Festival of Social Science

A smiling young woman working at a table at the Festival Science workshop

From the Festival of Social Science Cardiff University reuse and repair workshop, November 2021. Credit: Matthew Horwood.

The ESRC Festival of Social Science is an annual, UK-wide, free celebration of the social sciences.

The festival consists of a series of events run each autumn, delivered by ESRC’s ‘festival partners’, higher education institutions spread across the UK. Events range
from exhibitions, lectures and panel debates through to performances, guided walks and workshops.

The festival is an opportunity for anyone to explore topics relating to social science, from health and wellbeing to crime, equality, education and identity, through events run by researchers from UK universities.

The 2024 festival is taking place from 19 October 2024 to 9 November 2024 with hundreds of events delivered by 41 partner institutions across the UK. The 2024 festival theme is our digital lives, with a number of events exploring this area as well as many others covering a wide range of social science topics.

There’s no cost to attend, and most events are open to everyone, though some are aimed at specific groups.

Aims of the festival

The aims of the festival are to:

  • encourage, support and create opportunities for social science researchers to engage with non-academic audiences
  • promote and increase awareness of the social sciences and ESRC-funded research
  • promote and increase awareness of the contribution social science makes to the wellbeing and the economy of society in the UK
  • enable the public to engage with social science research
  • engage with teachers and young people and to raise their awareness of the social sciences

Read more about the festival on the Festival of Social Science website.

How to participate as an event organiser

If you are interested in running an event as part of the festival, you need to check if your research institution is one of our festival partners. The majority of our festival partners are ESRC Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs).

If you’re based at a partner institution, please contact your own festival team directly to enquire about running an event and to request guidance, templates and branding assets for festival events. For institutions with an ESRC IAA, the festival team will sit within the IAA.

If you’re not based at one of our partners, please contact your nearest partner institution to explore potential for collaboration.

Find out more

You can find out more, view event listings, and book places, on the Festival of Social Science website. Follow us on Twitter at #ESRCFestival.

Discover key facts and figures from the 2023 festival by reading the festival report.

Discover key facts and figures from the 2022 festival by reading the festival report.

For any questions not covered on this page, contact fossmanager@leeds.ac.uk

Contact the relevant festival partner directly if your question is about how you can run an event as part of the festival.

Last updated: 9 July 2024

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