ESRC Festival of Social Science – November 2020

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2020 has been a challenging year for Manchester, with many famous festivals and productions unable to proceed during these unprecedented times. However, the annual Festival of Social Science, which takes place from November 7th-15th will go ahead as planned in a new virtual format. The local version of this national festival is now in its sixth year – academics from The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford will be partnering up to present the very latest in social science research.

This year, the programme features over thirty events on a variety of themes including climate change, mental health and wellbeing, living with technology, and, of course, the impacts of Coronavirus.

“The breath and originality of research presented in this year’s festival reflects the vibrancy of the academic community in the three participating universities. It also reaffirms our shared commitment to engage with the local community and to make our research accessible to the general public”, said organiser Professor Dimitris Papadimitriou from The University of Manchester.

Every event in the Festival of Social Science’s schedule is underpinned by high-quality social science research – much of it funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The organisers say that the challenges and opportunities facing the UK – whether that’s climate change, internationalisation, or mental wellbeing– mean it is more important than ever for researchers to make meaningful connections with ordinary people.

Professor Jennifer Rubin, ESRC Executive Chair, said: “The Festival of Social Science is one of the largest co-ordinated endeavours undertaken by a science community and is indicative of ESRC’s commitment to public engagement.

“This year, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Festival of Social Science will be a digital-first event featuring exciting and innovative events run by our 34 partners.

“Many economic and social researchers value the opportunity to share how their work helps us to better understand people, businesses, institutions, communities and wider social phenomena, and to inform decisions that can affect millions of lives. We hope these events raise awareness about how research can improve outcomes across society, inspiring some young people to pursue a career in research, and others to draw on research to understand people and the world around us.”

Why not join in the activities?

For up-to-the-minute booking information and details of the rest of the events, please visit, or search for #McrESRCFest on Twitter.

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