Online Festival Focus on Social Science

The University of Aberdeen will launch a virtual festival dedicated to the role social science can play in meeting the most important challenges of our time.

Running from Tuesday November 10 to Friday November 13, daily sessions will explore issues ranging from local to international as part of the 2020 Festival of Social Science in Aberdeen.

It forms part of a national, annual event funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. For 2020, more than 300 events will run around the UK but for the first time these will all be held in a digital format.

In Aberdeen, the Festival will begin on Tuesday with a look at ‘Green Recovery in the North East of Scotland – A Just Transition?’ with MSP Gillian Martin, Aberdeen Climate Action’s Alison Stuart and the University’s Dr David Toke, Dr Thomas Muinzer and Dr Tavis Potts. They will consider the Scottish Governments aims for a ‘green, just and sustainable recovery’ as we look to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, how the region may benefit from this and how it can be best supported.

This will be followed on Wednesday with a look at populist movements emerging in sub-Saharan Africa exploring its potential forms and the positive role it can play in mobilising change.

Thursday will see the University’s Dr Malcolm Harvey analysing the results of the US Presidential Election and considering what we can expect to happen next.

The Aberdeen events will conclude with ‘Death, Caring, Walking, Worrying: Perspectives on the Pandemic’ on Friday – a panel event presenting new research from the University of Aberdeen’s Department of Anthropology on the coronavirus pandemic. This focuses on social and cultural perspectives and how the pandemic has affected everyday life and death. 

Professor George Boyne, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, said:

“Social sciences have a central role to play in meeting the most important challenges of our time.

“We are delighted to be able to showcase important work in this field underway at the University of Aberdeen as well as welcoming speakers to discuss a wide range of important issues from those affecting us locally to those on a global stage.

“2020 is an important year for the University as we mark our 525th year and while we had hoped to be able to celebrate with events on campus, our virtual alternatives have proved popular.

“We are proud to support the first all-digital Festival of Social Science and hope that people enjoy the exciting online programme the festival offers.”

For event times and further details of how to get involved visit 

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