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Event guide

Our guide to the events taking place in Cardiff University this year.

This year's Festival of Social Science will also have a launch event (registration required) where Cardiff University will showcase different Social Science research throughout Wales.

Saturday 2 November, 10:30-16:30, St Fagans National Museum of History
Organiser: Dr Poppy Nicol

The event will offer members of the public a rare opportunity for a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of the St Fagans’ archives, focusing on the work of ethnographer Anne Elizabeth Williams who travelled around Wales collecting information on traditional herbal medicines and remedies by recording oral histories and taking written accounts.

The event will also develop participants’ botanical knowledge, and raise their awareness of the wild and cultivated plants growing in Wales through a guided walk of the St Fagans’ estate with a qualified herbalist.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore their creativity in the ‘imagination lab’, and learn from a range of experts about the historical role of plants in health and well-being, including Dr. Laurence Totelin.

The event is free and includes a tasty lunch. Find out more and book your place

  • Saturday 2 November, 10:00-17:00, St Fagans National Museum of History
  • Sunday 3 November, 10:00-17:00, St Fagans National Museum of History
  • Monday 4 November, 10:00-17:00, St Fagans National Museum of History

OrganiserDr Ellie Byrne

Anchor Peoples emerges from a project which was part of an ESRC funded research programme entitled Productive Margins: Regulating for Engagement. The term productive margins embodies an understanding that people and communities excluded from participation in the regulatory regimes that impact upon their daily lives have expertise, experience and creativity that can be politically productive. It was a programme that sought to co-produce research projects that mattered to the community partners that participated.

The two participating community organisations in South Wales were created by local people for the benefit of their local communities 20 and 40 years ago. The organisations developed ways of working that earned the trust of the local people they served. As community organisations anchored in the everyday lives of the people around them, they became the vehicle for the Welsh flagship regeneration (and latterly) anti-poverty programme, Communities First.

The project became witness to the disruption that was felt in these communities when Communities First - and the state funding that came with it - came to an end.

In response to this, Art station has developed a complementary and provocative artwork. These giant portraits stare, they laugh, they provoke and they speak. They are at once representations of individual, real people, but collectively they also represent the life force of ‘community’.

Each standing portrait has a QR code on its back which allows you to access recordings of individual member’s voices on your smartphone. Earphones provide an immersive walk-about soundtrack, the composition of which is derived directly from the data collected in this research.

Participants will be encouraged to respond to the particular issues the exhibition raises, whilst a more formal ‘conversation’ will focus on the politics of participation, regulation and marginalisation.

Register your place at ANCHOR PEOPLES Exhibition and conversations

Monday 4 November, 12:30-16:00, Cardiff University
OrganiserDr Alison Parken and Professor Rachel Ashworth

Gender pay inequalities arise from complex causes but occupational segregation is a significant contributor. The uneven distribution of men and women between sectors, occupations, grades, contract types (permanent/temporary, fixed term/casual), and by full or part time working patterns, combines to create gender pay disparities.

Even when employers operate best practice in relation to pay systems and job evaluation, the evidence shows that gender segregation in society and the economy can be pulled into, and reproduced within, employment structures within organisations.

The Welsh Specific Equality Duty on ‘pay differences’ uniquely requires public sector employers in Wales to produce a combined workforce and pay analysis so that they can understand how gendered jobs, working hours, contract types and grades sustain gender pay gaps. This analysis enables employers to act.

Please not this event is invitation only.

Monday 4 November, exhibit opens 10:00-19:00 and the event starts 17:30 -19:00, Lower Level Exhibition Space, Queens Arcade, Queen St, Cardiff

Organiser: Cascade Voices - A collaboration between Voices from Care Cymru and CASCADE, Cardiff University

Join us for an exhibition showcasing ‘Protest Art’ created by young people with experience of being in care. Young people from the CASCADE Voices research advisory group reflected on their priority areas for research, policy and practice to come up with ‘Protest’ placards and banners.

The exhibition will feature individual artwork specifically produced for this event, as well other resources created previously with care-experienced young people as part of CASCADE (Children’s Social care research and development center) research projects.

The exhibition will be available all-day Monday 4 November with a showcase event from 17:30.

We hope this event will provide an opportunity to promote the voices of young people, showcase work of social scientists in Cardiff University, develop wider links with the community, and generate wider public involvement in research.

Register your place at Cascade Voices

Tuesday 5 November, 09:00-12:30, Main Building, Cardiff University
Organiser: Peter Gee

The School Health Research Network (SHRN) strives to improve the health and well-being of young people. Healthy School Practitioners (HSP) play a key role in ensuring that good health becomes an integrated part of the school curriculum, the organisation and the ethos of the school, and that the wider community.

Pupil feedback is key, in ensuring the Network supports the needs of schools. At this event, HSPs and pupils from schools in the Vale of Glamorgan can share best practice, identify opportunities for improvement and learn more about the Network’s research.

Registration details will follow shortly.

  • Tuesday 5 November, 17:00-19:00, Big Moose Cardiff
  • Thursday 7 November, 17:00-19:00, Castle Hotel, Merthyr Tydfil

Organiser: Emyr Williams

The first event will be held with the general public in the Valleys area. Come along to our interactive workshops and learn all about the results of our research. After a talk detailing our findings, there will be interactive sessions and facilitated discussions with different groups to explore people’s views on:

  • Whether our proposed democratic innovations are desirable
  • What types of innovations would be best suited to which organisations / areas
  • Who would be interested in being involved in taking the research forward into the practical implementation stage.

