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ESRC Manchester Fest Launch Event: Social Science and the Public: Between Opposition and Accommodation

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02 November 2016
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University
4 Rosamond Street West
M15 6LL

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This lively debate marked the launch of the 2016 Manchester ESRC Festival of Social Science.

The recent decision to leave the European Union has re-ignited a long simmering debate on the role of experts in both the public policy process and civic debate more generally. Similarly, policy tumult in both the UK and the US suggests that a large swathe of citizens have genuinely ‘had enough of experts.’ At the same time, social media increasingly makes experts of us all, but is this a recipe for misinformation, or a valuable new form of scrutiny?

Professor Francesca Gains makes her opening remarks

The debate considered the proper role of the social scientist within public discourse. At a time where full time academics are increasingly required to justify their research activities, with respect to ‘impact’ to (and for) the economy and society, we asked: Can social scientists contribute to public discourse whilst retaining their integrity?


In the Chair: Michael Taylor (External Relations Adviser, Manchester Metropolitan University)



Professor Francesa Gains (Professor of Public Policy, University of Manchester)ESRC Festival of Social Science logo

Professor Kevin Albertson (Professor of Economics, Manchester Metropolitan University)

Professor Andy Miah (Professor of Public Engagement, University of Salford)