Sheffield festival shines a light on city’s world-leading social science research

  • The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University team up to host a series of fascinating public events for the annual Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science (4-11 November 2017)
  • Highlights include a celebration of the diversity of the human mind with Touretteshero, virtual reality city experiences and an exploration of how green spaces affect people’s health

Festival of social sciences

Academics from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University will showcase their world-leading research during this year’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science.

The free festival, funded by the ESRC, is a chance for people from across the city and beyond to immerse themselves in a wide range of exciting events including lectures, debates, film screenings, interactive experiences and exhibitions.

Now in its 15th year, the ESRC festival will examine the ideas that shape our everyday lives – from health and wellbeing to the economy and the cities we live in today.

The festival is a chance for leading academics from Sheffield to explore and share their knowledge with the public through innovative events which break boundaries and challenge the status quo.

Professor Craig Watkins, Vice President and Head of the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Sheffield, said: “Social science research makes a huge difference to our lives, our work has influenced the cities we live in, our health and wellbeing, and the economy. The Festival of Social Science is a great opportunity for people to learn more about how innovative social science is tackling the issues that individuals and societies face today through exciting and immersive events.”

This year’s festival highlights include:

Monday 6 November 2017
Brexit and EU Nationals – Your Questions Answered
Are you worried about the repercussions of Brexit? The University of Sheffield Migration Research Group is hosting an informative public discussion to consider what Brexit could mean for EU nationals’ legal, family and worker rights. The discussion will be led by Dr Hannah Lewis at the Crucible Theatre, 6-7.30pm.

Tuesday 7 November 2017
Bring On The Biscuits: Celebrating The Diversity Of The Human Mind
Writer, artist and part time superhero Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of living with Tourette’s Syndrome. She will deliver a keynote speech as part of a fun and lively discussion about the place of neurodiversity – a celebration of the range of differences in individual brain function and behavioural traits – in our current times. The event is at the Creative Lounge at The Showroom Workstation from 6pm-7.30pm.

Sunday 5 November – Wednesday 29 November 2017
Remain/Leave: Photography Exhibition by Jeremy Abrahams
Hosted at Sheffield railway station, the exhibition will showcase and explore the many challenges Brexit poses for migrant couples and capture the uncertainty some couples feel through compelling and poignant portraits and the subjects’ own words.
Open 24 hours, Sheffield Train Station, Sheaf Street, S1 2BP.

Friday 10 November – Saturday 11 November 2017
Feeling Good in a Green City
Opening at the iconic Winter Garden attendees will get a chance to hear city dweller’s experiences of nature and greenspace, how it affects their mental health and how they connect with nature in the city though an interactive listening post. Open 12pm-5pm on Friday 10 November and 11am-3pm on Saturday 11 November, Winter Garden.

Friday 10 November and Saturday 11 November
Living in the Cold
With winter on its way, this exhibition will educate attendees how to stay warm for less during the colder months. The artist from Ignite Imaginations will demonstrate this through a pop up front room with art and craft activities for all ages. Open 10am-3pm, Moor Market.

Friday 10 November 2017 and Saturday 11 November 2017
Urban Extravaganza: The VR Experience
This hands-on events will showcase the origins and evolution of five cities, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Manhattan, Liverpool and Manchester through the power of virtual reality at the Winter Garden. Open 12pm-5pm on Friday 10 November and 11am-3pm on Saturday 11 November, Winter Garden.

Other events include a panel discussion on the government’s new industrial strategy and how it will benefit the North of England including its people, places and industries. There will also be a range of events aimed at children and young families including a bilingual storytelling event and book reading in multiple languages.

View the full Festival of Social Sciences schedule in Sheffield

Additional Information

The University of Sheffield
With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact:
Mary Hickey
Media and Communications Officer
0114 2221034