The Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science offers a fascinating insight into some of the country's leading social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future.

This year the festival takes place between the 4 - 11 November 2017. The full brochure is available here.

Saturday 4 November

Anthem for Doomed Youth and Aberdeenshire: Wilfred Owen’s
Scottish Inspiration

Aberdeen Central Library, Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen, AB25 1GW

Neil McLennan, University of Aberdeen

Wilfred Owen is one of the most enduring and popular of the poets who wrote so movingly about the Great War. Join us in this stimulating talk to explore the latest research into and continued relevance of this war poet. Neil’s research over the last ten years has given us new perspectives on Owen’s poetry. Neil will also share the Aberdeenshire inspiration which helped form Owen’s powerful poetry and other Aberdeen connections around Anthem for Doomed Youth.

Admission FREE, Booking required HERE 

Sunday 5 November

[M]apping Aberdeen - #marchingthestones

12.00 -15.00
Start at March Stone 65 Marked ‘65 ABD CR’; North east     corner of wall adjacent to access road to Brickfield Cottage (Cat and Dog Home), Seaton Place East, Aberdeen, AB24 1XL

Dr Heather Morgan, Professor Pete Stollery and Dr Ed Welch, University of Aberdeen, and Andrew Sage of Art and Entertainment

Often mistaken for mile stones the march stones mark one of Aberdeen’s historic boundaries. They occur all around the city and are very much an often over looked part of our city scape. Join [M]apping Aberdeen on an interactive, app-guided walk and ‘March the Stones’! Booking Details: Registration is essential and places are limited to a maximum of 20. Please register to secure your place(s). Families welcome (all children must be accompanied by an adult).

Admission FREE, Booking required HERE.

Throughout the Festival

The Scottish Warrior Exhibition

13 June 2017 to 26 May 2018 from Tuesday to Friday, 13.00 – 16.30
King’s Museum, Old Townhouse, High Street, Aberdeen, AB24 2EN

This student-curated exhibition is open until 26 May 2018. The exhibition invites visitors to challenge their perceptions of the Scottish Warrior. It explores interpretations of the Scottish Warrior to discover how the popular idea of the warrior was created. Spanning from pre-history to the World Wars the exhibition will largely draw upon the University of Aberdeen Museums’ collections alongside loans from the Gordon Highlanders Museum.

Please note that King’s Museum opening hours may change.

Please check with the Museum. Visit: or telephone: (0)1224 274330 

Monday 6 November

The Scottish Warrior in Museums, Commemorations and Politics

18.00 – 19.30
The Gordon Highlanders Museum, St. Luke’s, Viewfield Road, Aberdeen, AB15 7XH 

Dr Natasha Danilova and Dr Kandida Purnell, University of Aberdeen, and noted Scottish writer Maggie Craig

The Scottish Warrior is a revered figure throughout Scottish history but one which has changed over the course of time. Join us in this expert led panel to debate the significance of the Scottish Warrior. Look at how this has changed over the centuries and what it means for us today. Panelists will include feminist author Maggie Craig and Neil Curtis, Head of Museums, University of Aberdeen.

Please note: Doors open at 5.00 for a chance to view the Gordon Highlanders Museum for free. Tea, coffee and traybakes will be served from 17.30. Medieval Realm re-enactment group will be on hand to showcase historial Scottish warrior costume and accessories.

Admission FREE, Booking required HERE.

Tuesday 7 November

The last acceptable form of racism in Scotland? Scotland’s Travellers: community voices and lessons from recent research

New King’s 1, Dunbar Street, Aberdeen, AB24 3UB

Dave Black, Grampian Regional Equality Council; David Donaldson, Article 12 In Scotland; Dr Leanne Townsend & Alvine Datchoua, University of Aberdeen

Join us for a panel discussion, and Q&A, on the issue of Traveller accommodation provision in North East Scotland, and explore resilience within the community. Evidence suggests that racism against Gypsies and Travellers continues today, the implications of this for a community fighting to survive in modern-day Scotland will be discussed. Contributions from Scottish Travellers will paint a picture of day-to-day life and challenges of life in Scotland.

Admission FREE, Booking required HERE.

