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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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?

Universities help develop tomorrow's good citizens

More than 100 students from Birmingham University will work as volunteers in local schools later this year as part of a new civic engagement initiative. But how important is it for UK universities to play a role in preparing undergraduates for lives of civic engagement?

Keeping safe – online

Sunderland City Council has teamed up with a group of academic researchers to put on an exciting interactive event aimed at making internet users more aware of the problems of disclosing personal information online.

Myths and realities of life in St Ann's

About 300 residents from St. Ann's in Nottingham are expected to take part in a one day programme of interactive workshops during the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Festival of Social Science.

Saving Peak District moorlands

Seventy-five per cent of the world's heather moorlands are in the UK. However, pollution, overgrazing and wild fires have damaged large areas. Several organisations in the Peak District National Park are trying to restore and conserve the moorland habitat.

Generation 2012: what have the Olympics ever done for us?

The youth of London have an urgent message for the world about life in the capital and what the Olympic Games and its legacy will really mean for those living in its shadow. Generation 2012, an event which is part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Festival of Social Science, is a community digital storytelling project that gives them the opportunity to 'tell it like it is'. At the same time the event will be launching a debate about the role of sport in mediating notions of identity within multicultural societies.

What do the social sciences do for me?

Your average conversation down the pub on a Friday night could include topics such as 'the kids are driving me mad this week' or 'the litter in our street is out of control' and 'have you seen that change 4 life advert on TV?' - but the crucial research behind the topics rarely gets the same attention.

Family memories exhibition

Members of the public are being invited to share their memories of key turning points in their lives at an exhibition in London, as part of a national study of family life across the generations.

Making the case for the social sciences

Issues such as redundancies, parenting and poverty often hit the headlines - but the crucial research behind the stories rarely gets the same attention. Without the work of social scientists policymakers would not have the necessary research evidence to back up new policies.

Don't privatise banks too soon!

Initial findings carried out under the ESRC's World Economy and Finance research programme which comes to a conclusion with a conference in London on 28 January 2010 - a paper presented warns against privatising the recently nationalised banks too soon.

UK inmates comfortable with diversity?

Following recent media reports of racial strife and gangs in high security prisons in the UK, a new study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) paints a more encouraging - if sometimes contradictory - picture of multicultural prison life.

Value of volunteering more than economic

With rising unemployment and fewer job vacancies, the current financial crisis has seen renewed policy emphasis in both Europe and the UK on volunteering as a route to employment, according to a new report from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC.)

Government overseas aid is no bar to individual giving

Greater government aid to overseas development charities does not discourage individual giving, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Fears that increasing government grants would serve to 'crowd out' donations from individuals are unwarranted.

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