This month, we meet Richard Mole, who is Professor of Political Sociology and the Director of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies.
- Hello! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at UCL.
I am a Professor of Political Sociology and the Director of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies.
- What are you most looking forward to working on over the coming months?
Going through the data on populism and homophobia I have been collecting over the past three years.
- What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
Something with languages, probably. Before I started my PhD, I used to work as a translator for a Swiss bank. The subject matter wasn’t particularly exciting but I enjoyed the exercise of producing text in English that didn’t read as if it started life as a document in German.
- What are your main interests outside work?
Travelling, cooking, eating, drinking wine, walking my dog, hanging out with friends – the usual.
- If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Confit of duck with mashed potatoes
- What would people be surprised to discover about you?
I once auditioned for an episode of Dallas.
- Where are you happiest?
On the sofa with my husband and my dog.
- What’s your favourite city, and why?
Berlin. It’s a beautiful city, architecturally. It’s an interesting mix of East and West. And I love that so many of the shops, cafes and restaurants are independently owned rather than chains.
- How was lockdown(s) for you and what did you learn from it?
It could have been a lot worse. I learned that having a garden in London is a godsend.
- Tell us a joke!
A Glaswegian goes to the dentist and settles down in the chair.
‘Comfy?’ asks the dentist.
‘Govan,’ he replies.