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Festival of Social Science returns to Manchester 7-15 November 2020

2020 has been a challenging year seeing many famous festival and productions unable to proceed, but we are delighted to announce that the ESRC Annual Festival of Social Science is back in Manchester for its seventh year!

Academics from The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford will be partnering up to present the very latest in social science research with a programme featuring over thirty events taking place between 7-15 November.

This year, the programme features events on a variety of themes including climate change, mental health and wellbeing, living with technology and, of course, the impacts of Coronavirus.

Events include:

For up-to-the-minute booking information and details of the events, please visit www.esrcmanchesterfest.ac.uk, or search for #McrESRCFest on Twitter.


ESRC Festival of Social Science – 2-9 November 2019

On behalf of all the University partners we wish to invite you to the ESRC Manchester Festival of Social Science!

This year our programme features almost 40 events on a variety of themes including climate change, virtual reality, mental health in schools, the gig economy, Chinese wellbeing practices, and homelessness.

There will be an event at the Museum of Science and Industry on robots, algorithms and the future of work; a community music making event for those living with dementia; an interactive game which challenges you to create a carbon neutral city; a discussion for casualised workers at Ziferblat Social Space; hands-on activities for the whole family at Manchester Central Library; film screenings; and much more!

The festival’s launch event takes place this Wednesday 30th October at Manchester Museum – free tickets are available at https://tinyurl.com/ESRC-Manc-2019 .

For booking information and details of the rest of the events, please visit www.esrcmanchesterfest.ac.uk, or search for #McrESRCFest on Twitter.

Launch of the Manchester ESRC Festival of Social Sciences

You are warmly invited to the launch of this year’s Manchester ESRC Festival of Social Science.

The launch will take place in the Fossils Gallery at Manchester Museum, on Wednesday 30 October from 5.30 to 7pm. There will be some short presentations from some of the event organisers, wine and nibbles, and a chance to look around the gallery and browse posters advertising some of this year’s events across University of Manchester, University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University.

All are very welcome: staff, students, visitors, friends.

Please sign up on Eventbrite at: https://tinyurl.com/ESRC-Manc-2019

Festival of Social Science 2019 (2-9 Nov) – applications to participate now open

The University of Manchester will again partner with the Economic and Social Research Council, the University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University on the ESRC Manchester Festival of Social Science in 2019.

The aim of the Festival is to showcase Manchester social science research to a broad non-academic audience. Last year we hosted an eclectic blend of activities designed to celebrate the social sciences, including discussions and debates, exhibitions, film screenings, walkabouts, family fun days, schools visits, workshops, and lots more.

The call for applications to host events is now open.

The Festival will run from 2-9 November and will involve academics working alongside community and cultural partners to create engaging and inspiring research-led events. The Manchester Festival will provide an insight into the many ways in which social science research contributes to social, economic and political life across the city, region and beyond.

Any researcher can apply to hold their event, new or existing, under the Festival banner. In addition, applications can be made for up to £1,000 sponsorship from the University of Manchester to hold an event as part of the Festival. Events must include social science and must engage with groups outside of academia (e.g. young people, third sector organisations, the general public, business, or local government and policy makers).

Applications for interdisciplinary events, and applications that seek to bring together two or more Festival partners, are strongly encouraged. We particularly welcome applications from early career researchers, including PhD students. PhD student applicants must name as a co-applicant on the application form a member of staff who has agreed to provide advice and assistance where necessary, and to take formal responsibility for the event (including managing the finances, any health and safety requirements, etc.). The co-applicant may, but need not, be your supervisor.

For inspiration and ideas for the kind of event you might run, you can find out about the 2018 events at www.esrcmanchesterfest.ac.uk.

Please note, applications SHOULD NOT be made to the ESRC, but rather via the University of Manchester. The application deadline is 4pm on Friday 17 May. An application form and guidance notes are attached to this email. They can also be found at https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/social-sciences/research/esrc-festival/.

Please address any queries to Clare Canning, Knowledge Exchange and Impact Officer (clare.canning@manchester.ac.uk) — or, before 29 April, to Carly Chadwick (carly.chadwick@manchester.ac.uk).

ESRC Festival of Social Science – UOM highights

The ESRC Festival of Social Science starts this weekend. Not sure what to attend? Here’s a handy list of highlights featuring researchers and academics from The University of Manchester. (With thanks to Carly Chadwick for compiling.)

Getting to know Chinese Buddhism – 5th November, Manchester Art Gallery
This event will give you a chance to meet Chinese Buddhists and experience Chinese Buddhist culture for yourself. See how calligraphy can help you be ‘in the moment’, how drinking tea can develop mindfulness, and learn about the ways modern Chinese Buddhists have adapted ancient traditions to face modern challenges.

