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South Wales students to become Quantitative Social Scientists for the day

27 October 2011

How happy are teenagers in South Wales compared to those in Africa? How does your sense of identity vary depending on region and gender?

These are some of the questions that Cardiff University researchers will consider with local teenagers at an interactive engagement event next week.

The one-day event - Who are we? From local to global citizens - is part of the nationwide Festival of Social Science funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Organised by the Cardiff School of Social Sciences and supported by the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD), the event aims to promote the use of quantitative social science among schools in South Wales.

More than 100 Key Stage 4 students from nine local schools, including Cantonian High School, Cathays High School, Ferndale Community School, Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, and Mary Immaculate Catholic High School, will learn about what social scientists attempt to discover about different groups in society and the different ways in which they try to find out. The results from an online survey, which was launched four weeks prior to the event, will be discussed at the workshops during the day and compared to similar surveys carried out in other parts of the world.

The teenagers will learn how to ask interesting social science research questions and develop an understanding of the principles of research and survey design. It is hoped that students will become enthused about higher education and its many benefits.

Mark Drakeford, Professor at the School of Social Sciences and AM for Cardiff West, will talk at the event about the contribution of social science and quantitative methods to understanding social life. He will also discuss how the sense of Welsh identity and use of the Welsh language vary by gender, age group and region.

The annual ESRC Festival of Social Science, now in its ninth year, celebrates some of the country’s leading social science research, showcasing the valuable work of the UK’s social scientists and demonstrate how their work has an impact on all our lives.

Events are taking place up and down the country throughout the week, all offering an insight into how social science research helps to shape social, economic and political policies, as well as showing the effect it has on our daily lives. The events enable researchers to engage with new audiences, including individuals from business, charities, policy, teenagers, pensioners, parents and the general public.


Notes to editors

1.Who are we? From local to global citizens’ takes place on Wednesday 2nd November from 10.00am – 2.30pm across various venues at Cardiff University. Full details are available here:

Mark Drakeford’s talk will take place at 1pm in the Wallace Lecture Theatre, Main Building, Cardiff University, CF10 3AT.

To attend all or part of the event, please contact Dr Sin Yi Cheung at or 029 2087 5449

2. ESRC Festival of Social Sciences

The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council which runs from 29 October to 5 November 2011. Events from some of the country's leading social scientists, the festival celebrates the very best of British Social Science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future. This year’s Festival of Social Science has over 130 creative and exciting events aimed at encouraging businesses, charities, government agencies; and schools or college students to discuss, discover and debate topical social science issues. Press releases detailing some of the varied events are available at the Festival website. You can now follow updates from the Festival on Twitter using #esrcfestival.

3. Cardiff School of Social Sciences

Cardiff School of Social Sciences is a large School with over 160 staff and a thousand undergraduate and postgraduate students. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise rated almost all of its research to be of an international standard with 55% of it either "world leading" or "internationally excellent". This rating, together with the size of the School, places it amongst the top five centres in the UK.

Our teaching is research led and also reflects the School’s inter-disciplinary focus. Here, undergraduates and postgraduates are taught about the latest ideas within the social sciences by internationally recognised scholars who are themselves shaping the future of their respective fields

The School is committed to theoretically informed research with a clear policy focus. Much of our research involves collaboration with major universities and international agencies around the world. It also involves us in local contacts with policy makers and practitioners. This creative combination of interests and practices is the hall mark of the School.

4. Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)

WISERD is jointly funded by the Welsh Assembly Government (HEFCW) and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to draw together and build upon the existing expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods and methodologies at Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Glamorgan and Swansea Universities.

Established in 2009, WISERD undertakes research and capacity building activities that underpin research infrastructure in the economic and social sciences across Wales and beyond.

Further information

Dr Sin Yi Cheung

Cardiff School of Social Sciences

Email: or

Tel: 029 2087 5449

Catrin Palfrey

Communications Officer

WISERD, Cardiff University


Tel: 029 2087 0026