Social Science in the City news and events

Latest news and activities from members of the Social Science in the City research group.

Upcoming event

There is currently no upcoming event. 

Participate in a study

A short film titled ‘Scars’, produced for The Guardian in association with UWE Bristol’s Centre for Appearance Research (CAR), has been released. Directed and produced by Rebecca Lloyd Evans and Laura Dodsworth, Scars features the unique stories of five people for whom their scars changed how they see the world, and how the world sees them.

A planned screening plus Q&A with the filmmakers, as part of the Social Science in the City programme, was postponed due to the pandemic. However in the meantime, the film is available on The Guardian website and the team at CAR have launched a brief online study to assess how it might impact people's attitudes towards their own and other people's appearances.

Take part in this brief study and watch the short film

Past events


Toward environmental justice: Critical perspectives and policy priorities: A public webinar
2 May 2022

From the global to the local, environmental injustice continues to drive conflicts, inequalities and exclusions both within and between our societies. Environmental injustice is concerned with the unfair distribution of environmental ‘goods’ (such as access to green spaces), and environmental ‘bads’ (such as vulnerability to the consequences of climate change), across different categories of people (such as nations, ethnic groups, genders, social classes, neighbourhoods). But it is also concerned with the inequalities that characterise those people’s very different levels of access to the institutions of justice, though which they might seek to tackle those vulnerabilities. In some cases, environmental injustice is a ‘risk multiplier’; it adds to people’s existing risks of vulnerability. In other cases, it produces new ‘at risk’ populations. Despite the endemic nature of environmental injustice, within and across our societies, measures introduced to tackle such injustice have proven woefully inadequate.

This webinar sought to explore a range of critical perspectives on the nature, forms and drivers of environmental injustice, and to consider what measures would be necessary to bring about a future where everyone may enjoy fair access to environmental ‘goods’, and effective protection from environmental ‘bads’. Organised by Dr Jon Mulholland (Associate Professor in Sociology) in conjunction with Green Criminology: Environment, Crime and Justice (UZSKFV-15-3), Social Science in the City, and the Social Science Research Group.

Sustainable Futures: Environment and Society in an Age of Crisis, BA Sociology Programme
Project, April 2022

Supported by grant income from the UWE Bristol Community Fund and organised by Dr Jon Mulholland, Sociology students taking the Sustainable Futures: Environment and Society in and Age of Crisis module (UZSY6W-30-3), enjoyed a field trip to the Bristol Wood Recycling Project as part of a broader collaboration with the Project that included a student co-organised public webinar - Repair, Reuse, Re-Purpose, Up/Recycle: The Foundations of a Sustainable Future?. The webinar was organised in conjunction with Social Science in the City. 

Ian Coles (Co-director of the Bristol Wood Recycling Project) provided the students with a detailed account of the project’s mission and practices, in addition to an interactive tour of facilities and a comprehensive Q&A session. Students were able to understand the nature, opportunities and challenges of social entrepreneurship in the context of sustainable economies, allied to the scope that such initiatives might offer in supporting critical social inclusion agendas. Specifically, students were enabled to understand the business models upon which such enterprises work, and consider how the social enterprise sector might be upscaled for greater reach, impact, and progressive change-agency. Find out more about the Bristol Wood Recycling Project.  

The field trip provided a grounded and experiential case study for the real-world application of learning established within the student co-organised public webinar, and the sustainable futures. It will also serve as a resource for students’ Bristol-facing Case Study Report assessment within the Sustainable Futures. 

Across the collaboration with Bristol Wood Recycling Project, students were enabled to acquire a range of event organisation skills and a substantive knowledge or real-world applications for their sociological studies. The reciprocal benefits to the Project and the module will serve as a basis for further partnership, both in terms of knowledge exchange and research.

A special thank-you to Ian Coles of the Bristol Wood Recycling Centre, to the student co-organisers of the highly successful Public Webinar (Travis Carrigan, Eleanor Poole, Molly Richardson, Amy Townsend), and to the UWE Bristol Community Fund for its support.

Repair, Reuse, Re-Purpose, Up/Recycle: The Foundations of a Sustainable Future? 
14 February 2022

Tackling our ecological crisis necessarily requires an end to the relentless treadmill of globalised extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. But what might take the place of such a treadmill? Some have proposed repair, reuse, re-purposing and up/recycling as critical components of new, more circular and sustainable economies and societies. But exactly what role might these interventions in a traditionally linear product life-cycle have? What are the opportunities, challenges and limits to growing these changed relationships to material goods? What are the varied benefits and costs associated with repair, reuse, re-purposing and up/recycling? What contribution might they make to a truly sustainable economic and societal future? This student co-organised public webinar brings together academics, policy makers, organisations, activists and the interested public to consider these important questions.