Into the Field: The added value of field research in legal studies – 5th-12th November, Manchester Museum
Stop. Embrace reality. Why let other people form your opinion about life, people, and places? Experience. Absorb. Analyse. Share. This is an exhibition of photographs taken by constitutional law researchers during their field trips. The focus of the study is the profound institutional and behavioural change caused by acceptance of international law. These images go beyond the zeitgeist and tell stories that we hope you want to share.

Downpour! – The Street Game – 5th November, YHA Castlefield
Work in teams against the clock to tackle a devastating flooding crisis in Manchester, in this high-pressure, interactive street game. Rain has been falling steadily, the rivers have risen and defences are about to be breached. Gather scientific information, manage your resources and consider communities and wildlife as you make your decisions to protect the city’s future.

Who wants to work forever? Work, retirement and wellbeing in later life – 6th November, People’s History Museum
The British population is ageing. Today, about 10 million people living in the UK are aged 65+. This is expected to increase by 50% by 2050. As people are living longer and fewer people are being born the government is seeking to encourage people to remain work until later in life. However not everyone can or wants to continue working until much later in life. Speakers from a wide range of backgrounds will each discuss the challenges and opportunities of extending working lives.

‘Prove it!’ Debating social issues with numbers – 7th November, University of Manchester
This event that gives school age students the chance to use data to engage and debate with leading academics on contemporary social issues, with the aim of getting students to use evidence from quantitative social science research to assess and develop arguments related to a relevant contemporary social issue.

Mundane Methods: An Extra-Ordinary Event – 7th-8th November, University of Manchester
What does social science research involve and how do we study everyday life? This innovative event offers a unique opportunity to experience and explore some of the creative methods social sciences use to research the everyday. A walking tour field trip, kitchen table style discussions, and a variety of interactive workshops including: material methods, smell scapes and everyday ethics, are just some of the activities involved in this jam-packed schedule. Open to all, this event will awaken your senses to an exciting array of extra-ordinary approaches to researching the mundane!

Renaming Greater Manchester’s football stadia – a fans’ perspective – 7th November, MediaCity
This seminar will present new research on fan reactions to corporate re-naming of new and existing football stadia in the Greater Manchester region. We will also discuss implications for clubs and sponsors.

Candid Conversations about Radicalisation – 8th November, Manchester Central Library
Intended to combat radicalisation in schools, is the Prevent strategy serving to prevent conversation rather than prevent extremism? Who’s a suspect? Who’s being watched? Who’s doing the watching? Who’s frightened? Who’s to blame? Walk into the world of the student and teacher. Hear their candid and sometimes conflicting opinions about the impact of the government’s Prevent counter terrorism policy…. And explore your pre-conceptions about radicalisation and the issues behind the politics.

Sketching the Everyday – 8th November, Manchester Museum
Two creative workshops and a drop-in session, each exploring one of our research themes, either: ‘Being thrifty’ or ‘Belonging (and not belonging)’. For each theme, we will introduce our research and look at some of the objects in the Manchester Museum collection which have links with the theme. We will ask everybody to bring in an object of their own, also linked to the workshop theme. Then urban sketcher, Lynne Chapman, will teach a some quick sketching techniques, which we will all use to sketch our objects as a way of exploring the topic further. PLEASE NOTE: previous artistic experience/skill not necessary – beginners welcome.

Unseen and unheard. The experiences of Kashmiris living in Britain – 8th November, Kashmir Youth Project, Rochdale
Despite an awareness that the Kashmiri population this is an under-represented community that faces a number of key issues, there is a real dearth of data about their needs. This, in part, arises from the fact that Kashmiri is not an official ethnic minority classification, unlike Pakistani or Bangladeshi, hence they are largely invisible in official statistics. This event will present findings from a unique ESRC funded study into the experiences and expectations of the Kashmiri population living in Rochdale, illustrating the particular issues faced by members of the community and how this information can help community organisations and service providers to meet their needs.

Manchester Open Data Dive – 9th November, The Shed, Manchester Metropolitan University
The Manchester Open Data Dive is a one-day hackathon event bringing together coders, data enthusiasts, graphic designers, project managers and end users from all sectors. The idea is to bring people with a range of skills into the same room to collaborate intensively on socio-economic data projects. During the day, short parallel workshops will run on finding and understanding data, using APIs and Big Data. The Dive is free to attend, open to everyone and we’ll lay on free pizzas and drinks. Newcomers are welcome and there will be data specialists and developers from the UK Data Service on hand to provide support and help.

Artbaby-Musicbaby-Languagebaby: What babies know and understand even before they can talk – 9th November, Whitworth Art Gallery
How do babies learn from the world around them, how do they use different gestures to communicate and how can parents and caregivers help promote language development? Come to this event and find out! Through sensory workshops for babies and their grown-ups and other interactive activities, we’ll explore how babies learn from their environment, sharing research on what they understand before they can talk. Designed for babies and their grown-ups, this event will link with the gallery’s well-established sensory workshops, where babies explore sounds, art and music.

