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Dr. Eolene Boyd-McMillan

Dr.  Eolene  Boyd-McMillan

Senior Research Associate

Co-director of IC Thinking

Eolene Boyd-McMillan is accepting applications for PhD students.


Eolene has a background in adult and child counselling, policy research, and government. Her inter-disciplinary (psychology and theology) PhD thesis at the Divinity Faculty focused on personal change through conflict and she formed the ‘ID-Group’ (Inter-Disciplinary Group, with two other doctoral students), which was awarded CRASSH funding. After completing her doctorate, she was involved in developing a proto-type IC intervention as a Research Associate in the Psychology and Religion Research Group (PRRG), University of Cambridge, invited to design and teach an inter-disciplinary course in the School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, and developed a week long IC intervention delivered annually over eight years at Ripon College Cuddesdon, University of Oxford. She has been directing research projects for over a decade.

Eolene is Co-Founder, Co-Director of IC Thinking (Cambridge) Ltd:  YouTube: I SEE! Scotland

Dr David Good is the PI to current IC Thinking research projects. 

Research Interests

My research focuses on reducing social polarisation, destructive conflict, sectarianism, and violent extremisms through the development and empirical assessment of interoceptive ‘IC’ (integrative complexity; Suedfeld & Tetlock, 2014) interventions with manual-based professional training for delivery in a range of contexts with very diverse population groups. This focus involves the creation and facilitation of on-going feedback loops between research and practice, through collaborative partnerships across disciplines and organisations, as new research changes practice and applied practice elicits further research questions. The research-practice feedback loops link with on-going policy development, for example, the international second wave of preventing violent extremisms through public mental health promotion within a health framework (DeMarinis, 2018). My colleagues (Dr Sara Savage, Dr Jose Liht, others) and I draw on cognitive science, social psychology, and social neuroscience theory to design experiential, multi-media, IC group interventions tested for changes in IC, resilience, empathy, and other health markers. Assessments have found significant changes among students aged eleven and above, professionals such as mediators, police, school and prison staff, community and youth workers, and those in other life situations. Current collaborative partnerships involve school and NGO contexts in Sweden, secondary schools and communities in Northern Ireland, and the development of digital resources. 


  • Conflict preparation/ transformation
  • Public mental health promotion
  • Polarisations, sectarianism, extremisms
  • Metacognition
  • Applied participatory research
  • Meta-awareness
  • Social Neuroscience
  • Embodied cognition


Key Publications

DeMarinis, V, Nordendahl, M, Arnetz, B, Arnetz, J, Sandlund, M, Näslund, U,  Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2018). Research Plan Report for the Pilot Study on Integrative Complexity (IC) Thinking in Sweden: a health promotion course/intervention for countering extremism for youth and young adults. Umeå University, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Umeå: Regional Ethics Committee 2018-report number 463-31.

Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2017). The vicious cycle of extremisms and polarisations (keynote). Published proceedings: Local Institutions against violent extremism II (LIASE 2): The rise of polarisation and radicalisation in Europe: Tackling all forms of violent extremism at the local level. European Forum for Urban Security 19th May 2017, Rimini, Italy.

Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2017). IC Thinkers are prepared for Digital Citizenship. Keynote address delivered March, 2017. Denmark Learning Festival, Copenhagen. Published proceedings. 

Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2016). IC Thinking: Critical thinking and media literacy. Keynote address delivered April, 2016, The Hague. Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, The Netherlands. Published proceedings. 

Boyd-MacMillan, E., Campbell, C., & Furey, A. (2016). An IC intervention for post-conflict Northern Ireland secondary schools. Journal of Strategic Security, 9(4), 111-124. [hyperlink

Boyd-MacMillan, E., Andrews Fearon, P., Ptolomey, A., & Mathieson, L. (2016). I SEE! Scotland: Tackling sectarianism and promoting community psychosocial health. Journal of Strategic Security, 9(4), 53-78. [hyperlink:]

Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2016). Increasing cognitive complexity and collaboration across communities: Being Muslim Being Scottish. Journal of Strategic Security, 9(4), 79 -110. [hyperlink

Andrews Fearon, P. & Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2016). Complexity under stress: Integrative approaches to overdetermined vulnerabilities. Journal of Strategic Security, 9(4), 11-31. [hyperlink:

Savage, S. & Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2010). Conflict in Relationships: Understand it, Overcome it, London: Lion Hudson, Plc.

Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2009). ‘Vision in the Eye of the Beholder: Translation or Transformation?’ N. van Deusen (Ed.) Dreams and Visions, The Netherlands: Brill Publications.

Boyd-MacMillan, E., Savage, S., & Liht, J. (2008). Transforming Conflict: Conflict Transformation Amongst Senior Church Leaders with Different Theological Stances, York: FCL Press.

Hampson, P. & Boyd-MacMillan, E. (2008) ‘Turning the Telescope Around: Reciprocity in Psychology-Theology Dialogue’ in Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 30, 93-113.

Boyd-MacMillan, E., (2006) Transformation: James Loder, Mystical Spirituality, and James Hillman, Oxford: PeterLang, AG.