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Public invited to learn more about social sciences at interactive festival

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is hosting three interactive events at this year’s ESRC Festival of Social Science, giving members of the public a chance to participate in and contribute to studies at the forefront of social science.

The first event ‘Normal for Norfolk? Exploring barriers to higher education’ on 8 November at the Forum, will look at whether young people in Norfolk are at a disadvantage. Although more 18-year-olds than ever before are attending university nationally, this is not true in Norfolk.

The public panel discussion will bring together practitioners, teachers, and academic researchers to explore the key barriers to young people applying to university.

Everything from academic ability, confidence, responsibilities of universities, to poor public transport will be discussed, before opening up for questions from the audience.

The work being undertaken by UEA’s Outreach team in raising aspirations and supporting the success of young people in Norfolk will also be showcased, including the #HeCanWeCan initiative aimed at engaging working class males, one of the most under-represented groups in High Education.

Another event ‘Developing minds: Child scientist day at UEA’ will take place on 10 November from 10am to 1pm at the Psychology department in Lawrence Stenhouse Building at UEA, will explore how young people think and what goes on in children’s heads.

Both adults and children are invited to look around the state-of-the-art psychological facilities, try the hands-on demonstrations and take a look at how the research equipment is used, from high-tech scanners to sock puppets.  For those wanting a more in-depth experience, there will also be brief talks about the research carried out and why it is done, given by scientists and students.

The third event ‘Healthy aging and cognition’, also on 10 November at 1pm to 4pm in Thomas Paine Study Centre at UEA, focuses on behaviour and cognition, from fundamental behavioural research to understanding the challenges of healthy ageing. There will be short presentations by professors from the school, a posters exhibition and interactive demonstrations with current students on hand to explain their research projects, aims and findings.

The ESRC Festival of Social Science takes place from 3-10 November, with more than 300 free events across the country.

The Festival, now in its sixteenth year, highlights the impact of social science research on people's lives by involving the public in debates, conferences, workshops, film screenings and virtual exhibitions. These events allow people to meet with some of the country’s leading social scientists and to discover more about the role research plays in their everyday life.

All three UEA events are free to attend and open to the public. Full details can be found at www.esrc.ac.uk/festival

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