Organised by Dr Jon Mulholland (Associate Professor in Sociology – College of Health, Science and Society, UWE Bristol), Travis Carrigan, Eleanor Poole, Molly Richardson, Amy Townsend (BA Sociology, UWE Bristol) in conjunction with Sustainable Futures: Society and Environment in an Age of Crisis (UZSY6W-30-3), Social Science in the City, Social Science Research Group, and in partnership with the Bristol Wood Recycling Project.

TITANE - A Thought in Action: Conversations about Cinema session
11 January 2022

A panel discussion about the themes of the film following this screening. Guest speakers included Amy Ireland, Dr Finn MacKay, David Roden and the session was chaired by Dr Miguel Prado Casanova.


Thought in Action: Conversations about Cinema

Conversations About Cinema - Thought in Action returned in 2021 for a series of free online panel discussions focussing on colonialism. Thought in Action Online is a partnership between the Philosophy and Politics teams at UWE Bristol, Watershed and MUBI.

  • Thursday 25 February 2021, 18:00: Discussing The Battle of Algiers by Gillo Pontecorvo 
  • Thursday 11 March 2021, 18:00 : Discussing Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) by Satyajit Ray 
  • Thursday 25 March 2021, 18:00: Discussing Zombi Child by Bertrand Bonello 
  • Thursday 15 April 2021, 18:00 : Discussing Apiyemiyeki? by Ana Vaz 
  • Thursday 29 April 2021, 18:00: Discussing Bacurau with the filmmakers, Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonça Filho 

The related discussions were all opened to the public and took place on Zoom. We were pleased to have welcomed over 1,000 viewers and 40 speakers in this series. You can also listen to the The Cinematologists Podcast episode: Conversations about Cinema, where Mark Cosgrove, cinema curator at The Watershed in Bristol, and Dr Francesco Tava, discussed their current season of Thought in Action.

Tackling urban pollution: Harms, crimes and environmental justice
Date: 17 June 2021

This event sought to make a contribution to current debates about how best to respond to the increasing challenges presented by urban pollution, as a threat to health, wellbeing and justice, and to a consideration of what kinds of measures will be necessary going forward if both the common and unjustly unequally experiences of pollution harms are to be tackled.

Sustainable transport: In and beyond the pandemic
Date: 9 February 2021

A highly successful student co-organised public webinar took place on the 9 February 2021, as the latest iteration of the annual student co-organised public seminar featured within the third year sociology module: Sustainable Futures: Environment and Society in an Age of Crisis (UZSY6W-30-3). The webinar was run in conjunction with Social Science in the City, the Social Science Research Group, and was organised by Mila King (BA Sociology), Jude McClellan (BSc Psychology with Sociology) and Dr Jon Mulholland (Associate Professor in Sociology). The initiative was designed to connect, in one place at one time, embedded modular student learning with key stakeholders (academics, policy makers, community and activist groups and the interested public), in addressing a pressing sustainability-related problem of the day. In turn, the platform also served both to forge productive relationships for future research, knowledge exchange and collaboration across the city-region and beyond, and to provide students with demonstrable experience and skills in event organisation and leadership for change.

This year’s event addressed the topic of sustainable transport, and considered the current and future impact of pandemic conditions on policy, practice, attitudes and usages of various modes of sustainable transport. The event secured no less that 194 registrations, attracting people from all sectors, but with a particularly significant presence from local government staff. The webinar enjoyed engaging presentations from academics, policy makers and third-sector organisations, followed by an audience Q and A and panel discussion. Presentations were heard from:

  • Dr Steve Melia (Senior Lecturer in Planning and Transport; College of Arts, Technology and Environment) – Decarbonisation after COVID-19
  • Professor Graham Parkhurst (Professor of Sustainable Mobility and Director of the Centre for Transport and Society, UWE Bristol) – Has experience of the COVID-19 pandemic made a permanent difference to the sustainable mobility policy discourse? 
  • Professor Lucy Budd (Professor of Air Transport Management, De Montfort University, Leicester) – Towards responsible transport: Reflections on the implications of pandemic. 
  • Silviya Barrett (Head of Policy, Research and Projects, Better Transport) - COVID-10 recovery: Renewing public transport post-COVID
  • Counsellor Kye Dudd (Bristol City Council Transport Strategy) – The pandemic: Accelerating policy and practice for active travel
  • Jon Usher (Head of Partnerships, Sustrans) –  Active travel – The role for walking and cycling in the new normal.

