The festival of social science

Welcome to the Festival of Social Science

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From exhibitions and workshops to debates and hands-on experiences, this annual festival showcases cutting edge research from the University of Essex.

Every year, the University of Essex takes part in the nationwide Festival of Social Science. This annual festival has been held for nineteen consecutive years and takes place every November, with events ranging from public debates to workshops and exhibitions. The festival is designed to reach out to audiences beyond academia, to celebrate the impact social science research has on business, the public sector, society and the quality of people’s lives.

Festival of Social Science 2022

Free film festival brings social science research to life

A free film festival on Wednesday 2 November at Firstsite Gallery in Colchester.

The films form part of the annual ESRC Festival of Social Science, a national celebration of research and knowledge about humans and society which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022.

The festival events are an opportunity to explore topics relating to social science – from health and wellbeing to crime, equality, education, and identity.

This year, the film festival includes a range of films based around the theme of “my local area”.

Film highlights include an insight into how young people in the East of England experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, made by award-winning filmmaker Nic Blower; an in-depth look at how research has helping reshape Colchester town centre; and a look at how social science and local councils have come together to reduce the use of single-use plastic.

'The Feast' by Alicja Rogalska documents a metabolic feast, a dinner ritual commemorating the end of humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels. It takes place sometime in the future when humans harvest and distribute surplus energy generated by their metabolism and movements. Around the table the assembled dinner party guests consume fossil fuels and other substances once used in energy production, including coal, crude oil, diesel, lithium and uranium. While doing so, they discuss strategies employed by societies in the past to wean themselves from dirty energy and avert climate catastrophe. Alicja is our Artist-in-Residence and the 2022 winner of the Berlin Art Prize.

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