Public concerns can be aired at Social Science cafe

Issue date: 09 November 2010

Public Seminar Series Autumn 2010
Venue: Tart Café and Food Store, 16 The Promenade, Gloucester Road, Bristol
Time: 18.00 -19.30 (Café open from 17.30)
Date: 11 November: Community Relationships in Crisis

Are you concerned about the breakdown of communities, the work-life balance and the city as a space to think and dream as well as to live? Do you have questions about the role of education, or the personal and social consequences of globalisation, especially at a time of cutbacks? A public series of social science seminars is taking place at the Tart Café, Gloucester Road, Bristol to tackle such questions. The seminars are a chance for the wider community to share in the ideas, interests and research being pursued by staff and affiliates of the University of the West of England.

The next meeting takes place at 18.00 on 11 November, at the Tart Café and Food Store on Gloucester Road, Bristol. It is entitled 'Community Relationships in Crisis: Working with social inequalities and tensions' and discussions will be led by Hen Wilkinson.

Hen Wilkinson is Director of the Community Resolveorganisation in Bristol and Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies (CPSS) at UWE. She said, “As British cities become increasingly diverse, growing demands on shrinking resources are inevitably leading to tension and conflict – especially in the most deprived wards in the country. Set up in Bristol in 2003, Community Resolve is developing a model of community conflict transformation to deal with these tensions at a grassroots and strategic level. Our particular focus is working with young people and large-scale community conflicts, addressing relationships in crisis at the same time as the root causes of inequality/tension. In this talk, I will look at the links between practice on the ground and conflict transformation and psycho-social theory.”

Organiser Dr Stella Maile of UWE said, “Social Science in the City is a public engagement initiative which gives an opportunity for members of the public to listen and contribute to critical and informed debate in a congenial café atmosphere.

“Most people have ideas about the kind of society in which they would like to live and they also have some idea of pressing social problems we all, in our various walks of life face, especially now in the context of radical public spending cuts.

“Social Science in the City provides a space to reflect, network and share ideas. It is an opportunity for people to develop partnerships for the pursuit of research, educational, consulting and training projects to contribute to the understanding and enhancement of social life.”

The Social Science in the City events are designed to engage the public in research, and ideas being pursued by UWE staff from across the University.
The aim is to form a growing hub of activities which will focus on disseminating information, sharing resources, findings and interests, initiating and developing applied social research, consultancy, educational and training programmes.

Forthcoming discussions in the autumn series are:

Thursday 18 November - Sexual vs Religious Rights? Dr Stephen Hunt
Is there a contradiction between sexual rights on the one hand, and the right to oppose them on religious grounds? This talk will examine the possibilities, implications and the possibility for overcoming apparent contradictions. It will also examine the philosophical underpinnings of both sexual and religious rights. Dr. Hunt is the Director of the Unit for the Study of Religion and Spirituality at UWE.

Thursday 2 December - Are we naturally empathic? Neuroscience and the discovery of mirror Neurones. Nigel Williams
The last ten years have seen huge strides in the science of neuroscience. We now can ask new questions about how and why counselling and psychotherapy work, how conflicts propagate and can be resolved, how crowds behave, how moods spread in groups and social systems. Nigel will take an interactive perspective on this new field of psycho-social awareness. He is a psychotherapist and Senior Lecturer in Psycho-Social Studies at UWE.

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