The event was recorded and can be viewed on the Social Science in the City Videos webpage. Special thanks goes to Jude McClellan (BSc Psychology with Sociology) and Mila King (BA Sociology) for both of their efforts and their creativity in co-organising and co-leading this highly successful event.



Disability Rights and Robotics: Co-producing futures 
Date: 10 December 2020 on Microsoft Teams

This was a UWE Bristol Social Science in the City event celebrating Disability History Month. Members of the team of 25 co-researchers from the UWE Bristol, Fairfield Farm College and Wiltshire Centre of Independent Living used a knowledge café methodology to ask 'How can robotic technologies support disability rights?'. Professor Praminda Caleb-Solly hosted an online 20 minute tour of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory Assisted Living Studio. View the cartoon depiction of the knowledge cafes (PDF).  

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Date: 10 March 2020
Speaker: Roberto Mordacci (University San Raffaele, Milan)

Date: 25 February 2020
Speaker: Maria Russo, UWE Bristol Visiting Fellow (University San Raffaele, Milan)

Bristol: Takes Drugs Seriously
Date: 23 February 2020
Venue: Colston Hall

UWE Bristol Lecturer in Criminology, Dr Jack Spicer, co-organised an event with the University of Bristol and Transform Drug Policy Foundation entitled Bristol: Takes Drugs Seriously at the Colston Hall. Consisting of a public exhibition, keynote speech and open debate, it was attended by over 200 people including drug service users, current and former UWE Bristol students, politicians, the media and a diverse range of practitioners. There were some excellent outcomes from the event including Jack and his research being profiled in Bristol 24/7.

The Lighthouse @ Thought in Action: Conversations about Cinema
Date: 11 February 2020
Venue: Watershed
Speakers: Dr Katrina Mitcheson, Dr Miltos Hadjiosif, and Dr Henrique Tavares Furtado




Thought in Action: Conversations about Cinema: Monos (Philosophy/Politics stream)
Date: 5 November 2019
Venue: Watershed

Thought in Action: Conversations about Cinema: For Sama (Philosophy/Politics stream)
Date: 8 October 2019
Venue: Watershed

Agora Europe: ’Solidarity and Europe’ (Philosophy stream)
Date: 24 June 2019
Venue: Watershed

Thought in Action: Conversations about Cinema: High Life (Philosophy/Politics stream)
Date: 14 May 2019
Venue: Watershed

Critical Theory Feminism Conference
Dates: 3, 4, and 5 May 2019
Venue: Future Inns

Space, Sound, Sensation
Dates: 27, 28 and 29 April 2019
Venue: Saint Paul's Crypt

How Could We Keep Hoping for a Future? A meeting chaired by Luce Irigaray and Katrina Mitcheson
Date: 12 April 2019
Venue: Watershed

Thought in Action: Conversations about Cinema: Happy as Lazzaro (Philosophy/Politics stream)
Date: 9 April 2019
Venue: Watershed

Autism as a hidden disorder - Implications for parents and professionals
Date: 14 March 2019
Venue: Watershed

Thought in Action: Conversations about Cinema – Capernaum
Date: 5 March 2019
Venue: Watershed

Politics Cafes: Post-work city: A conversation on the future
Date: 12 February 2019
Venue: The Station Kitchen, YMCA

Thought in Action: Conversations about Cinema: Vice (Philosophy/Politics stream)
Date: 7 February 2019
Venue: Watershed

Vulnerability, Exclusion and Domination. Woman one: A play based on “The Monologue” by Simone de Beauvoir. (Philosophy stream)
Date: 1 and 2 February 2019
Venue: Arnolfini and Watershed

SSC: The Politics of International Criminal Law (Politics stream)
Date: 30 January 2019
Venue: Watershed


Thought in Action: Conversations about Cinema: Disobedience (film) (Philosophy/Politics stream)
Date: 4 December 2018
Venue: Watershed

Anticipating Brexit: Rights, belongings, opportunities, prosperities (Sociology)
Date: 28 November 2018
Venue: SS Great Britain

Thought in Action: Conversations about Cinema: Utøya – July 22 (Philosophy/Politics stream)
Date: 30 October 2018
Venue: Watershed

Art and its materials: Slime’s sublime and the fate of natural beauty (Philosophy)
Date: 16 October 2018
Venue: Spike Island

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