Students Staff

10 March 2009

Social science challenge

Colchester Campus

The UK Data Archive at the University of Essex has enlisted a bright comic talent to challenge local schools and sixth forms with a social science quiz this month.

The quiz, which forms part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science, will be overseen by Russell Kane, a popular young comedian from Southend-on-Sea.

Around sixty pupils from local schools and sixth forms will take part in the quiz, funded by the ESRC with additional sponsorship from the Colchester Campus branches of Lloyds TSB and Abbey, at the University. The winning team will be presented with a framed certificate and prize of £500 for their school or college by Professor Rob Massara, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University and Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences. All teams will also have an opportunity to tour the Colchester Campus with a current Essex student, enabling them to see what university life is really like.

The ESRC Festival of Social Science, which runs from 6 to 15 March, celebrates some of the best British social science research, highlighting the ways it makes a difference to our lives. It comes just months after the results of the UK-wide Research Assessment Exercise saw Essex reconfirm its position as the UK’s leading university in the social sciences, with Politics and Sociology ranked in first position and Economics in third position nationally.

The UK Data Archive is a centre of expertise in data acquisition, preservation, dissemination and promotion, and is curator of the UK’s largest collection of digital data in the social sciences and humanities. Founded in 1967, it now houses several thousand datasets of interest to researchers in all sectors and from many different disciplines.


Notes to editors:
You are invited to send a photographer/reporter/crew to the prize giving ceremony at 2.30pm on Thursday 12 March at the Colchester Campus. Please confirm your attendance in advance by contacting the Communications Office on telephone: 01206 872807 or e-mail:

More details about the ESRC Festival of Social Science are available at:

For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on telephone: 01206 872807 or e-mail:

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