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methods@manchester, Seminars

The Impact Agenda – an ESRC-funded seminar series

 Seminar 2: The ‘impact’ of culture and cultural processes: a dialogue

Tuesday 28 June 2011
Martin Harris Centre, University of Manchester

Culture effects challenges conventional thinking and methods associated with ‘measuring’ the impact of artistic and cultural practices, participation and processes. It provides an opportunity for artists, cultural practitioners and academics to come together to explore new languages for articulating the difficult to measure, intangible, sensual and powerful ‘effects’ and ‘affects’ of arts and culture.

Culture effects takes place in a moment when the cultural sector and arts and humanities subjects in Higher Education are under pressure to prove their economic worth and policy relevance. At the same time, there is renewed governmental interest in finding ways to measure well-being and quality of life.

With key notes from Joe Winston, University of Warwick and Tom Bolton, Centre for Cities, and presentations, case studies, provocations and creative workshops, the event is relevant to the arts and cultural practitioners, academics from across the humanities and social sciences, policy-makers, educationalists and others interested in extending the ways in which they research the impact of interventions.

For more details and to book a place go to

Seminar 3: The interaction between academic knowledge producers and government organisations

Monday 4 July 2011
Royal Statistical Society, Errol Street, London

There are well established, long term relationships between UK academic and government organisations. However, the relationship between academic and non-academic organisations may be becoming even more crucial. The Research Excellence Framework (REF), which will assess the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, sets as one of its assessment criteria the wider impact of research.

In this seminar presentations will take the form of a dialogue between an academic who is involved in knowledge transfer, and a corresponding non-academic from a partner in a commissioning government department/agency. Each pair of presenters has an established relationship and may explore questions such as:

1. What are the processes involved in achieving ‘impact’?

2. How much of the academic research reaches the production stage and influences policy?

3. Are there competing interests or expectations between academic and non-academic organizations.

4. What is the potential impact of REF on the interaction between academic and non-academic organisations.

Each speaker will give a 15 minute presentation to set the scene; the facilitator will then open this up for questions, discussion from the audience and the speakers will respond and, in so doing, provide more detail and develop this issues more fully.

To view the programme and book a place please go to



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