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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Ageing exhibition kicks off 2014 Festival

ESRC is launching its biggest ever Festival of Social Science with an exhibition highlighting the opportunities and challenges posed by an ageing population.

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Charities need to trust volunteers' expertise

Charities struggling to raise money for their cause should be making better use of their army of volunteers, according to research presented at the 2014 ESRC Festival of Social Science.

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Berlin Wall marked a difference in parenting

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the birth rate in East Germany effectively halved. The change from communism to capitalism signified a period of intense economic uncertainty, putting many people off having children. Those who were born at this time grew up markedly different from other generations, being more likely to commit crimes as adults.

Festival logo

Genes play a key part in the recipe for a happy country

Why are the Danes naturally more cheerful than the Brits, and why are we in turn more upbeat than the French? Research presented as part of this year's ESRC Festival of Social Sciences shows us that the recipe behind a happy nation includes a list of ingredients – but specific genetic factors can have a significant effect.

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Rise in betting shops fuels crime fears

Growing numbers of betting shops in UK towns are fuelling residents' fears of a rise in anti-social behaviour and crime, particularly violence and burglary.

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Mass observation reveals minutiae of daily life

What did a 1930s housewife have in her larder? How did a 1940s office worker spend their lunch hour? What clothes were hanging in a 1950s teenagers' wardrobe? Extraordinarily detailed answers to these questions can be found among a unique collection of material on everyday life housed in the Mass Observation Archive.

Chalk board

Schools: New role needed for 'crucial' amateur governors

The rapid expansion of academy schools has seen an increased demand for high-calibre governors with management and professional skills, and trivialised the contribution of parent governors and unskilled volunteers, according to researchers at the University of Roehampton.

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Master challenge: the UK food system

The ESRC and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), under the Global Food Security programme, are delighted to announce the five successful grants of the Understanding the Challenges of the Food System call.

Army

What is the future of reservists in the Armed Forces?

The ESRC is pleased to announce that £1.35 million has been awarded to four universities to undertake innovative research projects to help inform some of the pressing issues facing the armed forces in the process of integrating regular and reserve components into a ‘Whole Force’ structure.

Jane Elliott

New ESRC Chief Executive announced

The Minister for Universities and Science, Greg Clark, has announced the appointment of Professor Jane Elliott as the next Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council.

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.

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