The King’s Dig: Unearthing the King’s College Grammar School

18.30 – 19.30
Carmelite Hotel, Stirling Street, Aberdeen, AB11 6UJ 

Ali Cameron, Cameron Archaeology

In 2017 a team of archaeologists excavated the site of King’s College Grammar school in Old Aberdeen. Not only was it the first excavation of this kind in this historic area it was one of the few research excavations of historic Scottish schools. Learn about the discoveries and the on-going post excavation analysis.

Admission FREE, Booking required HERE.

Wednesday 8 November

The Arab Uprisings, Democracy and Social Justice

18.30 – 19.30
Town House, Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AQ

The Arab Uprisings revealed the limits of Western governments’ policies towards the Middle East, especially the EU’s aim to be supporting the democratisation, development and stabilisation of the ‘Euro-Mediterranean area’. Using survey data, the Arab Transitions Project analyses what kind of society people actually want, what ordinary people think are the biggest challenges for their societies, and what they think about topics like democracy, corruption, religion, the economy, security, gender and migration. This talk outlines some of the Arab Transformations Project’s key results and uses them to reflect on what lessons European governments can learn and which must still be learned if further and more radical protest is to be avoided in future.

Admission FREE, Booking required HERE.

Early life experiences and the adult mind

19.00 – 20.00
Rowett Institute, Foresterhill Health Campus, Ashgrove Road West, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD

Marlene Lorgen-Ritchie, University of Aberdeen

Ever wondered how early life experiences can shape the adult mind? The environment we are exposed to in our younger years has been linked to intelligence and success in later life. But why is this the case? Is it epigenetics? Unlike classical genetics which are determined by the genetics of the parents, epigenetics can be influenced by the environment. Learn about this exciting new field and our state of the
art study which is bridging the gap between the social and biological sciences.

Admission FREE, Booking required HERE.

Thursday 9 November

True human nature? What Tinder-use reveals about us

19.00 – 20.00
Bar Below, Belmont Filmhouse, 49 Belmont Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1JS

Dr Mirjam Brady-Van den Bos, University of Aberdeen

This interactive talk will share insights gained from a study on Tinder use. The study found that people search for potential dates, and their reasons for swiping right (“Yes! I want you!”) or left (“No, sorry…”) are very much in line with what evolutionary theories on human mating choice would predict. Where do we go from here?

Admission FREE. Booking required HERE

Throughout the Festival

‘Bright Sun Shining: A Siberian Summer Festival’ photographic exhibition

10 November 2017 – 30 March 2018
ArtSpace at MacRobert, MacRobert Building Foyer, University of Aberdeen, King’s College, Aberdeen, AB24 5UA

This exhibition features photographs taken over the last decade of Yhyakh celebrations by Sakha photographer Maxim Unarov. Siberia is usually associated with bitterly cold winters, but in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in Eastern Siberia, summer is celebrated each year at the solstice with a festival known as Yhyakh. At this festival people make offerings to the spirits, take part in sports contests and horse races, consume ritual foods, and enjoy Sakha song and dances.

Friday 10 November

‘Bright Sun Shining’: exhibition opening and film screening

18.00 – 20.00
ArtSpace at MacRobert, MacRobert Building Foyer, University of Aberdeen, King’s College, Aberdeen, AB24 5UA 

Professor Alison Brown, University of Aberdeen

Join us for the opening of this exhibition accompanied by a screening of the associated documentary God Johogoi. The documentary screening will be followed by refreshments.

Admission FREE. Booking required HERE

Saturday 11 November

Understanding Hitler in the 21st Century

18.30 – 20.00
Suttie Centre Lecture Theatre, Foresterhill Health Campus, Foresterhill Road, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD

Professor Thomas Weber, University of Aberdeen

Join us to launch Professor Thomas Weber’s new book Becoming Hitler. Ulrich Schlie, a senior German diplomat and former Director General for Defence and Security Policy at the German Ministry of Defense and Sophie von Bechtolsheim, the granddaughter of Hitler’s failed assassin, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg will take part in a discussion with Professor Weber on how history and social science help us to understand the challenges the world faces at a time of rising populism and of new emerging strongmen. They will also discuss the legacy for the 21st century of those who fought Hitler.

Admission FREE, Booking required HERE.