Students Staff

26 October 2011

Festival of Social Science at Essex

The University is holding a series of events to mark the national Festival of Social Science between Saturday 29 October and Saturday 5 November.

Highlights will include a quiz for sixth formers with soap star James Redmond acting as quiz master, three talks about the Olympics and a whole week of radio broadcasts about ground-breaking Essex research.

The aim of the Festival, run by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), is to demonstrate the many ways in which social science makes a difference – from shaping public policy to making the economy more competitive. From big ideas to the most detailed observations, social science affects us all every day – at work, in school, raising our children and within our communities.

Interviews on BBC Essex throughout the week

From Saturday 29 October to Friday 4 November, Essex academics will be taking part in interviews with BBC Essex about their work – including new research on breast feeding, bullying and language learning.

On Saturday 29 October, Professor Heather Laurie, Director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research, will appear on Ian Wyatt’s breakfast show.

The University’s research will then be showcased each morning of the following week on the Dave Monk show with interviewees including Jenny Amos, Dr Aaron Balick, Dr Michele Belot, Professor Florence Myles and Professor Paul Whiteley.

You can listen to the interviews online on the BBC iPlayer,

Listen to:

Professor Heather Laurie on the Ian Wyatt Breakfast Show 

Dr Aaron Balick on the Dave Monk show (fast forward to 1:05:45)

Jenny Amos on the Dave Monk show (fast forward to 1:29:44)

Maria Iacovou on the Dave Monk show  (fast forward to around the hour mark)

Professor Paul Whiteley on the Dave Monk Show (fast forward to 1:08:57)

For more details see the Faculty of Social Sciences website.

Olympic talks by leading academics

The Minories Bistro in Colchester will be the focus of The 2012 Olympic experience  – a series of three Olympic themed talks by Essex academics:

  • On Monday 31 October, Dr Pete Fussey of the Department of Sociology will talk about the security legacy of the games and discuss what impact the increased surveillance put in place for the Olympics will have on the communities of East London, once the games have finished.
  • On Tuesday 1 November, psychologist Dr Dominic Micklewright will talk about the science of how Olympic athletes achieve feats of exceptional performance.
  • On Wednesday 2 November, Dr Marjana Johansson, lecturer in management, will discuss the Olympics as a global brand.

Find out more about the University's involvement with the London 2012 Olympics.

Quiz for sixth formers

The quiz for sixth formers from across Essex and Suffolk will be hosted by James Redmond, the comedian and actor who made his name in Casualty and Hollyoaks. The event has been organised by the UK Data Archive and, which are based at the University.

Full details of events

The 2012 Olympic experience

All talks take place between 6 and 7.30pm at The Minories Bistro, 74 High Street, Colchester, CO1 1UE.

Festival of Social Science on BBC Essex

Saturday 29 October, 8am to 9am – Professor Heather Laurie on Ian Wyatt breakfast show.

Essex academics will be on the Dave Monk show every day at 10.10am from Monday October 31 to Friday 4 November.

Monday 31 October – Aaron Balick of the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies on bullying.

Tuesday November 1 – Jenny Amos from the Department of Languages and Linguistics on Mersea Island dialects.

Wednesday November 3 – Michele Belot, economist, on school meals.

Thursday November 4 – Professor Paul Whiteley, Department of Government, on the British Election Study

Friday November 5 – Professor Florence Myles, Department of Language and Linguistics, on language learning

Full press release on the UK Data Archive and sixth form quiz

Note to editors

About the Festival of Social Science

The festival is run by the Economic and Social Research Council which runs from 29 October to 5 November 2011. With events from some of the country's leading social scientists, the Festival celebrates the very best of British social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future. This year’s Festival of Social Science has over 130 creative and exciting events aimed at encouraging businesses, charities, government agencies; and schools or college students to discuss, discover and debate topical social science issues. Press releases detailing some of the varied events are available at the Festival website. You can now follow updates from the Festival on twitter using #esrcfestival

Information about the ESRC

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC’s total budget for 2011/12 is £203 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at

For further information about University of Essex events taking place during the festival, please contact Fran Abrams, Communications Officer, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Essex, e-mail or telephone 01206 873684.

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