The Festival of Social Science

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David Dimbleby Presents: Who Needs Experts Anyway?

An online debate presented by David Dimbleby; Essex Honorary Graduate, esteemed political journalist and current affairs television presenter.

 Hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2020.

A portrait of Michael Gove wearing a suit, against a dark backdrop.
"I think the people in this country have had enough of experts... People from organisations with acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong."

Have we really had enough of experts? Why do we need them? And what role do they play?

How can an expert help to solve the difficulties of Brexit, or the unrest of current American politics? How can an economist help to address domestic violence or a global pandemic? What can a sociologist do to improve policing techniques? Where would society be without the contributions of experts?

Join David Dimbleby; Honorary Graduate, renowned British journalist and current affairs television presenter, known for shows such as Question Time, as he hosts a debate with leading academics from the Faculty of Social Sciences. Take part in this lively online discussion as we investigate how academic expertise helps to tackle the very real challenges we face in society today.

We welcome you to take part in this free online event, as we explore how social science research informs opinion and fuels change across society every day.

Who is this event for?

This event is for anyone who has ever wondered how experts help to inform decision makers. Who are the people helping to inform your government? What role do the experts really play? And how do we know they are right? 

This free online debate is open to the public. All ages and walks of life are welcome to attend this lively discussion.

Who will be there?

Join David Dimbleby and a panel of our leading experts from the world of social science, as we discuss the role and value of expertise in society today.

When is it and how can I join in?

This debate will take place online on Tuesday 10 November 2020 at 4pm until 5.30pm. The event will be hosted via Zoom. Register your free place on Eventbrite and save your space now.


Reserve your place now

Join the debate...

For those who wonder how and why, for the rule-breakers, for the decision makers, the ones who dare to think outside the box, this festival is for you.

Every year, the University of Essex takes part in the nationwide Festival of Social Science. This annual festival has been held for eighteen consecutive years and takes place every November, with events ranging from public debates to film screenings 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.

This festival is free, open to the public and suitable for all ages and walks of life. So if you're looking for inspiring experiences to inform and entertain, this annual celebration is for you.

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