Celebrating 10 years of ERC-funded social science at Oxford
Over the last decade, Oxford Social Sciences have shown an outstanding track record of attracting significant funding from the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC funds exceptional individual scientists to carry out high-risk, high-gain research at the frontiers of knowledge.
On 16 March 2017 Professor Roger Goodman, Head of the Social Sciences Division hosted an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the ERC. This event celebrated the world-leading research and researchers supported by these grants.
Reflecting the diversity of social sciences research at Oxford, the programme of talks encompassed wide and varied topics. Each of the speakers is the Principal Investigator leading at least one ERC award and their TED-style talks focus on powerful ideas generated and explored by their projects.
This event was organised by the Social Sciences Division’s Research and Impact Team. For more info about this event contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the ERC 10th Anniversary celebrations visit https://erc.europa.eu/ERC10yrs/home
Melinda Mills (PhD Demography) is the Nuffield Professor of Sociology. She joined the University of Oxford in 2014 and was previously at the University of Groningen and Free University Amsterdam, and the University of Bielefeld. She is currently the Head of the Department of Sociology, Editor-in-Chief of the European Sociological Review, Fellow of the European Academy of Sociology, and an ESRC Executive Council Member.
SOCIOGENOME project - ERC Consolidator Grant [ERC-2013-CoG 615603]
Sociogenome is comprehensive study of the role of genes and gene-environment (GxE) interaction on reproductive behaviour. Drawing from recent unprecedented advances in molecular genetics the project examines whether there is a genetic component to reproductive outcomes, including age at first birth, number of children and infertility and their interaction with the social environment.
Sociogenomics - when nature meets nurture
In this short talk, Melinda introduces her work on the role of gene and gene-environment interaction on reproductive health.
See Melinda's slides
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Greger studied at Oxford and the University of Colorado before receiving his PhD in Zoology in 2006. He then spent two years in Uppsala, Sweden on an EMBO postdoctoral fellowship before starting a job in the department of archaeology at Durham University. Greger has recently moved to Oxford University to become the Director of the Palaeogenomics & Bio-Archaeology Research Network where he is continuing his focus on the use of ancient DNA to study the pattern and process of domestication.
UNDEAD project - ERC Starting Grant [ERC-2013-StG 337574]
The 'Unifying Domestication and Evolutionary Biology through Ancient DNA' project takes advantage of revolutionary genetic technologies to characterise the nuclear genomes from ancient animal remains. By combining the resolution of thousands of DNA markers with the time depth of archaeology, this project aims to address fundamental questions regarding domestication: 1) where and how many times did early animal domestication take place, and 2) when did the mutations that are known to differentiate modern domestic and wild individuals first appear, and how often were similar genes selected for across species?
You know nothing about dogs, pigs or chickens
In Greger's short talk he reveals some new truths about the domestication of some familiar animal friends.
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Mary Bosworth is Professor of Criminology and Fellow of St Cross College and, concurrently, Professor of Criminology at Monash University, Australia. She is Assistant Director of the Centre for Criminology and Director of Border Criminologies, an interdisciplinary research group focusing on the intersections between criminal justice and border control. Prof. Bosworth conducts research into the ways in which prisons and immigration detention centres uphold notions of race, gender and citizenship and how those who are confined negotiate their daily lives.
SUBJECTPENAL project - ERC Starting Grant [ERC-2012-StG 313362]
Prof Bosworth's (2012 - 2017) ERC grant, ‘Subjectivity, Identity and Penal Power’, seeks to develop new methodological and intellectual tools in understanding the global and transnational reach of penal power and to revitalize the literature on subjectivity and identity in criminology. In addition to leading a series of linked empirical studies on immigration detention in the UK, France and Greece, Mary has created the interdisciplinary, international network and website Border Criminologies, which has given its name to a whole new subfield of the discipline.
Why immigration detention is a form of punishment
Mary's talk explores the daily experiences of the people held in immigration detention.
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Chris Gosden is Professor of European Archaeology, in the School of Archaeology and has interests in the history of landscape in Britain, Papua New Guinea and Borneo, the history of art across Eurasia in later prehistory and the connections across Eurasia of which this is part. He is writing a book on the history of magic and developing a project on inequality in Britain over the last thousand years.
ENGLAID project - ERC Advanced Grant [ERC-2010-AdG 269797]
The English Landscapes and Identities project pulled together all the major digital sources for archaeology in England into a single database from which statistical and spatial analyses were undertaken. The project combines evidence on landscape features, such as track-ways, fields and settlements, with the distribution of certain artefact types (particularly metalwork). They looked at the period from 1500 BC when the first field systems and agricultural landscapes were set up to AD 1086 when the first reasonably detailed written account of the landscape was produced through the Domesday Book. The project produced an atlas combining the results of computer analysis and art work and a website, which has made the data publicly available.
English landscapes and identities
In his talk, Chris explains what his research tells us about regional developments and variations in English settlement and landscape change over time.
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Philip Howard is a professor and writer on the use of digital media for both civic engagement and social control in countries around the world. He is Professor of Internet Studies at the Oxford Internet Institute and a Professorial Fellow at Balliol College. He has courtesy appointments as a professor at the University of Washington’s Department of Communication and as a Fellow at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. He has held senior academic appointments at Stanford, Princeton, and Columbia Universities, and from 2013-15 he helped design and launch a new School of Public Policy at Central European University in Budapest.
COMPROP project - ERC Consolidator Grant [ERC-2014-CoG 648311]
Since 2012, Professor Howard and team have been investigating the use of algorithms, automation and computational propaganda in public life. Political bots are manipulating public opinion over major social networking applications. This project enables a new team of social and information scientists to investigate the impact of automated scripts, commonly called bots, on social media. They study both the bot scripts and the people making such bots, and then work with computer scientists to improve the way we catch and stop such bots. Political actors have used bots to manipulate conversations, demobilize opposition, and generate false support on popular sites like Twitter and Facebook from the U.S. as well as Sina Weibo from China.
Ten things you wish you didn’t know about elections (and what to do about them)
In this talk, Prof Howard explains how we are targetted and manipulated by social media and bots trying to influence voter behaviour.
View Phil's Prezi presentation
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Lucie Cluver is a Professor of Child and Family Social Work, in the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Intervention in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, and an Honorary Lecturer in Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town. She works closely with the South African government, USAID-PEPFAR, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and Save the Children, and with other international NGOs, to develop research that can inform policy for AIDS-affected and vulnerable children. She is lucky to work with an incredible group of international collaborators, doctoral and postdoctoral students and volunteers.
PACCASA project - ERC Starting Grant [ERC-2012-StG 313421]
This ERC Starting Grant,Preventing Abuse of Children in the context of AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, has developed and tested a free child abuse prevention parenting programme for low and middle income countries. The project has been in close partnership with UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and USAID-PEPFAR. Lucie will report for the first time on the new findings from the final cluster Randomised Controlled Trial of 1100 children and families in 40 sites in South Africa. The programme is currently being scaled up to 90,000 families in DRC, Uganda, Lesotho, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Cameroon, the Philippines and Thailand.
Parenting, politics and petrol bombs: trying to reduce child abuse in Africa
In her talk, Lucie explores: can we really improve parent-child relationships, reduce child abuse and reduce poverty through a positive parenting programme?
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