ESRC Festival of Social Science

The 12th annual Festival of Social Science took place from 1-8 November 2014 with over 200 free events nationwide. Run by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Festival provided an opportunity for anyone to meet with some of the country’s leading social scientists and discover, discuss and debate the role that research plays in everyday life. With a whole range of creative and engaging events there was something for everyone including businesses, charities, schools and government agencies. A full programme is available at You can also see the discussion on Twitter using #esrcfestival.

Our ‘Putting a price on nature’ event ran across two days in November 2014 as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science. Exhibitions, talks and interactive demonstrations explored the questions ‘what does nature do for me?’ and ‘what is nature worth?’. At this free event, UEA economists and geographers illustrated the interconnection between modern lifestyles and the natural environment using a range of information technologies.

Thursday 6 November (10am-4pm, The Forum, Norwich) 
This exciting event was an opportunity for the general public to experience first-hand the innovative techniques used to communicate the benefits we receive from nature. Visitors were invited to take part in interactive demonstrations designed to showcase cutting-edge information technologies such as 3D visualisation and virtual tours.

Thursday 6 November (5.30pm, The Forum, Norwich)
Visitors took part in a one-off discussion with university professors and conservation groups. Professor Ian Bateman gave a talk about valuing nature and why an economic perspective matters. Audience members included key representatives from the worlds of local planning, conservation, business and research.

Saturday 8 November (10am and 12pm, University of East Anglia)
Activities included a guided tour of the campus using a smart-phone based crowd-sourcing app and a fieldwork challenge. Data were analysed in real-time and visitors got to see their work on a 125-degree curved screen hosted at the University of East Anglia Virtual Reality Theatre.

The event is now over, but you can find out about how it went using the menu at the top of this page. Please email me if you have any comments or queries.

ESRC Festival Flyer

ESRC Festival Flyer


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