Nationwide festival of social science

A play exploring the complexities of caring for someone with dementia, an insight into how a better world is tantalisingly close, and a debate on Scotland’s attitude towards independence all form part of a nationwide festival.

The University is staging several events as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Festival of Social Science, which takes place across the UK from 2-9 November.

The Festival celebrates the very best of British social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives, both now and in the future.

Dramatising dementia

Professor Charlotte Clarke will look at the issues surrounded caring for people with dementia in From Research to Theatre: Exploration of Dementia, featuring a performance of the play Jack and Jill and the Red Postbox.

Created with Skimstone Arts, the play is based on Professor Clarke’s 89 interviews with people with dementia and their family members, conducted as part of the Risk and Resilience in Living with Dementia project.

In the play, Jill, who has dementia, goes out and events lead to panic among relatives who believe her to be missing.

The play raises awareness of the silent harms which can follow once a person has a dementia diagnosis. Focusing only on keeping people with dementia physically safe can actually contribute to the person's decline and result in the unnecessary loss of a person's skills, according to Professor Clarke.

Carers are frequently anxious and hyper-vigilant about the person with dementia. And this concern can lead to them avoiding activities that are meaningful to the person with dementia and indeed support their sense of who they are, for example, meeting people, going for a walk, cooking or helping with grandchildren.

Professor Charlotte ClarkeHead of the School of Health in Social Science

How do we create a better world?

This year's Festival of Social Science has over 170 creative and exciting events across the UK to encourage businesses, charities, government agencies, schools and college students to discuss, discover and debate topical social science issues.

The event, Innovation Generation: Shaping a new world, will ask what we need to do to create a better, more equitable world?

Led by Innogen, the University’s Institute for Innovation Generation in the Life Sciences, it will look at the new life sciences and emerging technologies that are shaping our future job prospects, medical treatments, well-being, and the economies and environments we live in.

What does Scotland think about independence?

Professor Lindsay Paterson will ask ‘What does Scotland think about Independence’ in a one-day event, run by AQMeN, the Applied Quantitative Methods Network.

It will look at the role social media is playing the independence debate, the attitude of young people, and the effect social attitudes will have on next year’s vote.

The final events will probe how to make mental health therapies more accessible, ask what the key is to make community renewable projects successful, and look at new perspectives on population aging in Scotland.

From Research to Theatre: Exploration of Dementia

Tickets are free

Saturday 2 November 2013, 12.00pm

Saturday 2 November 2013, 3.00pm

Studio Room, Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL

Book tickets now

Innovation Generation: Shaping a New World

Tickets are free

Wednesday 6 November 2013, 6.00pm

Wednesday 6 November 2013, 8.00pm

Inspace, 1 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9LE

Book tickets now

What Does Scotland Think About Independence?

Please note, this event is now fully booked

Wednesday 6 November 2013, 9.15am

Wednesday 6 November 2013, 4.30pm

Royal College of Physicians, 9 Queen Street, Edinburgh

The event programme

Social assets in community renewables

Please contact for registration information. Briefing materials, including a précis of the study, are available to attendees in advance.

Friday 8 November 2013, 9.00am

Friday 8 November 2013, 1.00pm

Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, Old High School, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT

Access to Mental Health Therapies in Scotland? A Deliberative Event

To register for this event, please contact Dr Martyn Pickersgill at

Thursday 7 November 2013, 11.00am

Thursday 7 November 2013, 1.00pm

Godfrey Thomson Hall, Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ

New Perspectives of Population Aging in Scotland

To reserve a place, please email

Monday 4 November 2013, 2.00pm

Monday 4 November 2013, 5.00pm

The Dome, New Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY

Related Links

ESRC Festival of Social Science

Research and Knowledge Exchange