Festival events take social science research into community

Individuals’ influence on climate change, the history of sustainability in Plymouth and the use of food as a lifestyle motivator for the homeless are some of the key topics being explored during a week of events organised by Plymouth University.

The impact of technology on communities across Cornwall, the importance of language learning, and the benefits of an outdoor education will also come under the spotlight during the 2015 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science.

Running from November 7-14, the events are designed to offer an insight into current research being conducted at the University and how it can influence our daily lives.

Ten events will take place in Plymouth and the surrounding areas during the course of the week, on the overall theme of Social Sciences Shaping a Sustainable World, with academics discussing their research with the general public and invited guests.

Professor Nikolaos Tzokas, Executive Dean of Business at Plymouth University, said:

“The Festival of Social Science is a fantastic opportunity to increase awareness of our research, and to promote wider engagement between our academics and the general public. The breadth of events taking place in 2015 demonstrates our commitment to sustainability, both at an institutional level and through all areas of our research and teaching activity. I hope people in the Plymouth area embrace this opportunity to engage with the experts making an impact on their daily lives from the heart of the local community.”

The ESRC is the UK’s largest funder of UK social science research, and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The 2015 Festival of Social Science provides an opportunity to demonstrate what a difference social science has made to society over the last half-century, both in the South West and around the UK.

Earlier this year, Plymouth University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the ESRC that will see it become one of 11 regional festival centres.

The schedule of events in Plymouth has been designed to meet the festival’s aims and objectives, which include encouraging social science researchers to engage with non-academic audiences and making teachers and young people more aware of their work.

All the events are free and engaging, and feature academics from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Business and the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, as well as partners from throughout the community.