Lance “Benny” Goodman

Msc Bsc (Hons) PGDE Cert.Ed RN RNT
/ Head of academic projects
/ Ghostwriter / Academic writer

We asked Our Head of Academic research: How did you arrive at Sustainability in Health, and how has your career shaped your approach to academic projects.

It was a very long path indeed, but each step was important. After seven years in the Fleet Air Arm working on helicopters, I changed my career to catch up with lost education. At age 23, It took two A levels to get a place at Plymouth Polytechnic to study for a BSc Sociology and Politics. This initial focus was the absolute foundation for everything else.

After graduation, I took three years to become a Registered General Nurse and gained seven years full-time in front line clinical experience.

In the early 1990s, I then studied for two teaching qualifications to join the School of Nursing as a Nurse Tutor. The School amalgamated with Plymouth University in 1996 when I became a senior lecturer in Nursing. I was awarded an MSc in Nursing in 1996.

The key time for sustainability education came in 2007 when I joined the University’s Centre for Sustainable Futures, and from that point, I combined my Sociological. Political and Sustainability interests to focus on its application in nursing.

This structured path built developed into an interest in researching and writing about sustainability and health via the perspective of critical sociological theory.

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Other interests:

Reading, Motorcycling, Cycling, Songwriting and performing (acoustic guitar).

Proudest Moment:

Being nationally recognised by the UK Nursing Research community and being invited to join the Nurse Education Today scientific panel.

Two Interesting Facts:

I experienced, and ignored, chest pains at the top of Mont Ventoux after cycling up four other French mountains. I came home two weeks later to discover I had a severe cardiac problem.

In 2001, I walked the Everest trail in Nepal a couple of months after 9/11 and had the walk to ourselves.

Biggest Achievement:

Having three undergraduate textbooks published in 2019. Topics include sustainability, critical theory and health.

Unfulfilled Dream:

Vanity suggests I should have completed a doctorate, and I have to admit to succumbing to this vanity. I later learned that others, such as the great cultural theorist Stuart Hall also did not have a PhD.

Advice to those looking to succeed in academia:

Nothing can replace the depth and breadth of reading across your subject, embracing multiple perspectives and theories. There is no short cut to this. At the same time, maintain a focus on your research interest but be open to the serendipity that wide reading provides. 

Write, write and write, hone those skills. Share your thoughts using informal as well as formal academic pathways. Network, connect and talk. 

Be systematic and rigorous and always be aware of confirmation bias and narrow thinking. Be critically reflexive and analytical; be clear about your epistemological and ontological assumptions. You will need to be tenacious and work through the at times tedious graft. Have faith in yourself; don’t let the arrogance of others put you down.