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Annual conference to review the economic and social science landscape in Wales

22 June 2011

A major social science conference exploring the landscape of a ‘Changing Wales’ within social, economic and political contexts is taking place in Swansea next week.

The Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods’ (WISERD) second annual summer conference, will reflect on the institute’s interdisciplinary working methods and feature an array of speakers from academia, central and local government, and third sector agencies.

A key topic under discussion at the conference will be an analysis of the economic contribution of major events in Wales, where Rob Holt (Chief Executive of Ryder Cup Wales 2010) will reflect on the value of the Ryder Cup. The session will also look at the wider public policy implications of major events and to developing methodologies to measure the impact of similar events in the future.

Another session will address the concept of ‘behaviour change’ within a Welsh context. Clive Bates, Director General of Sustainable Futures at the Welsh Assembly Government, will be joined by Cardiff University’s Professor Ken Peattie to review the work being undertaken around behaviour change in Wales and its potential to offer improved policy outcomes.

Academics based at Cardiff will also lead a discussion on the relationship between ageing and place in Wales; in terms of poverty in rural places, social inclusion, material hardships and cultural denials.

Dr Catrin Redknapp of the Welsh Language Board will chair a talk on bilingualism and linguistic behaviour in Wales, exploring how bilingual consumers process marketing messages and the sociolinguistic issues of working in a bilingual environment.

Other themes to be covered over the two-day conference include; Inequality in Wales, Poverty and Homelessness, Education and Health in Wales, Migration, Tourism, Citizenship, Criminology and Devolution, Participation and Civil Society, and Skills and Employment.

Professor Charlotte Williams, Professor of Social Justice at Keele University will open the conference with a keynote address on the theme of race and equality in social research in Wales. The conference will close with a special lecture from WISERD Director, Professor Gareth Rees, on higher education, social mobility and locality in Wales.

Professor Rees commented: "The WISERD Conference is becoming established as the major ‘shop window’ for social science research in Wales, providing an opportunity for researchers to engage across Wales and with policy-makers and the public more widely."

WISERD is a collaborative venture between the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Glamorgan and Swansea.

Funded by the Higher Education Funding Council of Wales (HEFCW) and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), WISERD has established itself as a leading centre for social science research excellence since its creation in 2008.


Notes to Editors

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places were announced by the University in 2010.

Further information

1. ‘Changing Wales: Social, Economic and Political Perspectives’ takes place on Tuesday June 28th and Wednesday June 29th in Sketty Hall, Swansea. A full programme can be viewed here.

2. The Conference will feature a pre-conference screening of the film "Sleep Furiously" (2008) on Monday 27th June, 7pm, at the Taliesin Centre, Swansea University Campus. The film will be introduced by the director, Dr Gideon Koppel, who will also be available for a Q&A session after the film.

3. For more information about WISERD and the conference visit:

Or contact:

Dr Claire O'Neill
WISERD Training and Research Capacity Building Co-ordinator
Tel: 02920 875345

Catrin Palfrey

Public Relations Assistant


Tel: 02920 870293