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Member Highlight: Gael Brule

  •  First, list your current professional title. Second, describe your background, experience, and research as it relates to Quality-of-life studies. Feel free to describe this in detail.

I am currently a researcher at the university of Neuchâtel and University of Rotterdam. I am originally a chemical engineer, I used to help companies and municipalities make their buildings and urban planning greener. Not all of it made sense to me though, and I wasn’t always happy at work so I decided to change and I started a PhD in the field of happiness studies with Ruut Veenhoven in Rotterdam, graduating in 2016. I am now a researcher at University of Neuchâtel, working on the links between wealth and subjective well-being (we know the links between income and SWB quite well, but so much how their possessions and what they own and their well-being). A collective book is going to be published soon (Springer). I also still keep a foot in the organizational world and work with companies, non-profits and public institutions.

  • What initially attracted you to the field of quality-of-life studies?

As an engineer, I used to like to solve problems whatever they would be. I felt intellectually attracted to work on happiness, which is such a complex topic, both universal and idiosyncratic. I also felt that any effort I would place in that topic would serve the general public. This was ten years ago and my initial motive hasn’t changed.

  • What are some areas of quality-of-life studies you feel are lacking attention? Any advice for future QoL researchers?

Although we are collectively improving, there is still so much more to do. For instance, the links between the characteristics of working space, buildings, cities and well-being are still largely unknown. How wealth rather than income influences subjective well-being is not very well understood. I also think there is still work to understand better the conditions of validity and comparability of subjective measures (that is the reason Filomena Maggino co-edited a book on the metrics of improvement: limits and improvement in 2017). Methodological challenges will be reinforced in the future with the enormous quantity of data coming from multiple sources (websites, social media…) and their very heterogeneous quality. Thus, I would say that data processing will be increasingly important in many fields, including ours.

  • How long have you been a member of ISQOLS? Why did you choose to be a member of ISQOLS? How has your involvement in ISQOLS impacted your career/research/advancement in your knowledge of QoL studies?

I have been linked to ISQOLS since Venice 2012. All the good things that happened to me in the last years, including personally are at least remotely connected to the people I met with regards to quality of life. I think ISQOLS has a central role to play in the field, and I think this role could expand beyond academic circles.

  • Feel free to include any other important comments or things you'd like to share with the ISQOLS community.

Looking forward to see you in Granada !


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