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PERN Bulletin 4/2011

Special meeting of the College of Learned Societies

The College of Learned Societies is holding an event at the Royal Statistical Society in London on 31 March 2011 to discuss the impact of Higher Education funding cuts on postgraduate social science training in the UK. The event is open to all Learned Society members and interested Academicians. Email Madeleine Barrows by 25 March 2011 to register.

2011 UK/Ireland Planning Research Conference

The UK/Ireland Planning Research Conference takes place from 12-14 September 2011 in Birmingham. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 25 March 2011 and event details, registration and abstract submission information is available on the conference website.

Launch of the Sustainable Behaviours Research Groups

The Sustainable Behaviours Research Groups are being launched in Edinburgh on 17 June 2011. The groups are conducting a range of research on sustainable behaviours with the aim of contributing to effective policy making. The event will also see the launch of the International Review of Behaviour Change Initiatives which was recently published by the Scottish Government. To reserve your place, contact Jonathan Waite (telephone 0131 244 0093).

Update from the Campaign for Social Science

Professor Tony Crook has provided a progress report on the Campaign for Social Science (CfSS) which was launched in January 2011. The campaign aims to promote the social sciences for the public benefit, and its plan focuses on four areas:

  1. Monitoring the cuts in universities and the policy and practice communities
  2. Partnership working, including member Learned Societies, the British Academy, and the Deans of Arts, Social Science and Humanities in the UK
  3. Media activity, both responding to news and other items in the media and pro-actively placing stories, including in the blogosphere
  4. Influencing work, including meetings with key influencers and decision makers such as the Commons Committee on Science and Technology, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Science, and the ESRC. Read Professor Crook's full update.

New Eltis website launched

The European Commission has just unveiled the new Eltis web portal, which is aimed at European professionals working in the arena of urban transport, environment, energy and health. The new website provides case studies and news from across Europe on urban mobility projects and acts as an observatory for those involved in such projects. View the website.

2012 birth cohort study

A pioneering study of babies and young children has been awarded 24 million from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). The study will be carried out by researchers at UCL and will track the growth, health and well-being of over 90, 000 babies and their families, providing insights into the development and life circumstances of a new generation of children. Read more.

Heriot-Watt University opens new research institutes

The School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University has announced the creation of three new research institutes: The Institute for Housing, Urban and Real Estate Research; the Institute for Building and Urban Design; and the Institute of Infrastructure and Environment. The Institute for Housing, Urban and Real Estate Research will be officially launched on 4 May 2011 to coincide with Professor Suzanne Fitzpatricks inaugural lecture on Homelessness, human rights and legal rights: does Scotland provide a model for Europe and beyond?. If you are interested in attending the launch and/or lecture please contact Vanessa Kind by 22 April 2011.

Local Authorities and Research Councils Initiative website

The Local Authorities and Research Councils Initiative (LARCI) brings together the UKs Research Councils and all the key Local Government organisations to build research and development capacity that serves local government policy and practice. LARCI's website has recently been improved and provides access to its services and related research.

EurOCEAN 2010 conference video

A video on the EurOCEAN 2010 conference was published last week on the ECs Research and Innovation website. The event provided a forum for the European marine science community to consider, discuss and respond to new policy developments and achievements since the previous (2007) EurOCEAN conference. The ten minute video includes context and interviews from the conference. Watch the video.

Britains landscapes and the role of biodiversity

A team from the University of York has been commissioned to carry out a UK-wide study of the role biodiversity plays in the ecosystems provided by Britains landscapes. The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) programme will run for six years and work with teams across the country to develop a better understanding of the critical levels of diversity required to maintain essential ecosystems and their by-products. Find out more about the project.

Calls for Papers

Planning for health: at the forefront of interdisciplinary research

Abstracts are invited for a session of the UK/Ireland Planning Research Conference which takes place from 12-14 September 2011 in Birmingham. The session will focus on the research challenges arising from the integration of health and planning research. Submissions should demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach to planning for health research in relation to questions such as: which health outcomes can be attributed to features of the built environment or its management?; how do the cost-benefits of such features or practices relate to one another or alternative health interventions?; and how do we ensure that these health outcomes are realised now and sustained in the future? Abstracts should be submitted by 25 March 2011. Further information can be found on the conference website.

Energy and people: futures, complexity and challenges

Papers are invited for a conference organised by the Environmental Change Institute on 'Energy and people: futures, complexity and challenges'. The conference will be held in Oxford from 20-21 September 2011 and will focus on the relationship between society and energy use. Papers must be submitted by 4 April 2011 and can explore linkages between energy and wider themes such as equity; consumption patterns; communication and mobility; and immigration. More information is available on the Environmental Change Institute's website.

Other publications

Mainstreaming sustainable development

The Coalition Government has recently published its vision for sustainable development along with a package of measures by which to deliver it. 'Mainstreaming Sustainable Development' outlines the Governments commitment to lead by example and embed sustainable development in policy, with Defra taking a key role. Read the report.

Early findings from Understanding Society

The first findings from the worlds largest longitudinal study of households have been published. 'Understanding Society' provides a comprehensive snapshot of 40, 000 UK households with statistics on issues such as life satisfaction, unemployment and well-being. Read the report.

New reports from the Climate Change Behaviours Research Programme

Three new reports from the Climate Change Behaviours Research Programme (CCBRP) have been published. An Update Report on the CCBRP has been produced which sets out emerging learning from the programme and gives details of future projects, while a working paper on Changing Household Energy Behaviours presents key findings from a review of policy approaches to reducing domestic energy consumption. The third report provides three case studies of climate change fund projects to explore enablers and barriers to low carbon behaviour.

Other Events

GeoDATA 2011

The next GeoDATA event takes place in London on 30 March 2011. The programme draws together leading professionals from the geographic industry to demonstrate how cost savings can be achieved through sharing spatial data and efficiency can be improved. Further details are available on the event web page, including information on further GeoDATA events around the UK.

The governance of eco-city innovation

The first in a series of five one-day events will bring together researchers, policy experts and practitioners to discuss contemporary international eco-city developments in theory and practice. The event will consider the historical evolution of eco-cities and will discuss recent innovations and new developments such as Masdar and Treasure Island. 'The governance of eco-city innovation' takes place on 20 May 2011 in London and the programme and registration details are available online.

Dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings

The Sociology of Urban and Regional Development, International Sociological Association (Research Committee 21) Conference on 'The struggle to belong: dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings' is being held from 7-9 July 2011 in Amsterdam. The event programme is now available and registration opens on 16 March 2011.

Green energy for towns and cities 2011

A conference being held in Reykjavik, Iceland from 28-30 September 2011 aims to give town, city and regional planners involved in reducing carbon emissions in their authorities information on green applications such as the costs of implementation and returns on investment. More details and booking information.