What is corpus linguistics and how does it contribute to society?

Professor Tony McEnery, previously Director of the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science, is the ESRC’s new Research Director. Here, in a piece to be published in the upcoming Society Now magazine, he explains corpus linguistics and its contribution to society, how language is changing, and his aspirations in his new role.


What are the challenges of the corpus linguistics area of research and what is the contribution that corpus linguistics has made to society? What might a non-scientific person on the street recognise/understand as the impacts from this genre of research? Continue reading

Does the carrier bag charge make us more green?

Why does charging for carrier bags encourage environmentally-friendly behaviour, but other initiatives do not? This is the question being posed here by Lorraine Whitmarsh, Professor of Environmental Psychology in the School of Psychology, Cardiff University and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

You can also read this article in this month’s Society Now magazine, which is out later this week.

Lorraine Whitmarsh

Latest figures show that in less than a year, the English carrier bag charge has led to reductions in single-use carrier bags of around 80 per cent. This is similar to reductions achieved in other countries, including Wales (90 per cent), Scotland (80 per cent) and Northern Ireland (72 per cent), where similar charges have been implemented. Continue reading

The AB(B)CDE of biosocial research

In the third of our series of blogs on biosocial research, Professor John Hobcraft – who for several years has been a Strategic Advisor to the ESRC on data resources in the longitudinal and biosocial domains – writes about how our behaviours and experiences alter our biology and our biology plays a part in shaping our behaviours

 John Hobcraft

Can we understand choices and behaviours without combining neuroscience and social science? Can we understand employment and social relationships without attention to mental and physical health, and the underlying biological pathways?  Continue reading

Picture of the week: Society Now

Society Now is our regular magazine, bringing the latest and most topical social science research to key opinion formers in business, government and the voluntary sector. It is published three times a year and highlights research by the UK’s leading social scientists. Society Now demonstrates how social science research can contribute to better policymaking and, ultimately, a better society.

Keep a look out for the latest issue which will be landing on your mats this week.

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