Addressing major societal changes
Launched in November 2011, the Research Institute for Applied Social Sciences (RIASS) is a flagship, cross-University collaboration bringing together the very best research within the social, human, health and environmental sciences.
RIASSrecentlyheld a conference showcasing the wealth of applied social science research being conducted across the University, with the aim of disseminating knowledge to colleagues across the campus, and generating opportunities for collaborative research.
In a session entitled ‘Health & demographic change’, Professor Vanessa Burholt, Director of the Centre for Innovative Ageing (CIA), shared findings from CFAS-Wales, a two-decade long study from 1993 to 2013 looking at changes in the social support networks of older people. The session also included a talk by Dr Camilla Knight, senior lecturer in Sport Psychology in the College of Engineering in which she explored the critical need for parental involvement and support in developing children’s sporting potential.
Other highlights included a talk by Professor Nuria Lorenzo-Dus and Dr Cristina Izura from the Language Research Centre, on the first multidisciplinary, empirical study of the communicative practices used by online sexual predators in a session entitled ‘Secure Societies – protecting freedom and security’.
The session also included work by Dr Stuart Macdonald and colleagues on assessing and responding to the threat of cyberterrorism. Also presenting in this session was Dr Sergei Shubin from Geography, whose work has attracted £1.3 million in developing inter-disciplinary approaches to poverty alleviation in connection with the Swansea-Siavonga partnership.
Addressing the event, Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Iwan Davies said the conference reflected the depth and breadth of social science research activity at the University, and congratulated the community on its integral role in Swansea’s success in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.