WISERD Conference 2011: “A Major ‘Shop Window’ for Social Science Research in Wales”

On 28th and 29th June 2011 colleagues from across the WISERD partner Universities, invited speakers, representatives of voluntary organisations, postgraduate students and representatives from the public sector met in Swansea to present their work at the second WISERD conference.

Over 140 delegates attended what is quickly becoming established as the major ‘shop window’ for social science research in Wales, providing an opportunity for researchers to engage across Wales and also to meet with policy-makers and the public more widely.

The theme of the conference was “Changing Wales: Social, Economic Perspectives” and it began with a special screening of Professor Gideon Koppel’s (Aberystwyth University) award winning film “Sleep Furiously” at the Taliesin cinema in Swansea.

The film portrays life in a village faced by the forces of change, drawing our attention to rural lives, beleaguered in similar and different ways to other parts of Wales, such as the post-industrial lives in the South Wales Valleys. The screening, which attracted a wide audience, was chosen because it highlights many of the issues raised in the papers, roundtables and keynote lectures that formed the main body of the conference.

The topics discussed at the conference reflected on the institute’s interdisciplinary working methods, showcasing research on themes relating to Wales.  Specific sessions focussed on behaviour change, housing, migration, inequality, ageing and economic regeneration.

Planning for next year’s conference “WISERD 2012: Devolution, Place and Change” is already underway. The conference will be held in Bangor on 28th and 29th March 2012 and the call for abstracts will open in September 2011.