The speed of fright: research in a six minute slideshow

by Rob McNeil

The joy of academia, for many, is the attention to detail. The sort of attention to detail that allows us to luxuriate over the minutiae and nuances of an issue for hours, days, months, years – sometimes even entire lifetimes.

Most people, of course, don’t have this luxury so, for the 2018 ESRC Festival of Social Science, we decided to try to speed things up a bit.

In fact, we decided to get 11 speakers to explain everything you could possibly want to know about the fiendishly complex issue of EU migration in just 72 minutes… Continue reading

Are we achieving gender equality? Can we do more?

by Emma Jeanes

Gender equality is firmly back on the public agenda. Unless you’ve switched off the television and radio, disconnected from social media and abandoned the printed press you can’t fail to notice that gender equality and related topics of sexual harassment, that disproportionately affects women, are regular topics of conversation. Social media has played a crucial role in spreading the word, with many campaigns such as #MeToo and #HeForShe drawing attention to gender inequality, and coalescing support to tackle it. This is all fantastic news and a step in the right direction. What is also heartening is the role men are playing in this as women cannot address gender inequality on their own. Continue reading

What actually is a PhD?

Hannes Titeca 150px.jpgHannes Titeca is an ESRC-funded PhD student at the University of Exeter.

It is only as I enter the second year of my PhD that I now feel able to start answering this remarkably simple question.

Throughout my first year, I found myself constantly updating the few expectations I did have. I feel that this illustrates a more general issue of young people, as part of the wider population, not knowing enough about what doctoral study involves and how it relates to research, universities, and academia more generally. Continue reading

Early life experiences and the adult mind

Marlene Lorgen-Ritchie 150Marlene Lorgen-Ritchie is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Rowett InstituteHer research involves investigating the biological pathways linking the social environment during development, with mood and personality in later life.

Here, in the latest of our biosocial blog series, she writes about one aspect of biosocial research – epigenetics – which she’ll be exploring more at a Festival of Social Science event next week.

Our early life experiences in the womb and throughout childhood have been shown to influence how we turn out as adults. This includes how healthy we are, how rich we become and what and how we think. However we still don’t know how it all comes about biologically. That’s where epigenetics comes in. Continue reading