ESRC Research Methods Festival 2018 to feature session on sensors in social research

The newly announced provisional programme of the ESRC RMF2018 in Bath, 3-5 July, will include sessions themed around the NCRM’s Methodological Innovation Strand.

Kicking off on the first morning of the three-day event will be presentations and demonstrations organised by the HomeSense team with invited speakers from Bristol and Nottingham

The Sensors in social research session on Tuesday 3 July, at 10:00 to 12:30 will report on a number of sensor-based studies of social life and potentially sensitive settings.

Technical, observational, ethical and communicational aspects at the ESRC RMF2018

The session will address technical, observational, ethical and communicational aspects of applying this method and will report on how the technologies tat are used have been explained to participants, the installation process and how the research instruments are managed during field trial

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 during the coffee break.

Scheduled presenters are 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 Learning about sensors to living with sensors: Lessons from Public Involvement in a smart home for healthcare project; Dr Jie Jiang (University of Surrey) on Sensor-generated data: visualisations and analytic options; Dr Benjamin Bedwell (University of Nottingham) on Mitigating practical and ethical issues in sensor-based real world studies; followed by a round-up commentary by Professor Nigel Gilbert.

Methodological sessions, activities and lively discussions

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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