Welsh research showcased at event celebrating social sciences in society

Fiona Brookman

Research undertaken by social science researchers in Wales is being celebrated this week at the launch of a new publication - ‘Making the Case for the Social Sciences 10: Wales’ -published by the Academy of Social Sciences and its Campaign for Social Science. 


The publication comprises 14 case studies of research carried out by Welsh institutions which have influenced national and international governments, as well as highlighting the benefits of social science research on public policy. 


The publication features studies from the universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Swansea, and South Wales, and covers research areas including shifting attitudes in favour of Welsh devolution, public sector pay, dementia treatment through Cognitive Stimulation Theory, and reducing smoking uptake in teenagers through peer support.  


Impact from Welsh research has been far reaching. The Food Dudes programme, developed at Bangor University, has been rolled out successfully in many places across the UK, increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables children are happy to eat and displacing other, less healthy foods from the diets of both children and their parents’ diets.


It has also achieved global impact. Professor Fiona Brookman from the University of South Wales, who will speak at the launch, has explored the nature and circumstances of homicide and police homicide investigations in the UK and the United States. Insights from Fiona's work were reproduced in the British Murder Manual, the International Association of Chiefs of Police in the United States includes Fiona's proposals of broadening outcome assessments in their top ten directives, and a US force are considering implementing Fiona's proposals to include Family Liaison Officers as part of their process for homicide investigation.


Other research topics include: combating human trafficking; new approaches to fighting the ‘war on drugs’, and; protecting human rights for young people in Wales. 


Home to just nine of the UK’s 109 Higher Education Institutions, Welsh universities have pioneered innovative social science research on a global scale on a broad range of topics, from public health, to international financial markets and quality of life in the workplace. 


The booklet is being launched today (Wednesday 25th November) by the Minister for Health and Social Services, Mark Drakeford, AM, at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay, before an audience of policy makers, civil servants, AMs and social scientists. 


The booklet is the tenth in the Making the Case for the Social Sciences series, and is a joint collaboration between the Academy of Social Sciences and its Campaign for Social Science, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD), and The Research Institute for Applied Social Sciences (RIASS). These booklets are produced by the Academy of Social Sciences and the Campaign for Social Science to demonstrate the power of social science research to improve lives. 


Other speakers and panellists at the launch will include: Minister for Business and Budget, Jane Hutt, AM; Ceridwen Roberts OBE FLSW FAcSS; Professor Fiona Brookman, Deputy Director of the Centre for Criminology, University of South Wales; and Professors David Blackaby of the Labour Economics Section, University of Swansea.



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