The Economic and Social Research Council’s Festival of Social Science 2015 will highlight the impact of social science research on people’s lives over the past 50 years.
More than 200 free events, aimed at everyone from schoolchildren to policymakers up and down the UK, will celebrate social science and the impact research has had on the big issues facing people both today and over the last half century.
Running from 7 to 14 November, the festival this year includes public debates, conferences, workshops, interactive seminars, film screenings, virtual exhibitions, performances and much more.
There will be 222 events in all across the whole of the UK. The festival aims to demonstrate how research, supported by the ESRC, has an impact on business, the public sector and civil society, and contributes to the economic competitiveness of the UK, the effectiveness of public services, and the quality of life.
Events during the festival provide an insight into research dealing with themes such as:
- A special orchestra for people with dementia has helped boost their confidence and mood. ‘Creativity and dementia: making a connection’. 11 November, Poole.
- Unaccompanied children claiming asylum in the UK are left ‘feeling like criminals’ after hostile questioning by officials. ‘Home and away: migrant and refugee resettlement in the UK’. 13 November, Brighton.
- Why our brains make mistakes when looking for weapons in airport X-ray scans. ‘Spotting weapons in baggage x-rays’. 10 November, Fordingbridge.
- Prisoners’ lives can be significantly improved – and sometimes even saved – for the price of a stamp. ‘Prisoner wellbeing and the experience of punishment’. 14 November, Coventry.
- Europe’s failure to honour its Arab Spring promises endangers regional stability. ‘Uprisings: political attitudes in seven Arab nations’, 12 November, Aberdeen.
The Festival is now in its thirteenth year. Since its launch in 2003 thousands of events have been organised, attracting more than a million members of the public. In recent years audience numbers have grown rapidly from nearly 5,000 in 2008 to over 20,000 in 2014.
Jane Elliott, ESRC Chief Executive, said: “During the past 13 years the range of events has grown enormously so that the festival now helps demonstrate the breadth of the work supported by the ESRC, and this year will provide a focus for celebrating 50 years of quality, impact, and independence.”