational, social, systemic and technical conditions that constrain and enable space travellers’ emotional health. We will conduct primary research comprised of interviews with space programme participants. This project will impact current debates on emotional health in space and also draw implications for mental health in similar extreme environments by developing a group of researchers and stakeholders, publications, knowledge dissemination and outreach events.  

The Team

Dr Patrick Stacey (PI)

Patrick Stacey is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Information Management (CIM) at Loughborough University. His research focuses on the humanistic side of systems design and use. He employs a range of analytical lenses to systems phenomena, including structuration theory, appraisal theory, Kantian philosophy and Archerian reflexivity. Such research is partly based on external grants he has from the British Academy and Leverhulme. He is head of the Space Research Group at Loughborough, guest editor at Sustainability, and Senior Editor at IT & People. He is a visiting associate professor at the University of British Columbia.

Dr Dan Sage (Co-I)

Dan Sage is Reader in Organisation Studies in the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University. He is broadly interested in understanding power, politics and inequalities in organisations. His research has spanned various empirical contexts, including construction, the creative industries, aerospace and emergency response. This research has been published across the social sciences and has been funded by external grants from the ESRC, EPSRC and British Academy. 

Dr Martin Sykora (Co-I)

Martin Sykora is Associate Professor in the Centre for Information Management (CIM) at Loughborough University. He has an extensive world leading track record in data science, with particular expertise in sentiment analysis, semantic methods and natural language processing. His research has included work funded by the British Ministry of Defence research arm DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Lab), Met Police, and major research funding bodies across the UK, Canada and European Union. His work led to several high impact industry applications and was published in numerous top tier journals and conferences.

Dr Suzanne Elayan (Co-I)

Suzanne Elayan is a lecturer (assistant professor) in Information Management at the Centre for Information Management (CIM) at Loughborough University. Her work revolves around computational social media research and sentiment analysis within their various applications. Her expertise lies in utilising a mixed-methods approach to design and develop semantic models that are used to detect and measure emotional affects mostly in unstructured big data. Suzanne’s semantic models have been utilised for exploring language related to mental health with numerous publications in the field. She has worked on major research projects funded by the European Union, British Ministry of Defence research arm DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Lab), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada, and the Swiss School of Public Health among others.

Dr Nina M. Jörden (Research Assistant)

Nina M. Jörden is a Research Associate at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge.