2017 - All Press Releases

Social sciences to take centre stage in debate on global grand challenges

London, 1 November 2017

Springer Nature is joining with the Economic and Social Research Council to explore the role social science research is playing in tackling some of the global grand challenges. At an event to mark the launch of the 15th annual ESRC Festival of Social Science, a high-profile panel of social science experts will look at the important role research plays beyond academia, discussing how research can address issues such as climate change, economics, race, migration, health and interdisciplinarity.

Hosted by Laurie Taylor of BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed, the event’s panel will include:

  • Professor Lord Nicholas Stern – Chair, ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
  • Professor Shamit Saggar CBE – Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex
  • Professor Felicity Callard – Director, Birkbeck Institute for Social Research

Springer Nature’s Chief Publishing Officer Steven Inchcoombe said: “Addressing these complex societal challenges requires good social science. But today’s social scientists face their own challenges, including an abundance of content, a need to work across disciplines, and a ‘post-truth’ society in which appeals to emotion and personal belief can sway policy more than objective facts. I am delighted Springer Nature is partnering with the ESRC and leading the discussion on the real world impact of research around global grand challenges, and how we address them.

“To support these researchers, Springer Nature works to smooth publication processes, drive the development of open research, and communicate research in innovative ways. Through several of our imprints, we have a long heritage of social science publishing, and the expertise we now hold in these fields enables us to combine long-standing editorial quality and integrity with larger and more global dissemination and smarter techniques for measuring real and significant impact – the essential theme of this evening.”

Attendees will include opinion leaders, policymakers, researchers and citizens who care about the impact of social sciences on climate change, global health, sustainable urban development, the digitally transformed world, resource security, and more. Those not able to attend the event in person are encouraged to contribute to the discussion on social media using the hashtag #FOSSImpact.

This event supports Springer Nature’s commitment to addressing global grand challenges and is part of Palgrave Macmillan’s ‘Social Science Matters’ campaign, which provides a platform for researchers to discuss developments in the social science communities, promote research impact and signal their on-going, profound commitment to championing original and authoritative research within the social sciences.

Further information

More information about this event can be found here.
Twitter: #SocSciMatters | #FOSSimpact | @SpringerNature | @esrc
Event: Impactful social science: How social science is tackling the grand challenges of the 21st century
Date: Tuesday 7th November
Venue: The Royal Society, Wellcome Trust Lecture Hall, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG
Doors open at 18:00 for registration and drinks. Event starts 18:30 and concludes at 20:30 with networking, drinks and canapés.
Organised by: ESRC and Springer Nature
This free event is open to the public and tickets are available here.

About Springer Nature

Springer Nature advances discovery by publishing robust and insightful research, supporting the development of new areas of knowledge, making ideas and information accessible around the world, and leading the way on open access. Key to this is our ability to provide the best possible service to the whole research community: helping authors to share their discoveries; enabling researchers to find, access and understand the work of others; supporting librarians and institutions with innovations in technology and data; and providing quality publishing support to societies.

As a research publisher, Springer Nature is home to trusted brands including Springer, Nature Research, BMC, Palgrave Macmillan and Scientific American. Springer Nature is also a leading educational and professional publisher, providing quality content through a range of innovative platforms, products and services. Every day, around the globe, our imprints, books, journals and resources reach millions of people.

About the ESRC

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK’s future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. The ESRC also works collaboratively with six other UK research councils and Innovate UK to fund cross-disciplinary research and innovation addressing major societal challenges. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government.


For more information please contact:

Rebecca Krahenbuhl, Communications Manager, Palgrave Macmillan