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ESRC news and coming events.

In the light of growing concerns about the separation of producers and consumers in our food system and the power of big supermarkets, new research funded by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) provides valuable insights into the motivations and practices of consumers and producers involved in 'alternative food' networks, which include schemes as varied as organic vegetable boxes, community gardens and farm animal adoption.

A project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council on a South London housing estate has developed ways of teaching people the skills they need to make the most of today's information technology. NIACE, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, will use the findings of the Penceil (How People Encounter E-Illiteracy and how they can take action to overcome it) project in its ongoing work within the government's Skills for Life initiative.

The New Dynamics of Ageing Programme (NDA), a collaboration between five of the UK's Research Councils - the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Medical Research Council, has today announced the second round of successful applications to be funded under the programme. (Release date TBC)


5th October 2007: Impact of Teleworking and Teleconferencing on Transport Policy

Recent development in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) have created new working practices that are changing travel patterns in ways which have the potential to affect current transport problems such as congestion, carbon emissions and social inclusion. These developments could also significantly affect the assumptions about the nature and extent of travel growth Government makes in transport models and appraisal. Two linked practices of this type are teleworking and teleconferencing. The aim of the seminar is to examine the likely impacts and future trends in these practices will have and assess the case for Government to intervene in this area to create incentives for groups and individuals to telework or teleconference.

The seminar is being held in London

To attend the seminar or to receive a copy of the research briefing, contact amanda.williams@esrc.ac.uk

9th October 2007: Social Enterprise in Public Services

Social enterprise aims to combine a public service ethos with a commercial drive and is an increasingly prominent strand of social and economic life, occupying a distinctive place at the interstices of market, state and society. The seminar will explore the key factors and dynamics explaining the prevalence of social enterprise in particular public service markets, and why social enterprise works better in certain areas than others.

The seminar is being held in Manchester.

For further information contact amanda.williams@esrc.ac.uk

16th October 2007: Innovation Culture or Anti-Science Britain?

The ESRC's Science in Society Programme that looks to explore the rapidly changing relations between science and the wider society is holding its final event, and will be discussing that science in society issues that have arisen over the past five years of the programme. Areas covered include the government's position on public trust, the role of scientists and the understanding of science in society. Speakers will include Professor Arie Rip of the University of Twente, Lord Rees of Ludlow and Phil Willis MP. Researchers from the programme will be on hand to discuss their research and its implications for public policy decision making.

The event is being held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, London, between 10am and 4pm.

Further information is available on the website: http://www.sci-soc.net/SciSoc/NoticeBoard/Events/Innovation+culture+or+anti+science+Britian.htm

25th-26th October 2007: EGN: Genomics and Society: Today's Answers, Tomorrow's Questions Conference

The ESRC's Genomics Network (EGN) provides three Genomics Centres that are dedicated to examining the social and economic consequences surrounding the development and use of the science and technologies of genomics. The conference will bring policy makers, researchers and natural scientists together with EGN social scientists for an event featuring lectures, debates, workshops and exhibitions on the roles of genomics in society.

The conference is being held at One Great George Street, Westminster, London.

For further information contact info@onegreatgeorgestreet.com

More information is available on the website: http://www.onegreatgeorgestreet.com

31st October 2007: Human Rights, A Tool for Change,

Considerable media hostility to the Human Rights Act alongside little public awareness is the background to this seminar. The Human Rights Act can improve the quality of public services and so, is a vital tool for individuals and communities. It requires public authorities to ensure that the rights of individuals are upheld and promoted, particularly those who are vulnerable or excluded from society. This seminar will explore just how individuals can use the Human Rights Act to secure improvements in services and how public authorities are using a human rights approach to achieve change.

The seminar is being held in London.

For further information contact amanda.williams@esrc.ac.uk

9th November: Research Ethics, Ethics Frameworks and Guidelines

The ethical implications of any research project are important to consider and funding agencies increasingly require evidence that research plans and methods meet ethical guidelines. The ESRC Research Framework requires universities to have research ethics committees (RECs) that consider the ethical implications of research. This workshop aims to explore the underlying reasons for research ethics and how we can go about implementing them to compare and contrast the requirements of different bodies' ethical guidelines (ESRC and NHS) to consider the implications for management researchers to provide a forum for the discussion of research ethics issues and the sharing of good practice.

The workshop is being held in Manchester.

Further information is available on the website: http://www.bam.ac.uk/news/articles.php?id=90

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