Social science helping to close the gender gap

Sarah Womack 150.jpgSarah Womack is former political correspondent and social affairs correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, with a particular interest in women’s issues and social science.

Here she writes about International Women’s Day, and how ESRC research contributes to its 2017 campaign theme #BeBoldForChange

There’s a fascinating piece of social history that goes like this; in the beautiful coastal outpost that is Aldeburgh, Suffolk, three young women gather in 1860 to plot their careers. One said she would become Britain’s first female doctor. One would pursue the right of women to go to university.

The third, only 13 at the time, would press for women to have the vote. Continue reading

Gaming addiction: it may not be as much of a crisis as some expect

Today (3 March) marks the launch of the latest games console to hit our homes, the Nintendo SwitchAs fears continue to grow about gaming addiction, expert Andrew K Przybylski – whose study draws on data from the ESRC-funded Understanding Society survey – says the future of research in the field must be large, collaborative, and transparent.


Few activities stir the imagination or popular concern more than video gaming. Nearly all young people in the UK now regularly play games – four in five of those we surveyed play daily – and the possibility they may impact on health, aggression, or human development is controversial. Continue reading

Finding the right chemistry for a good proposal

Alex Hulkes is Strategic Lead for Insights at the ESRC. Here he highlights new analysis which demonstrates what elements could make a successful proposal.


My last blog looked at demand management. This time I’m looking at the quality of proposals, as judged by our peer review processes, which are submitted to ESRC. Continue reading

20 years on since Dolly – how do we feel about the ethics of cloning now?

Today marks 20 years since Dolly the Sheep was unveiled to the world by British scientists, at BBSRC’s Roslin Institute – which this month welcomed the appointment of a new director. Here ESRC-funded academic Sarah Franklin, who authored the book Dolly Mixtures, looks at where we currently stand on the ethics surrounding cloning.


A designer sheep

On 22 February 1997 the world woke up to a new phenomenon: a cloned Scottish sheep named Dolly. She became a global superstar: famous because she was a completely normal sheep. Dolly embodied a famously misunderstood scientific technique, namely cloning. Continue reading

How secure data-sharing can help ‘Daniel Blakes’

Chris Coates is web editor for the ESRC-funded Administrative Data Service. He coordinates the Network newsletter, and helps to ensure that ADRN’s communications are clear and transparent.

chris coates.jpg

Winning Outstanding British film at the 2017 BAFTAs – not to mention the prizes it’s already taken, including the Palme d’Or at Cannes – I, Daniel Blake, the tale of a man’s dealings with the benefits system, is having another moment in the limelight. Continue reading