Thinking Futures to share Bristol’s leading social science research
Press release issued: 2 November 2015
Bristol could lead the way in becoming a ‘child-friendly’ city thanks to a project that will see young people involved in developing a child-informed vision for planners and city councils to use when designing new city layouts and reviewing existing provisions for children in cities. The project is just one of a series of initiatives being showcased by some of the UK’s leading social scientists next month as part of the University of Bristol’s Thinking Futures festival [5 to 13 Nov].
The free week-long event, which forms part of the national ESRC Festival of Social Science [7 to 14 Nov], offers a chance for the community, parents, policy-makers, students, schools and third-sector organisations to hear about the latest research undertaken at Bristol and to find out how it informs government policy and influences our daily lives.
This year’s festival covers a range of topics Bristol is leading research into, from making the city more child-friendly, helping parents with their children’s maths to food nutrition, climate change and counter-terrorism and international politics.
Parents struggling with their children’s maths learning could benefit from a workshop on Monday 9 November. Led by education researchers, the project aims to help parents think about the way they use maths in everyday life, so they can support their children’s learning.
Bristol’s city leadership under a directly-elected mayor will be the focus of a debate on Monday 9 November involving a panel of academics and policy-makers discussing mayoral governance in English cities.
An event on 12 November involving Bristol’s Mayor, George Ferguson, and researchers from the University will discuss what would Bristol look like as a truly child-friendly city and what needs to happen to make it a reality.
Researchers from Bristol’s School for Policy Studies will introduce Bristol secondary school students to the world of international politics through a role-play event on 12 November that will adapt the UN Climate Change negotiations debate, which is due to take place in Paris later this year.
How the UK should address the threat from 'jihadi' terrorism will be debated at an event, to be held at the University of Bristol on 13 November, chaired by Professor Joanne Conaghan, Head of the University of Bristol Law School, and featuring human rights expert Professor Steven Greer and other high-profile speakers. Panellists will also consider how counter-terrorist laws affect Muslims in Britain, and how Muslim communities might be more effectively engaged in countering terrorism.
Other events include a workshop on 5 November involving local sixth-form students to consider how gender is represented in the media, and a session on 11 November considering the role of crafts in documenting life stories and their role in making memories tangible.
A ‘pub quiz’ with a difference on 13 November will introduce participants to social science research around food, including nutrition, welfare and public awareness of food poverty.
Sixth-form students will be introduced to the world of economic research through an interactive event on 13 November that will see them using behavioural economics to design policies around encouraging environmentally healthy behaviours.
Professor Wendy Larner, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, said: “Thinking Futures offers the chance for the local community to engage with some of the UK’s leading social scientists on a range of issues affecting society today and to see how research undertaken on their doorstep is helping to shape government policy and improve lives.”
The festival runs from Thursday 5 November until Friday 13 November. For a full programme of events, please see the Thinking Futures website. All events are free and require advance booking. The Festival has been organised by the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Law with support from the Centre for Public Engagement and PolicyBristol.
- The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council and takes place from 7-14th November 2015. With events from some of the country’s leading social scientists, the Festival celebrates the very best of British social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives- both now and in the future. This year’s Festival of Social Science has over 200 creative and exciting events across the UK to encourage businesses, charities, government agencies, schools and college students to discuss, discover and debate topical social science issues. Press releases detailing some of the varied events and a full list of the programme are available at the Festival website. You can now follow updates from the Festival on Twitter using #esrcfestival.
- The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK’s future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. The ESRC also works collaboratively with six other UK research councils and Innovate UK to fund cross-disciplinary research and innovation addressing major societal challenges. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government. In 2015 it celebrates its 50th anniversary.