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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Methods madness hits Oxford

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.

Rising inequality in the UK undermines mobility and social cohesion

New research, presented at a major international conference in London, demonstrates how inequality in education, skills and incomes reduces opportunity and undermines social cohesion. In education, for example, the social and ability mix of the school has a major impact on how well a child performs.

Hearing is not all down to your ears

A fascinating event looking at sign language research is to be held at University College London on 20 March as part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Festival of Social Science (21-21 March).

Young people try out an emergency exercise

Swine flu, terrorist attacks and extreme weather have all been the subject of government preparedness exercises, but few people know what is involved in planning for emergencies.

Moving pictures: experience of migration

Who counts as a 'migrant'? Who are the people behind the statistics? The Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford is holding an exhibition from 20 - 21 March at Oxford Town Hall Gallery.

The future of football: a public debate

With Sheffield's successful bid to be considered as one of the host cities for the 2018 World Cup, Sheffield University and Sheffield United Football Club are inviting the public to join the giants of the football world and social scientists to discuss the state of the game.

Floods of tears

In June 2007, the east coast city of Hull was devastated by flooding which claimed the life of one man and displaced thousands of families from their homes.

Innovation debate on people living in rural areas

Staged on the Hebridean Isle of Lewis an event will see two school teams lock horns on the question 'Are people living in rural areas innovative?' in the Strathclyde University Innovation Debate. The event is part of the Economics and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Festival of Social Science (12-22 March).

Festival goers just want to break free

Why will a record number of more than 500 music festivals take place in the UK this year? Some of the reasons for the rapid growth in the UK music festival and free party scene were showcased at an exciting, interactive multimedia exhibition organised in Bristol as part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Festival of Social Science last week.

Sheffield's young people have their say

A film created by secondary school children from Sheffield is giving them a chance to have their views heard on a topic close to their hearts: the design of their school. The film also offers practical recommendations on how to get children engaged in research findings.

Young people paint a picture of health

Youth homelessness and eating disorders are two areas of health highlighted by young people in Cardiff in a project that uses digital technology to create short films which detail public health issues.

Award-winning study helps flashing lights go green

The winner of the 2010 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Knowledge Transfer Partnership prize for the Best Application of Social or Management Science has saved the Bradford and Airedale Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) an estimated £350,000. The winning project aimed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Trust's transport systems.

Improve your second life

Are you a Second Life resident looking to get a bit more out of your virtual world? If so, join Sheila Yoshikawa at 20.00 (13.00 Second Life time) on March 18 on Sheffield University's Second Life island, Infolit ischool, for hints and tips on searching, shopping and sightseeing.

2010 Michael Young prize winner announced

The winner of the 2010 Michael Young Prize has been announced as Dr Ann Le Mare for her work on the impact of fair trade on the wellbeing of women, businesses and organisations in Bangladesh. This prestigious prize is awarded for excellence in the social sciences and is sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and The Young Foundation.

Essex academics share the secrets of being human

Happiness, police interviews, 'competitive conversations' and workplace smells are just some of the subjects that academics from University of Essex will be talking about in a week of presentations aimed at explaining to the general public what it is that social scientists actually do.

More to pharmacy than counting tablets

Should cannabis be legalised? This thorny political issue will be debated by teams of school children in a national competition designed to challenge the pupil's scientific knowledge.

Textile scrapbox

Ever wanted to know how designers come up with ideas for the clothes we wear, the bags we carry, the patterns in our homes, and the designs of the future?

Fear of crime in Sheffield

What contributes to people's fear of crime in cities? How much do litter, graffiti, broken street lighting and dilapidated buildings play a role? Or do people's social and cultural knowledge play a stronger role in shaping people's fears?

The crucial role of social science

Social science underpins many of Britain's most successful public policies from poverty alleviation, macroeconomics to crime prevention. Conversely, a lack of social science and the evidence it provides often leads to failed policies.

The role of baby-sign in child development

The event 'Communicating with Your Baby' has been organised by Professor Karen Pine from the University of Hertfordshire. Members of her team, Neil Howlett and Dr Liz Kirk, will be sharing their findings on 'baby-sign'- a form of non-verbal communication for infants.

The blank page: how do we get inspired?

From the ordinary thank-you letter to the great works of fiction, inspiration is something that we all have to find. But why is it so elusive? Is there a science to capturing it? Or do we still simply follow the classical art of using a muse?

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