Press releases

Read the latest press releases from ESRC and our major investments. You can access press releases that we have published since 2009.

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Smiley hand gesture

What your hand gestures say about you

New research shows that what you do with your hands when you talk secretly reveals a lot about your intelligence and ability to empathise with others. The bigger the hand gestures the more empathetic you are.

Yellow field

New tools developed to capture the full value of nature

Our interactions with natural spaces can be experienced in a number of ways; we might take a stroll in a woodland or picnic with friends in a park. In 2011 UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) concluded that the natural world and its ecosystems are important to our wellbeing and economic prosperity.

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Researchers funded for collaborative projects that cross boundaries

€15 million has been awarded to fifteen research projects that will allow academics in Europe and the United States to collaborate on a range of exciting projects that will push the boundaries of our understanding of individual and social behaviour and influence policy.

same sex couple getting married

Same-sex marriage shows civil partnerships were ‘never enough’

As the first gay and lesbian couples in England and Wales prepare to walk down the aisle this Saturday (29 March) to get legally married, research from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that civil partnerships could never have met the demands for full equality between gay and straight couples.

Winner photo competition

Winners announced of ESRC national photography competition

The ESRC has announced the winners of a national photography competition in which we challenged young people aged 14-18 for their unique take on society and the social sciences, by taking a picture on the theme of 'Where Do I Belong?'

Where do I belong? logo

Young people show where they belong

Almost 1,000 teenagers aged 14 to 18 from across the UK entered the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) photographic competition – giving their own artistic twist to the question of 'Where Do I Belong?'

Rice field and workers

Informal economy missing from climate change debate

The informal economy accounts for two thirds of the Indian economy and some 90 per cent of jobs, but is ignored in current climate change policy and mitigation debates. This presents a major problem if governments wish to make fast responses to climate change, says ESRC-funded researcher Professor Barbara Harriss-White.


Energy consumers could have lost out by £2 billion per year

Research findings contributed to a change in Ofgem policy that ended an energy competition clause that was potentially costing households up to £2 billion a year. This month sees the publication of the first annual competition review into the energy sector.

Old person gazing

Tackling the challenges of dementia

The ESRC and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) are awarding £20 million to six research projects which will significantly add to our understanding of dementia.

The Future of the UK and Scotland

Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change

The ESRC Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change, formally launched today, represents a significant boost to the debate on the future of Scotland

The Future of the UK and Scotland

Top earners' wages growing faster than for rest in Scotland

Scotland's top one per cent of income earners - about 25,000 people - have increased their wages and total income at a greater rate than the rest of the nation's workers in the past decade, according to a new report funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

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Where do I belong? – photo competition

The ESRC is pleased to announce the launch of its 2013/14 photographic competition – Where do I belong? The competition is open to all young people, who are invited to take a picture of where they feel they belong - whether it’s a place, what they do, who they are with, or where they want to be in the future.

Britain in 2014

The state of Britain today debated at flagship festival event

Leading social scientists will reflect on some of the country’s most pressing issues at a showcase event on Thursday 7 November. The evening will also see launch of Britain in 2014, the ESRC's definitive annual magazine featuring key data and expert opinion on the state of the nation today.


Countryside bearing the burden in "Big Society"

Empowering local people to help out in their communities is one of the flagship policies of the government's 'Big Society'. However, new research suggests some communities are bearing more of the burden than others. The research will be discussed at an event as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s annual Festival of Social Science.

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