NCRM Research Methods Festival 2018 to feature progress on Sensors in social research

The newly announced provisional programme of the eighth biennial Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Research Methods Festival 2018, to be held at Bath University July, will, for the first time, include sessions themed around the National Centre for Research Methods’ (NCRM) Methodological Innovation Strand.

Kicking off the first morning of the three day event (as one of eight scheduled parallel themed discussions) will be presentations and demonstrations of the HomeSense project — to be convened by University of Surrey’s Dr Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir and Professor Nigel Gilbert.

The Sensors in social research session on Tuesday 3 July, at 10:00 to 12:30 will report progress and findings of the HomeSense sensor-based study of social life and potentially sensitive settings.

Technical, observational, ethical and communicational aspects of HomeSense at NCRM Festival 2018

The session will addresses technical, observational, ethical and communicational aspects of applying this method and will report on how the technologies used has been explained to participants, the installation process and how the research instruments are being managed the in the field.

The session will also address working across social and computer science disciplines, making sense of sensor-generated data and evaluating these data against well-established data gathering methods in social research. A set of sensors will be showcased.

Scheduled presenters are Professor Nigel Gilbert (University of Surrey); Dr Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir (University of Surrey) on Sensors as an observational method: confidence and trust between researchers and study participants; Dr Alison Burrows (University of Bristol) on Sensor-generated data: visualisations and analytic options; Dr Jie Jiang (University of Surrey), on Mitigating practical and ethical issues in sensor-based real world studies; Dr Benjamin Bedwell (University of Nottingham); and rounded up by a commentary by Professor Nigel Gilbert.

Methodological sessions, activities and lively discussions NCRM Festival 2018

Previous editions of the ESRC Research Methods Festival attracted around 800 social science researchers, and this summer’s event has 300 methodological sessions, activities and lively discussions planned.

Confirmed keynote speakers include: Professor Danny Dorling (Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford), Professor Donna Mertens (Professor Emeritus at Gallaudet University, Washington D.C.) and Professor Nancy Cartwright (Professor of Philosophy at the University of Durham and the University of California).

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