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Public Engagement at Manchester

Being Human festival: open call deadline extended to 3 July 2020

The chance to apply for funding may have passed but there is still time to get involved with Being Human festival 2020 (12-22 November)! Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

Through our Open Call we are currently welcoming applications for events and activities that do not require funding from us (e.g. made possible through existing funds or a grant from your institution). To enable as many people as possible to take part we have just extended the deadline for Open Call applications to Friday 3 July.

Participating in the festival is a fantastic way to reach new audiences, form new partnerships and collaborations, champion the importance of research in humanities subjects (including history, languages, classics, art history, literature, philosophy, cultural studies and so on…), and be part of a nationwide celebration exploring this year’s timely festival theme ‘New Worlds’.

Find out more here: https://beinghumanfestival.org/open-call/

We know that thinking about and planning future events is very challenging at the moment, so we have also just shared a piece on our website with some ideas and practical tips about how to think through planning online and socially-distanced engagement events and activities: https://beinghumanfestival.org/festival-planning-covid19/

Posted on behalf of Rose de Lara, Communications Officer, Being Human team


Just So Festival: Science Workshop 2017


The multi-award winning Just So Festival is on the lookout for an exciting porposal for a science workshop over over 8’s. A weekend camping event for families in Cheshire (a short 45 mins from Manchester) on the 18th, 19th & 20th of August Just So provides a space to take families out of their day to day lives and into the extraordinary. A place where art, music, theatre, puppetry, circus and literature are embedded in the beautiful wild landscape of Rode Hall, Cheshire. All of our programme, from pillow fights and midnight feasts to performances and dance workshops are designed for families to do together.

We have recently created a new area of our festival, in partnership with The Week Junior, The Forgotten Courtyard, which is a space full of interesting talks and workshops -we have a whole host of brilliant people, from The School of Tropical Medicine to Project Real Junk Food along side award winning authors and adventurers and The Week Junior themselves hosting big debates and journalism workshops.

You can see a bit more about what we do here and here. If you are interested in proposing something for the festival contact Cathryn on cathryn@justsofestival.org.uk with a brief outline of what you would like to do and any costs associated by the 2nd of June.

Cathryn Peach, Creative Producer, Wild Rumpus

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

New Scientist Live – the UK’s biggest festival of ideas and discovery, launches this September

For four days this September (22-25), New Scientist Live will be like nowhere else on Earth. The inaugural New Scientist Live event, courtesy of the team behind the world’s most popular science weekly, is a four-day festival of ideas and discovery taking place at ExCeL London. With British astronaut Tim Peake set to open the show, don’t miss a great day out for your family.

Prepare to be wowed and amazed by the latest science, technology and more. Don’t miss the Bloodhound 1000mph rocket car and driving simulator, the world’s leading robots and drones, a 3D Selfie Booth, Virtual Reality experiences, science workshops for all ages and abilities, over 100 world-leading scientists, a robotic cocktail bar and lots lots more.

See, hear and touch the future at New Scientist Live; it’s science as you’ve never seen it before.

For further information visit www.newscientistlive.com.

Special ticket offer! Dr Sheena Cruickshank, Senior Lecturer in Immunology and Academic Lead for Public Engagement with Research here at The University of Manchester will be a presenting a Science Live talk – Are We Too Clean? As such, a limited number of very discounted tickets are available for staff and students from The University of Manchester.  You can purchase tickets to New Scientist Live for just £14.50 (usually £29 on the door)* PLUS, kids 12 and under go free. *transaction fee applies, must be booked by midnight 21/9/16, kids 12 and under go free (excluding Main Stage)

If you’d like to take up that offer, email: engagement@manchester.ac.uk for details.

Documentary Festival Opportunity…


Do you love documentary? Are you a postdoctoral scientist? Sheffield Doc/Fest is offering five researchers the opportunity to attend this year’s Festival.

Network with filmmakers and broadcast commissioners, and see some of the world’s finest documentary films being made today. Travel, accreditation, and accommodation are covered. Applicants must have a PhD in biomedical sciences.

Please contact marketing@sidf.co.uk with a short bio and reasons why you would like to attend Doc/Fest

The programme includes a series of talks with researchers supported by The Wellcome Trust.


Posted on behalf of  Erinma Ochu, Social Responsibility Fellow, The University of Manchester
Web: http://about.me/erinmaochu | Twitter: @erinmaochu

Your chance to shape Manchester Histories Festival 2016

Manchester Histories Festival 2016 is on the way and will be taking place from Friday 3 – Sunday 12 June across Greater Manchester, and we’re organising a planning meeting on Tuesday 10 November to discuss how you can take part in the festival.

We’ll cover planning timescales, what you need to do to get involved and also answer any questions that you may have. Whether you’re new to the festival or have taken part before, we’re keen to meet with everyone and discuss how we can make the next festival a great success and benefit all partners.

Annie Keane, the new Director of the 12 month Science in the City festival that is part of 2016’s European Open Science Forum, will also be at the meeting to talk with you about how you can get involved in the programme.

Additionally, when we’ve hosted previous meetings for the festival, many people have mentioned the opportunity it also provides to meet with other groups, organisations and individuals who are planning on delivering activities in the festival, share information and make new links.

If you have any questions about the meeting and how you could get involved, please contact Claire Turner on claire@manchesterhistories.co.uk or call 0161 306 1982.

Sign up to attend the planning event here.

We hope to see you there.

About the Manchester Histories

Manchester Histories is a charity that celebrates Greater Manchester’s unique histories and heritage, through a range of events and projects, including Manchester Histories Festival. Manchester Histories purpose is transforming lives through histories and heritage. The next festival runs from Friday 3 – Sunday 12 June 2016. For further details, please visit www.manchesterhistoriesfestival.org.uk