ESRC Festival of Social Science 2021

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The University of Birmingham is gearing up to host its largest-ever Festival of Social Science, spanning topics from climate change to societal change and offering audiences the opportunity to reflect on ‘Our Changing World’. 

Taking place throughout November, the Festival offers an ambitious programme of free virtual and physical events, hosted by the University of Birmingham and supported by the Economic and Social Research Council. Audiences are invited to play an active part in discussions about global challenges and how they are transforming the way we live, work and interact.  

Headlining the festival this year will be an event looking at sport for a new generation, the panel discussion will bring together academics and industry experts where attendees can expect to hear commentary on character and value in sport, inclusion and empowering coaching, as well as fan ownership on football. Representatives from Help for Heroes will be involved, along with Saathi House, an organisation committed to supporting women to drive positive change in their lives.

Aptly timed to coincide with COP26, the Festival has several events discussing the broad topic of climate change. These include the possibility of sustainable retail, decarbnising transport  and the direct and indirect impacts global warming could have on criminal behaviour.

Audiences can discover the world of Social Sciences from their sofas as 13 out of 15 events will be either entirely virtual or attendees can choose to visit us in person or join the discussion virtually.

With events focused on societal change as well as environmental, discussing topics such as dyslexia, what the pandemic can teach us about disability justice, eyewitness identification and our changing city centre, this year’s festival has something for everyone.

The festival is part of the nationwide ESRC Festival of Social Science which highlights how pioneering social, economic and political research impacts everyday life.

Professor Richard Black, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences at the University of Birmingham said: "This year's festival on 'Our Changing World' showcases the best of the University of Birmingham's research in the social sciences, from climate change and the route to zero carbon, to what we can learn from the Covid-19 pandemic. Events are available both in person and online, so there really is something for everyone." 

Notes to editor:

  • For media enquiries please contact Beck Lockwood, Press Office, University of Birmingham, tel: +44 (0)781 3343348.
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.