The UCL Energy Institute hosted the launch of the UCL-Energy Social Sciences Group on the evening of Wednesday 13th June.
The launch event provided an opportunity to learn more about the newly formed Social Sciences Group and how to get involved. The Group has been set up by students to provide a mutual support network for students and researchers whose work involves the social sciences. The group aims to help improve the application of the social sciences in energy research and make access to information and advice a little easier for all those using social science methods. This is particularly important because research in the energy sector brings with it very individual challenges to overcome when doing social science research.
Michelle Shipworth opened the launch event with a lively discussion of why the robust application of the social sciences is vital for successful energy research. Faye Wade, Carrie Behar and Mike Fell then took to the floor to discuss the aims of the Group and introduce an information repository they have developed. This is a Moodle (the online learning management system used by UCL) page. The page is accessible for UCL students and is currently acting as a database of information to help students when applying the social sciences. This includes student generated recommended reading lists, information and links to relevant UCL guidance and links to external sites with help and tips for applying the social sciences.
The event culminated in a ‘Social Sciences Speed Dating’ session. The guests were given three minutes to discuss their research with the person opposite them and try to find something in common. If the success of this activity is anything to go by, we are sure to get some productive interactions and networking underway through this group!
The UCL-Energy Social Sciences Group would welcome any advice and suggestions for activities or external involvement that would help to build social science networks and improve our application of the social sciences to energy research.