Lifelong wellbeing is research festival focus

Press/Media: Project or Organisational News Item


Robots as carers, the impact of reading on wellbeing, and the secrets of healthy relationships are among topics being explored at a major research showcase.

Experts from Edinburgh are joining an engaging line-up of speakers as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Festival of Social Science.

Group of people crossing a street in Edinburgh

The UK-wide festival – which runs from 21 October to 17 November – offers opportunities to consider topics related to the social sciences at events run by university researchers.

A programme of more than 300 events – bookable through the Festival website – includes talks, performances, exhibitions, participatory events and panel debates.

To tie in with this year’s 75th anniversary of the NHS, a number of events will focus on mental and physical wellbeing across the age spectrum.

Full programme

The University is presenting 13 events at venues in Edinburgh as part of the Festival.

Dr Catherine Clarissa, from Nursing Studies, will lead two events exploring the experiences of young adults on their journeys of stroke recovery and delve into the fascinating world of the human brain.

The drop-in events at Waverley station’s main concourse on 21 October and in the Royal Commonwealth Pool foyer on 27 October, offer a variety of interactive activities, including maze and puzzle challenges.

Dr Fiona Morrison, from Childhood Studies, will present a photography exhibition that honours the relationships between children and mothers in the context of domestic abuse.

The exhibition, at Stills on Cockburn Street from 24-28 October, features photographs taken by children and mothers with experience of abuse.

Open invitation

The Binks Hub – which promotes participatory and artistic methods in academic research – and Dick Vet in the Community are inviting people to join in research that improves health, wellbeing, and public spaces.

The event, at 127 Nicolson Street on 27 October, will demonstrate how communities can use smart apps and technologies to benefit their local environment.

Dr Giulia De Togni, of the Usher Institute, will lead a workshop at Summerhall Anatomy Lecture Theatre on 27 October aimed at designing the robot helpers of the future.

Participants can unleash their creativity and share ideas for designs that could assist people in their homes, at school or in hospital.  

The University’s Q Step academy – which seeks to boost statistical literacy among social scientists – will lead a session on how data analysis can build understanding of world issues.

Aimed at High School students, the online event on 30 October will address how data is being used to help inform research linked to life expectancy at home and abroad. 

Emotional insights

Dr Karen Goodall and Dr Zara Brodie, of the School of Health in Social Science, will explore how secure and insecure attachment styles influence the way we view emotions such as joy and happiness.

The event at the VoodDoo Rooms on 2 November will offer valuable insights that can transform the way people perceive their emotions. 

A team of Edinburgh researchers will present an event that weighs up how to best to approach reports of racism by children.

The event, at McDonald Road Library’s Nelson Hall on 7 November, will examine how those who may have to respond to such reports can handle them effectively.

Well read

Researchers from the Moray House School of Education and Sport and Scottish Book Trust will present new findings from the Leverhulme Reading and Wellbeing Project.

The event, at Charteris Land on 8 November, will focus on the role that reading can play in supporting wellbeing – including the impact that fiction has at different stages in life.

Dr Michelle King-Okoye, of the School of Health in Social Science, will lead a workshop on supporting and promoting wellbeing among student carers.

The online workshop on 10 November will introduce young carers to a network where inspirational stories will be shared as well as advice on career development.

Lasting advice

Psychologist Sarah Stanton will lead an event examining the key, evidence-based ingredients that make happy romantic relationships last.

The online event on 14 November brings together leading psychologists from around the UK, who will share their insights on building better romantic relationships.

Suicide prevention is the focus of an event led by Dr Hazel Marzetti, of the School of Health in Social Science, at the Quaker Meeting House on 13 November.

The politics of suicide prevention will be a key theme of the day, which will use creative activities to facilitate networking between policy makers, practitioners and the wider public.

Key lessons

Dr Sal Consoli, of the Institute for Language Education, will present a workshop that highlights the many benefits that teachers can gain by engaging with research.

Participants can learn from other teachers, teacher educators and counsellors who have experience in mentoring teaching research.

The Festival of Social Science began in 2002 as Social Science Week with around 25 events. It has run annually since then and grown in size, breadth and coverage.

The Festival plays a key role in promoting the benefits of the social sciences to society and connecting researchers with new audiences.

Period19 Oct 2023

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleLifelong wellbeing is research festival focus
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletUniversity of Edinburgh News
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    PersonsCatherine Clarissa


TitleFestival of Social Science 2023: Lifelong Wellbeing
LocationEdinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Period21 Oct 2023 → 17 Nov 2023