Are modern social issues old news? Single parents, the ageing population and the Victorian family

by Kevin Schürer

The modern family has its struggles. Single-parent families are often at the forefront of Government debates about welfare and employment. The elderly population is growing, and more and more people live alone in their later years. People marry later and have children later – who in turn are leaving home later and later.

At first glance, our complicated modern family structure might seem to be just that – modern. However, a look at the data shows that family has never been simple. Continue reading

How to live to 100 and tell people about it!

by Teresa McGowan

We are all living longer; since 1850, we’ve gained around 2.5 years of life expectancy per decade and it’s estimated that one in three children born today will live to be 100 years old. In Europe there is one retiree for every four people of working age, by 2060 this is expected to rise to one in two.

In our exhibition, ‘How to get to 100 – and enjoy it’, we ask people to explore how our early years, lifestyle, work and where we live can affect our lifespan. Continue reading

Exploring Researchfish

by Rick Hamilton

The first quarter of the new year is a busy time for our grant holders, research organisation staff, and all those involved with the collection of research outcomes in ESRC and UKRI. It sees the start of another Researchfish submission period, and this is the fifth year that our grant holders have taken part. Here in the ESRC Insights team, we have spent the year since the last submission period reviewing the data we have collected so far and reflecting on how we use it. Continue reading

The rise in hate crime in 2017-18: A genuine increase or just poor data?

by Matthew Williams

In 2017 I was approached to take part in a BBC One Panorama documentary on the rise of hate crime following the Brexit vote.  The BBC wanted an expert on the topic to provide the ‘hard science’ on hate crime figures.  Ahead of the crew travelling to Cardiff for filming, I spent two weeks delving into the most recent police and Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) figures (PDF). What I found was a complex picture that wasn’t going to be easy to explain in a sound-bite. Continue reading

Developing a chatbot for mental health in the workplace

by Gillian Cameron

In 2016, I graduated with a degree in Computing from Glasgow Caledonian University. My final project involved developing a reminiscence application for people living with dementia. From this project, I developed a keen interest in how technology could be used in mental healthcare.

After finishing my degree, a friend had just started a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) – something I had never heard of. Once she explained what a KTP was, I was keen to check out current vacancies. Continue reading