The results of these workshops to identify people and organisations who are interested in taking this work forward, and explore opportunities for multiple democratic innovation pilots across Wales.

Register for Tuesday 5 November

Register for Thursday 7 November

Wednesday 6 November, 18:00-20:00, Littleman Coffee Co, Cardiff
Organiser: Dr Nicole Koenig-Lewis and Dr Carmela Bosangit

This event will give the public the opportunity to hear about the latest research on the motivations for, and barriers preventing the buying and renting of pre-owned goods. Audience members will also hear from small start-up companies who have put fighting over consumption and excessive waste at the heart of their business.

An interactive panel discussion with platform owners and academic researchers will encourage participants to reflect upon whether sustainability plays a part in their consumption. Ultimately, we hope that the event will inspire people to act more sustainably in the future.

Register for Renting pre-owned goods

Wednesday 6 November, 17:00-19:00, Cardiff High School
Organiser: Emmajane Milton

This event will comprise of an interactive workshop with contributions from all participants exploring key themes from research findings. It will create a space for free and frank debate focused on the value of research to inform and support educative mentoring to develop pedagogical practice in Wales.

The rationale for this session is focused on beginning to address the conflicted understandings among stakeholders about ‘research’ and its potential to impact on teachers’ practice for the benefits of learners, and the resources and sources of expertise required to support teachers and educational professionals as enquirers.

The aim is to engage participants to critique the ‘what works’ agenda, and think strategically about the implications of research findings for achieving principled change in practice within their own education contexts – as teacher education providers and as school practitioners.

Research extracts, quotations, data samples and tables would be used as sources for the gallery exercise to provoke participant responses and debate the contribution of the material to designing professional learning that can lead to improved outcomes for learners.

Registration details will follow shortly.

Wednesday 6 November, 17:00-20:00, Postgraduate Teaching Centre, Cardiff Business School

The global food system is facing unprecedented challenges, with huge implications for health, environment and economy. But shifting contexts in the UK present producers, processors and retailers with positive opportunities.

How can these be harnessed to create new synergies between sustainable consumption and production, potentially setting agri-food onto more secure and sustainable paths?

By bringing together key actors in the agri-food sector this event will explore innovative new approaches to the challenges faced by the global food system.


  • Prof Terry Marsden, Director, Sustainable Places Research Institute
  • Dr Hannah Pitt, Sêr Cymru II Research Fellow. Project Lead, Knowing to Grow
  • Dr Angelina Sanderson-Bellamy, Cardiff University. Project Lead, T-GRAINS: Transforming and Growing Relationships within regional food systems for Improved Nutrition and Sustainability
  • Huw Thomas. Puffin Produce
  • Andy Richardson: Volac/Chairman, Welsh Government, Food & Drink Board
  • Bob Kennard. Sustainable Food Trust

Register for Food systems resilience and transformations

Thursday 7 November, 19:30-21:00, St Paul’s Centre, Port Talbot
Organiser: Dr Christopher Groves

This event builds on social science research conducted as part of the multidisciplinary FLEXIS project, run by Cardiff, Swansea and South Wales universities. FLEXIS is developing demonstrator projects focused on decarbonising our energy system, and is using Port Talbot as a locus for technology development.

We will present results from 5 community workshops, conducted in 2019 in Port Talbot. The workshops focused on four potential energy scenarios for the future that the FLEXIS social science team have developed.

In the workshops, participants used community maps to identify issues relevant to place, and evaluated the desirability or otherwise of the energy scenarios.

This event will feature presentations and discussions about the community mapping activity, and will give attendees the opportunity to explore and evaluate the two scenarios that have previously excited most interest among workshop participants. Through discussions of maps and scenarios, we aim to link the desirability of particular pathways for broad socio-technical change (decarbonisation of power, heat and transport) to the specific social and geographical character of places.

Register for Redesigning low carbon energy futures in Port Talbot

Friday 8 November, 10:00-14:30, School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University
Organiser: Tallulah Machin and Lucy Jenkins

This event builds on work by the MFL Student Mentoring Project in Wales, which explores the theme of the multilingual self. It will include a pupil workshop with activities based on identity and language. Creative research methods will also be used to research how pupils view their multilingual selves.

The event will conclude with a round table discussion where teachers who participated in the project and key stakeholders will examine the wider impact that the project has had on the school body and culture.

Registration details will follow shortly.

Saturday 9 November, 10:00-17:00, Cathays Community Centre, Cardiff
Organiser: Alice Taherzadeh

At the Sustainable Places Research Institute, we are interested in how social movements are instrumental in spreading and developing the knowledge and skills needed for a sustainable future. How do radical farmers develop and share sustainable agricultural practices? How do social movements scale up across networks through different training approaches? And what can formal institutions, including schools and universities learn from these various pedagogical approaches, embedded in social justice and active citizenship?

This one-day interactive event focuses on the broad range of learning and training practices employed by social movements, grassroots networks and community groups. Through showcasing research on ‘Social Movement Learning,’ and including interactive workshops run by activists part of local, national and international movements, we aim to open up a space for teachers, lecturers and community organisers to learn from these creative and horizontal approaches to learning and training. We invite local groups to share their own practices, and engage in a discussion on place-based learning and training with researchers, activists and educators.

We believe that the innovative learning practices used by grassroots organisations could inform academic research activity, and vice versa. This event will provide a forum for sharing and exploring our different types of expertise.

Choose to attend specific sessions or enjoy the full programme.

Register for Learning from the grassroots