WISERD, in partnership with the Research Institute for Applied Social Science (RIASS) and the Academy of Social Science, have today launched a new booklet showcasing the vast array of social science research taking place in Wales; titled ‘Making the Case for the Social Sciences 10 – Wales’.
It includes a new study by Welsh researchers which has led to transformations in the way homicide teams around the world crack cases. Professor Fiona Brookman from the University of South Wales explored the culture and practices of homicide investigations with officers from Britain and the United States. She devised a new way of judging the success of investigations, leading to changes in how homicide units in the US and around the world conduct murder probes and engage with families and local communities.
Tackling child obesity is another example of how researchers in Wales are impacting policy well beyond their national borders. The Food Dudes programme developed at Bangor University has been rolled out successfully in many places across the UK, increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables children are happy to eat and displacing other, less healthy foods from the diets of both children and their parents diets.
The booklet also showcases research into the importance of peer support groups in preventing teen smoking, as well as the work of Professor Bob Woods on treating dementia through Cognitive Stimulation Theory. Professor Woods, of Bangor University, is overseeing the next issue in the Making the Case series on the topic of dementia.
Other research topics include: improving the evidence base in public sector pay; combating human trafficking; shifting attitudes in favour of Welsh devolution; new approaches to fighting the ‘war on drugs’; and protecting human rights for young people in Wales.
‘Making the Case for the Social Sciences 10 – Wales’ comprises 14 case studies of research carried out by Welsh institutions which have influenced national and international governments, as well as highlighting the benefits of social science research on public policy.
Home to just 9 of the UK’s 109 Higher Education Institutions, Welsh Universities have pioneered innovative social science research on a global scale on a broad range of topics, from public health, to international financial markets and quality of life in the workplace.
The booklet will be launched today (Tuesday 14th July) by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Wales Office and Department of Energy and Climate Change at the BIS Conference Centre in London before an audience of policy makers, civil servants, MPs and social scientists.
The booklet is the tenth in the Making the Case for the Social Sciences series, and is a joint collaboration between the Academy of Social Sciences, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD), and The Research Institute for Applied Social Sciences (RIASS). These booklets are produced by the Academy of Social Sciences and the Campaign for Social Science to demonstrate the power of social science research to improve lives.
Other speakers and panellists at the launch will include: Ceridwen Roberts OBE FLSW FAcSS; Professor Fiona Brookman, Deputy Director of the Centre for Criminology, University of South Wales; and Professors David Blackaby and Phil Murphy of the Labour Economics Section, Swansea University.
You can download Making the Case for the Social Sciences in Wales in English here, and in Welsh here.