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From friendships to #McStrike

3 December 2018

A Festival of Social Science event
With over 350 attendees the 2018 festival has sparked interest and discussion.

This year over 350 people attended Cardiff University’s Festival of Social Science.

The week-long event was the third to take place in Cardiff and encompassed nine events across a variety of locations in the city.

The festival, in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Council, celebrated and raised awareness of outstanding social science research taking place at Cardiff University.

From friendships to #McStrike

Researchers at the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) were busy all week hosting four festival events. They kicked off the festival week with an event What do young people value about friendships? School students explored data that they provided to WISERD about the qualities they look for in friends.

The workshop also enabled pupils to find out about the kinds of methods that social scientists use when tackling social research questions. The following day, WISERD researchers held their popular annual workshop for civil society organisations on using the WISERD DataPortal. At WISERD’s third event, practitioners shared their experiences of EU migration and civil society, in the context of WISERD research on this topic.

In a final workshop, members of local trade unions were able to develop their understanding of the strategic use of social media in trade union activity, using examples such as the recent #McStrike campaign.

Twenty years of peace in Northern Ireland

Thomas Leahy from the School of Law & Politics, hosted a two-part event looking at the emergence of peace in Northern Ireland from different perspectives.

The first debate involved a former British Army personnel who had been stationed in Northern Ireland; the second provided insights from a former Sinn Fein director for publicity. Both debates involved Cardiff University Masters students who posed pertinent questions to the speakers.

Celebrating the diversity of social science research

Four of the events at the end of the festival week highlighted the range of research being undertaken at the University. Growing teacher expertise: is research the answer? was hosted by Emmajane Milton and Alexandra Morgan. The event saw teaching and education professionals discuss the ways in which research can fuel their practice, as well as how they themselves can contribute to research.

Earlier that day, researchers from the recently opened Cardiff University Centre for Human Developmental Science (CUCHDS) delivered an interactive and engaging event for parents and care-givers in a city centre cafe. Talks, demos and a quiz highlighted current research on children’s social, emotional and mental development.

Young people’s health and wellbeing was the focus of a workshop organised by the Centre for Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECPIHer) that involved teachers and school students from the School Health Research Network.

The busy festival week ended with the Sustainable Places Institute’s event Sense(s) of Place at a local arts centre. Researchers shared their recent work on sustainable place-making and how place is important to each of us, which included film screenings and exhibitions.

The festival in 2019

This year’s festival has been a platform for conversation and debate across a wide variety of topics relevant to society. Through exhibitions, workshops and discussions, our researchers worked hard to present their research in engaging ways to different groups of the local community.

We hope that those who participated found the events inspiring and informative, and we look forward to what next year’s festival will bring.

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