Tiffany Watt-Smith is a British Academy research fellow at the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University of London. She is the author of two books, The Book of Human Emotion (UK; Profile, 2015; US, Little, Brown, 2016) and On Flinching (OUP, 2014).
Her current research The Human Copying Machine explores the history of the compulsion to imitate one another, from the early Victorian science of Phrenology's 'Organ of Imitation' to mirror neurons. She is particularly interested in the intersections between theatrical performance and scientific experiments in creating knowledge of Darwin’s Flinch: Sensation Theatre and Scientific Looking in 1872 about compulsive copying.
Before her career in research, Tiffany worked as a professional theatre director, including as International Associate Director at the Royal Court and was a recipient of the Jerwood Award for Directors. Occasionally she still collaborates on theatre projects, most recently at the National Theatre Studio. She is one of this year's AHRC-BBC New Generation Thinkers.