The Divide – 10th November, John Rylands Library
The Divide tells the story of seven individuals striving for better lives in the US and UK where the top 1% owns as much wealth as the bottom 90%. Inspired by the best-selling book “The Spirit Level,” the film showcases real stories that uncover how virtually every aspect of our lives is controlled by the divide between rich and poor. Professor David Hulme of The University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute will give a post-screening Q&A on how we address such global inequalities.

Digital Activism – 11th November, MadLab
‘Digital Activism’ is a great opportunity to discover how new technologies are changing our communities. With talks from local campaign groups, technologists and academics, this event will give you the chance to engage with pertinent issues: How is technology changing the ways we live and work? Which new innovations are soon to transform our communities? In what ways can new technology empower our communities? Come to Digital Activism to find out more!

Talking Proper: A Discussion of Accent Prejudice in the British Workplace – 11th November, University of Manchester
Do you like your accent? What if others don’t? Who decides what ‘proper’ language is, anyway? This event discusses how our accent contributes to our personal identity and sense of who we are, yet how we might choose to modify our accent in various social situations. Even worse, what if we are told to do so by those in authority? Come and join our workshop to find out more about accent, identity and linguistic prejudice in Britain.

Our Manchester! Citizen Social Science in Moss Side – 11th November, Phil Martin Centre
An exhibition to display the initial outputs and discussion around Our Manchester! – a community-led citizen social science project, which aims to share accounts of the impact of migration on place in the area of Moss Side and its surroundings.

It’s written all over your face: The science of face perception – 12th November, Museum of Science and Industry
Your face provides information about how you are feeling, your age, gender, and background. In addition, your face provides the most important cue to your identity. This is why bank robbers and super heroes wear masks! In this event we explore the science of face perception, through interactive displays and hands-on activities. Psychologists from the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University consider what makes a ‘super-recogniser’, why faces are attractive and how we identify known people. We demonstrate cutting-edge face animation work and look at how faces age. We will also collect some ‘live’ data in a 5-minute experiment!

Help Yourself to be Healthy – 12th November, Whitworth Art Gallery
Do you want to learn more about how your family can lead a healthy life by getting involved in fun activities? If so, then this family-fun day is for you. Members of the Manchester Centre for Health Psychology will introduce you to the psychological aspects of health and illness, including stopping smoking and being more active. This event introduces the work that psychologists at the Manchester Centre for Health Psychology (MCHP) do with a view to increasing understanding of health-related behaviour and helping people to live healthier lives.

Find out more: W: www.esrcmanchesterfest.ac.uk | T: #ESRCFestival and #McrESRCFest

Manchester ESRC Festival of Social Science 5-12 November 2016

A reminder that the Manchester ESRC Festival of Social Science will be running this weekend (5-12 November) in partnership with the Universities of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan.

Events will feature research from across the Faculty of Humanities. http://www.esrcmanchesterfest.ac.uk/

With free to attend events that are suitable for all ages and interests, we hope that you’ll get involved. If you’d like to help spread the word:

  • Twitter hashtags are #McrESRCFest and #ESRCFestival
  • Create Twitter posts that tag @OfficialUoM @UoMEngage @UoMPolicy or@ESRC

Posted on behalf of Lynda McIntosh, MCIPR, Research Communications and Marketing Manager
Faculty of Humanities, The University of Manchester

Had Enough of Experts? You Are Invited to the Launch of the Manchester ESRC Festival of Social Science

You are warmly invited to an exciting and topical debate to launch the 2016 Manchester ESRC Festival of Social Science: SOCIAL SCIENCE AND THE PUBLIC: BETWEEN OPPOSITION AND ACCOMMODATION

Wednesday 2 November, 5pm – 7pm (drinks and nibbles will be served)
Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxford Road, M 15 6BH.

Free tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/social-science-and-the-public-between-opposition-and-accommodation-tickets-28549466222

The recent decision to leave the European Union has re-ignited a long simmering debate on the role of experts in both the public policy process and civic debate more generally. Similarly, policy tumult in both the UK and the US suggests that a large swathe of citizens have genuinely ‘had enough of experts.’ At the same time, social media increasingly makes experts of us all, but is this a recipe for misinformation, or a valuable new form of scrutiny?

This debate – organised to launch the ESRC Manchester Festival of Social Science – considers the proper role of the social scientist within public discourse. At a time where full time academics are increasingly required to justify their research activities, with respect to ‘impact’ to (and for) the economy and society, we ask:

Can social scientists contribute to public discourse whilst retaining their integrity?

  • In the Chair: Michael Taylor (External Relations Adviser, Manchester Metropolitan University)


  • Professor Francesca Gains (Professor of Public Policy, University of Manchester)
  • Professor Kevin Albertson (Professor of Economics, Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • Professor Andy Miah (Professor of Public Engagement, University of Salford)

The full programme for the Manchester ESRC Festival of Social Science can be found at www.esrcmanchesterfest.ac.uk.

Dr Carly Chadwick | Knowledge Exchange and Impact Officer, School of Social Sciences | School of Environment, Education and Development