Methods madness hits Oxford

Monday 5 July 2010

Science is not all about people in white lab coats blowing things up. Social science research gives a different picture. Social Science can answer questions on large issues facing society such as understanding factors affecting voting behaviour, how labour markets work and how effective schools are in educating our children. This area of science does not use Bunsen burners or microscopes but makes use of a whole host of other tools.

For the social scientist, often the first problem is what tools should be used to answer some of society's biggest questions. The fourth Research Methods Festival in Oxford will open up the debate on cutting-edge developments in methodology

Over 800 social scientists will be gathering from 5-8 July 2010 to tackle some of problems of social research methodology. Sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council, the event draws together researchers from across a wide range of social science disciplines and research themes. The four day event will be attended by highly experienced researchers not just from academia including PhD students and early career researchers.

A total of 67 half-day sessions, comprising presentations, debates and discussion, will tackle such questions as:

  • What makes you at risk of being a victim of crime?
  • How can you predict how ethnic minority groups will vote in a general election?
  • Are school league tables the best way to measure the effectiveness of a child's education?
  • Does feminism count? How feminist analysis can make significant contributions to mainstream methodological thought.

ESRC Press Office:

Notes for editors

  1. ESRC Research Methods Festival, 5-8 July 2010 at St Catherine's College, Oxford.
  2. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's planned total expenditure in 2009/10 is £204 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.