How tall are you? And what’s that in metric? Introducing CLOSER’S ‘harmonised’ dataset

by Rebecca Hardy

Society has never quite come to terms with the change from imperial to metric measurements, particularly when it comes to weight and height. Ask people how tall they are or how much they weigh and you’re likely to get an answer in feet and inches, or stones and pounds. Ask again what that is in metric and more often than not you’ll get a blank look.

Continue reading

A disciplined approach to disciplines

by Alex Hulkes

If you were to guess what proportion of the ESRC portfolio reflected thinking from, or somehow related to, more than one discipline, what figure would you come up with?

We tried this experiment in ESRC, and came up with a figure of around 60%, but that was based on gut feel. Happily, ‘gut feel’ isn’t the basis for our decision making. Neither are dowsing or entrail reading, and someone has lost the corporate copy of the I Ching. Continue reading

Top 10 ESRC blogs from 2017

Mark Gardner (ESRC)Mark Gardner, ESRC Press Manager and co-editor of the ESRC blog, picks out our most read blogs of 2017.

It remains a delight and a privilege for us to publish regular blogs written by members of the ESRC community. This year, you’ve shared your research, expertise, opinion, criticism, and hopes. This blog has featured posts from a variety of interesting and celebrated contributors,  giving us an insight into current themes in economic and social research. We’ve also featured posts from our very own staff to try to shed some light on what we’re doing and how.

Continue reading

Learning to live with floods

Maggie Mort 150.jpgMaggie Mort is Professor of the sociology of science, technology and medicine at Lancaster University. She is coordinator of the EU H2020 project Cultures of Disaster Resilience Among Children and Young People (CUIDAR), which followed directly from the ESRC Urgency project Children, Young People and Flooding carried out on Humberside and in Thames Valley.

Marion Walker 150.jpgMarion Walker is a human geographer and Senior Research Associate at Lancaster University. Using innovative methodologies, she has extensive experience in working with flood-affected families in the UK and led the research on the Hull Children’s Flood Project following the severe floods of 2007.

Here they reflect on the most recent serious floods in England – within a mile of their workplace.

‘Flood warning no longer in force’, read the status for the River Conder, at Galgate Area A, within days of the flood on 22 November. But while floodwaters have retreated, what it means to be flooded is only just starting to unfold for those caught up in it. The residents who were affected and evacuated now must enter a long and uncertain period of recovery. And just like the flood-affected children we worked with in South Ferriby on Humberside after the 2013-14 tidal surge, many of these families face a Christmas in temporary accommodation or in hotels. Continue reading

Investing in energy

Jim Watson 150Jim Watson is Director of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).

In this piece he asks what the government can do to encourage further investment in innovation to make the UK’s energy system more flexible.

The UK energy system is changing fast. Coal, the fuel that powered the industrial revolution, is in rapid decline and low carbon technologies now generate over 50% of the UK’s power. Energy demand has fallen since the mid 2000s, driven by energy efficiency improvements and economic restructuring. Continue reading