Role of social science in society to be showcased by university

9 November 2015

people walking in corridor blurred colours

Programme of events to celebrate UK-wide Festival of Social Sciences 

A programme of events aimed at showcasing and celebrating the role of social sciences in our social, economic and political lives will be hosted by the University this week (7-14 November).

Taking place as part of the UK-wide ESRC Festival of Social Sciences, the events will demonstrate how social science is shaping responses to some of the most pressing challenges facing the modern world.

Organised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), academic institutions across the UK will use the week-long festival to showcase their social science research.

In Cardiff, the festival forms part of a long-standing 50-year relationship between the University and the ESRC, which has paved the way for ground-breaking research that has fed into policy-making in Wales, the UK and internationally.

The festival offers an important opportunity for the University to showcase its high-profile track record of social science, which includes several centres of excellence - including the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD), the Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), Public Policy Institute for Wales (PPiW), and the all-Wales ESRC Doctoral Training Centre.

The University is also in the process of establishing the world’s first Social Science Research Park (SPARK). This will see a major capital investment in facilities to support social science-led interdisciplinary research into innovative and effective solutions to pressing societal problems. SPARK will provide space and facilities for the co-location of external research collaborators alongside researchers from social sciences and other disciplines to promote creative new thinking and research.

The events included in the ESRC Festival of Social Science programme are:

  • ‘Sea Change: Visions of climate change’: an interactive exhibition using images and interviews to explore representations of sea-level change on the Severn Estuary (28 Oct-20 Nov)
  • A world of data: aimed at showing school students how to generate data and analyse and visualise it in a useful and meaningful way (10 Nov)
  • WISERD Data Portal Demonstration: showcasing how the WISERD Data Portal can be used by third sector organisations for Civil Society research (11 Nov)
  • DECIPHer SciSCREEN: The Perks of Being a Wallflower - a film screening of a coming-of-age story about a 15 year old male's struggle with mental health (13 Nov)

Further events taking place during the Festival week include:

  • CASCADE Looked after children and education research – the launch of new research on the educational aspirations of looked-after children in Wales (11 Nov)
  • WISERD Civil Society Seminar: Campaigning unions, Devolved government: reflections on state, unions and civil society (12 Nov)
  • Preventing Child Sexual Abuse: Lessons from research and the work of Stop it Now! Wales (12,13 Nov)
  • Community action research feedback session in Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown (13 Nov)

Professor Gill Bristow, Dean for Research, College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences said:  'The events planned in Cardiff as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences represent a fantastic opportunity to find out more about social science research here in Cardiff, and the many and important ways this research impacts on our communities and society'.


A list of the events open to the public, and details of how to book can be found here.