ESRC Festival of Social Science 2018

From sharing our latest research findings and hosting expert panel discussions, to providing practical workshops and networking opportunities, WISERD ran four events as part of this year’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Sciences.

We began the week by visiting a local secondary school and sharing some of the latest findings from our WISERD Education longitudinal multi-cohort study with young people across Wales. The study has recently revealed some interesting findings on which qualities young people consider to be most important in an ideal friend.

This interactive session also provided an introduction to the methods social scientists use and pupils gained a useful insight into how survey data is analysed. Pupils took part in a quiz and the winning team are pictured below with their prize.


The following day we were joined by colleagues from the voluntary sector, civil society organisations, policymakers and fellow researchers, for a practical session on how to use the WISERD DataPortal for civil society research.

The WISERD DataPortal is a free tool developed by WISERD researchers that allows you to discover, map, analyse and compare social, demographic and economic data relating to Wales. Participants were given a live demonstration of the main functions of the DataPortal, before having the opportunity to participate in a structured workshop, interrogating and mapping a number of secondary data sets under the expert guidance of our researchers. The session culminated in participants providing some useful feedback which will now inform future development and improvements to the DataPortal.


Our next event brought WISERD researchers from Aberystwyth University and the University of Roehampton to Cardiff, where they were joined by a variety of organisations, including third sector representatives, to share their research into how European migrants contribute to civil society in Wales.

This research project explores how participating in civil society affects migrants’ sense of belonging. The event provided the opportunity for a range of stakeholders to discuss the lessons learned from this research, and how this information could be used to inform policy and practice. The event culminated in a panel discussion and Q&A session where practitioners spoke about their experiences of EU migration and civil society, focusing on common experiences, practices and challenges.

Our final ESRC event was organised in partnership with the Wales TUC and took place at the Unite Building in Cardiff, where we were joined by trade union officials.

WISERD researchers shared insights from our analysis of recent trade union campaigns, which have effectively used social media to share their message, including the #McStrike campaign. The event aimed to develop participants’ understanding of the strategic use of social media in trade union organising.

The ESRC Festival of Social Sciences took place between the 3rd and 10th November and included over 300 events altogether across the UK. The festival aims to explore the ways in which social science affects the everyday life of people of all ages and from all walks of life. You can find out more about events that took place throughout the week by searching #esrcfestival on Twitter.