Understanding dementia: the value of co-research

by Linda Birt

Each year several thousand people with dementia take part in vital research as research participants, yet there are few examples of co-research projects in dementia research.

Co-research means people with experience of the condition work alongside academics in all stages of the research process: co-designing studies and co-creating data and results. In the context of dementia, co-research has the potential to actively involve and empower people with dementia and reduce stigma and feelings of isolation.

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Explaining Bitcoin technology using weddings and fridge magnets

by Chris Speed

Marriage contracts, fridge magnets and Pokemon-style games have been the inspiration behind our research tools to help people understand the concept of blockchain technology – the underlying architecture of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Most of us have heard of Bitcoin – the (relatively) new digital and global money system currency, allowing people to send or receive money across the internet – and are used to digital transactions like internet banking and contactless, but few of us understand the technology behind it. Continue reading

Why 50 years since the Abortion Act some people in Northern Ireland are still buying illegal abortions online – research explores their story

by Goretti Horgan

Today (27 April 2018) marks 50 years since the implementation of the 1967 Abortion Act. One of the main reasons it was supported in Parliament was to end practice of backstreet or self-induced abortions which was widespread, although very dangerous. Before the Act, each year, 30 or so deaths occurred and at least 30,000 women were admitted to hospital with complications. Continue reading

Bringing social science into the forefront of interdisciplinary research – a reflection of my time at the ESRC

by Tony McEnery

Former ESRC Director of Research and interim Chief Executive, Tony McEnery, reflects on some personal highlights and organisational successes during his time at ESRC.

I have had the unique privilege of working as Director of Research in two of the UK research councils – the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and, more recently, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It will come as no surprise to discover, then, that for me cross-council working comes easily – which was handy while steering the ESRC towards the move into UK Research and Innovation! Continue reading

Where has all the money gone?

by Alex Hulkes

The concept of ‘place’ is a key part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy. Knowledge, capabilities and skills might be rather abstract things but in the end they act through and on people who have a physical presence in a place or places.

We’ve just published some new analysis of ESRC regional spending (PDF) which links the intangible inputs and outputs of ESRC funding with their physical and geographical placement.

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