Peter Reason - Research Action

Action Research | Panpsychic Inquiry | Nature Writing

As Director of the Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice at the University of Bath, England, I was an international leader in the development of participative approaches to action research. In these forms of experiential inquiry all are co-researchers, contributing both to the thinking that forms the research and to the action that is its subject. I contributed to the articulation of a participatory worldview, and published widely, co-editing the Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice and co-founded the journal Action Research.

Since retiring from full time academic work, I have focused on writing books and articles that link the tradition of nature writing with the ecological crisis of our times, drawing on scientific, ecological, philosophical, and spiritual sources. I undertook two ecological pilgrimages at sea; explores the place of art and poetry in a time of ecological catastrophe; writes and sings ‘songs for the Earth’; and is currently engaged in series of experiential and co-operative inquiries exploring living cosmos panpsychism in relation to Rivers.

Action Research In Bath With Peter Reason

Action Research

Action Research is research with people rather than on people. The form I have been most associated with is co-operative inquiry. This is collaborative inquiry which brings together action and reflection, theory and practice, to find practical solutions to issues of pressing concern to people; and to support the flourishing of individuals, their communities, and the ecologies in which they live. Action Research is about power and knowledge, extending the right and capacity to create knowledge beyond the academy to include otherwise excluded groups of humans.
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Ecology Writing By Peter Reason

Ecological Writing

After retirement from academic life, I completed the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Now seeing myself primarily as a ‘writer’, I draw on the tradition of nature writing explore humans as part of the living ecology of the planet, as plain members of the community of life. I wrote Spindrift and In Search of Grace, wrote a regular column for Resurgence & Ecologist; and contributed to EarthLines, GreenSpirit, Zoomorphic, LossLit, The Island Review, and The Clearing.
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Book Reviews By Peter Reason

Book Reviews

I am an active reviewer of non-fiction and nature writing, in particular for Resurgence & Ecologist and Shiny New Books. I like to review books that have engaging descriptions of experience of the more-than-human world and set these within a well-articulated philosophy. Reviewing helps me keep up with at least some of the literature and cast a sympathetic but critical eye on other people’s writing.
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Pilgrimage By Peter Reason


A pilgrimage is a journey of moral or spiritual significance, undertaken in response to deep questions and a yearning for answers from a realm beyond the everyday. A religious pilgrimage can be described as a search for a holy realm and a direct encounter with the sacred. An ecological pilgrimage can be seen as a search for experience of deep participation with the earth and her creatures. I undertook two major pilgrimages in my little yacht Coral to the west coast of Ireland and Scotland.
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Art & Ecology By Peter Reason

Art & Ecology

“What can poetry say in a time of catastrophe?” asks the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. His question inspires the one I have asked with artist Sarah Gillespie and other artists and poets. Can artful, poetic expression of the human entanglement with other beings and the Earth itself help bring about the changes in worldview demanded by the ecological catastrophe of our times?
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Sentient By Peter Reason

Panpsychic Inquiry

Over the past four years, with colleagues and in association with Schumacher College, I have extended the humanist focus of co-operative inquiry to seek collaboration between humans and our kin in the more-than-human world, working mainly with Rivers. This work has been guided by living cosmos panpsychism and kinship ecology. We have asking questions of the kind: What is it like to live in a world of sentient beings rather than inert objects? How do we relate to such a world? And as we invoke such a world of sentient presence, calling to other-than-human beings as persons, might we elicit a response?
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Response To Rise

Response to Rise is a cultural and arts engagement with the ecological catastrophe of our times, a poetic response to Rise: From one island to another, produced by campaigning organization In the video two young women poets, one from the Marshall Islands and one from Greenland, connect their realities of rising sea levels and melting glaciers, using their poetry to showcase the linkages between their homelands in the face of climate change. Poets in the Bath area were so moved by the video that they created this poetic response.
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Songs By Peter Reason


When picked up my guitar again a few years ago, I wondered what kinds of songs to sing. So many are about human love and loss, which at approaching 80 and over 50 years of marriage don’t seem quite appropriate. Remembering Rilke's injunction that 'The more looked at world wants to be nourished by love'; and because so much of my attention is bound up with the plight of Earth and the unfolding ecological catastrophe, I realized that, with the poet Mary Oliver, I can say ‘my work is loving the world’ and my songs are Songs for Earth.
Listen To My Songs


Three blog streams here: Narratives from ongoing Panpsychic inquiries; Past and future Pilgrimages; One Hundred Objects - description of household objects that have particular value through the memories they hold.
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Swans By Peter Reason