Sociology and Public engagement, ESRC festival of social science

The ESRC festival of social science has recently put out another call for proposals for events this November. There’s up to 2k available for events which appeal to non-academic audiences.

In the last couple of years I’ve been successful in getting support for a Zombie film screening at the Newcastle Lit and Phil, and a night in a pub exploring pub quizzes

In each case the event was a great opportunity to meet and connect with people that I would not have engaged with otherwise. The Zombie event attracted lots of zombie fans and helped with a zombie related book chapter I have written (the book is out soon! check it out, Zombies in the Academy). I also ended up being interviewed by various media outlets, which was a great experience.

The pub quiz night was good fun, and was featured as an ESRC Podcast, and that was a great experience to be a part of. I still think there is a Radio 4 program there!


At the foundation centre I work with colleagues from a range of disciplines, including quite a lot of natural scientists. They are actively involved in lots of public engagement type activities such as Durham’s Celebrate Science which is a great event (I even volunteered!).

I think that as social scientists we have an especially great incentive to engage with the public, they should be interested in what we’re working on. I teach introductory sociology classes and it’s a great feeling to be the person to introduce sociology to a new cohort each year. The ESRC festival of social science is a great opportunity to promote the range of social research that is undertaken across the UK, I’ll be applying again this year, and so should you! (I’m happy to respond to any queries if I can).


About digitalscholar

I am a sociologist with an interest in new technology. Previously I’ve worked on a number of projects at Lancaster University and the Open University looking at the use of new technologies and social media by researchers. I was also a social sciences teaching fellow at the foundation centre at Durham University teaching sociology and anthropology. I am now a senior lecturer at the University of West London's Institute for Teaching, Innovation and Learning where I oversee the foundation provision and support retention. I'm sure I'll still be interested in, and occasionally blog about, tech related things. I use this blog to post thoughts about using new technologies in my professional academic life and wider thoughts and links relating to technology more generally.
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