Michael is an award-winning Professor of Psychological Science at the University of Bristol (where he is also Head of Psychology). He is an author and science communicator who regularly appears on podcasts, radio, and television.
An expert in social interaction and relationships, Michael has worked as a social neuroscientist for over ten years. He studies affection, communication, empathy, sleep, and touch. He has received awards from the British Psychological Society and the European Society of Cognitive Psychology for outstanding contributions to psychological research.
Michael has also been recognised for his engagement with the public and industry. Michael is part of the Royal Society Industry Fellows College and commonly works with organisations to apply psychological science in the workplace. He also appears regularly in the media and has been featured across various outlets, including BBC, Cosmopolitan, ESPN, National Public Radio, Scientific American, The Times, Vice, and many more.
In 2020, Michael conducted one of the most extensive contemporary studies on what touch means in the modern world. The project was undertaken in collaboration with BBC Radio 4 and the Wellcome Collection. Almost 40,000 people from over 100 countries chose to take part. The results were presented in radio shows, podcasts, and features that Michael collaborated on. Michael’s first book, When We Touch (UK edition) / Touch Matters (US edition), draws on this ground-breaking research.