Scientists invite young people and families to explore ‘our environment’ this weekend with a programme of free, hands-on events in Oxford

Oxford University researchers are issuing the invitation as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science – the UK’s biggest celebration of social science research.

Running over the weekend of 6-7 November at Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, and reflecting the current COP26 climate change conference, the events celebrate the amazing impacts of social sciences research on people’s lives, on our environment, and on society as a whole.

With an exciting array of activities on offer from experts in anthropology, geography, sociology, and archaeology, the Festival promises activities to fascinate curious minds of all ages. From exploring Oxford city centre with air pollution sensors, to meeting artists and scientists working with blue carbon habitats, an interactive lecture with Prof. Danny Dorling exploring the link between social inequality and carbon footprints, and creating your own archaeological dig, attendees can engage with leading social scientists to explore our environments – in all their forms.

Professor Heather Viles, Associate Head (Research) of Oxford’s Social Sciences Division, said, ‘I’m really impressed with the amazing variety and interactivity of the events on offer at this year’s Festival. With the environment and climate change at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now, these events provide a fantastic opportunity for people to get hands-on with social sciences research and to understand how our researchers are making a real difference to the environments we live in.”

The programme, a mixture of drop-in and bookable events, is being led by experts from the University of Oxford’s Schools of Anthropology, Archaeology, and Geography, and the Department of Sociology, and include:
Saturday 6 November

Climate Change, Small Islands, and Me
Dirty Parenting? Exploring good germs and bad germs in your child’s microbiome
Blue Carbon Habitats in Nature and Art: coastal ecosystems for a healthy planet
Social Inequality and Saving the Planet
Sunday 7 November

Sensor-y Walks: Exploring Air Pollution in Oxford
A Story in Sand: make your own excavation
Cashmere, Copper and Nomadic Cuisine: Exploring the tastes and textures of Mongolia
Full details can be found on the Festival website: You can also join the conversation at #ESRCFestival


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