BMX culture and pandemics among subjects being explored at festival

The region’s top universities have teamed up with museums, galleries and community groups to help bring their research to life, as part of the national ESRC Festival of Social Science.

The Festival, now in its 15th year, aims to showcase the best in social science research to the general public. From 4th – 11th November, experts from The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford will host a programme of innovative and exciting public events across Greater Manchester, including film festivals, walking tours, fashion shows and VR experiments.

The University of Manchester’s contributions will include a huge variety of topics connected to research in sociology, business, law, anthropology, education and health and social care.

Highlights include an interactive online game about how social science has shaped the city, an exploration of ‘street’ BMX and skateboard culture, and a creative workshop simulating a pandemic. There are exhibitions, debates, film screenings, family fun days and walks and talks taking place throughout the week.

"The ESRC Festival showcases the enormous contribution that research in the social sciences make to wider society in Manchester and beyond," said Professor Helen Beebee, Director of Social Responsibility in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester. "It’s great to see academics, community and cultural partners and the general public coming together to engage with high-quality research in creative ways."

We need our social scientists to help us understand and contribute to overcoming the challenges we face in society, and the Festival tackles issues that matter to us all, both close to home and on the international stage. I’m very excited about it and will be going to as many events as I can.
Professor Helen Beebee, Director of Social Responsibility in the School of Social Sciences

For more information about the festival, visit, or search for #McrESRCFest on Twitter.

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