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Last night saw the start of the University of Salford’s ESRC Festival of Social Science. Prof. Andy Miah chaired a panel discussion reviewing this week’s activities at the COP26 conference. The diverse panel included a variety of experts from across the Social Sciences including: Dr. Sharon Coen; Prof. Steve Fuller; Dr. Sara Biscaya; and Dr. Mariann Hardey.

The panel’s discussions were wide ranging and focused on the role Social Sciences can play in the discourse surrounding climate change and its wider social, economic and political ramifications. In the run up to COP26 Greta Thunberg proclaimed ‘Science doesn’t lie’, the panel spent some time discussing this and the crucial difference between ‘science’ as a process and interpretational framework and the ‘data’ which under pins this. There was much admiration for the activism surrounding the conference and disappointment that governments have so far not done enough to cut carbon emissions. The panel also discussed societal faith in ‘science’to provide a solution to all issues relating to climate change and emphasised that science alone cannot solve the problems associated with global warming, individual and governmental action is required.

The panel expressed a fear of ‘forever’ COPs, the idea that the talking will continue with little substantive action taken until the climate warms beyond 1.5 degrees C. limit agreed at COP 21 held in Paris back in 2015.

The recording of the panel discussion can be freely accessed here:

The panel will reconvene on the 15th November to review week 2 of COP 26 and you can register for this event and all other festival events here.

We look forward to seeing you there and to welcoming you the other forthcoming Festival events:

Event Date Time 
Motherload: E-cargo Bikes for Low-Carbon Family Transport10th November6pm-7pm 
The Autistic Defendant in the Courtroom11th November1pm-4.30pm 
Climate Change Conspiracies and COVID13th November11am-1pm 
Exercise, Sleep and Word-Learning in Autistic Children14th November3pm-4.30pm 
COP26 Universities LIVE15th November5pm-6pm 
We Love Peel Park: Graphic Novel Launch18th November6pm-7.30pm 
Pirates and Exploding Man! A Hazard Signs Interactive Intervention23rd November 10am-12pm
Cognitive Restoration: The Effects of the Environment on Thinking27th November10am-5pm 
Social Capital: Understanding its Value in Strengthening Resilience29th November10am-12pm