What is social science and how does it shape the world we live in? Drop in to meet some of our LSE researchers, find out about their work and get inspired! Featuring VR, film, photography, hands-on activities and games.
What’s the real impact of the palm oil in your shopping basket?
Swathes of tropical peat swaps in Southeast Asia are cleared and drained for palm oil production. There’s a cheap and easy way to clear off excess vegetation: burning. But dry peat is like kindling, and fires quickly burn out of control. We conduct onsite fieldwork and recreate these conditions in experiments to investigate how the emissions from those fires choke the region, with disastrous effects on human health and national economies. This research directly informs UN initiatives to reduce emissions, and forest conservation across Southeast Asia.
Presenter: Dr Thomas Smith, Department of Geography and Environment
Find out more about Dr Smith's work
Children’s data and privacy online: growing up in a digital age
Do you know how your data is shared and used? Or how to protect your privacy online? If your child asks you about their data, would you know how to guide them? Over the past year, we’ve been talking to children, parents and educators about online data and privacy. We found that children are becoming aware of the commercial uses of their data and they care about their privacy, but there are important gaps in their digital skills. Children often turn to their parents and teachers for guidance, but adults also struggle to understand the complex digital environment and to know how to advise children. We developed a toolkit to promote understanding and empower your family or classroom to protect your privacy online.
Presenter: Dr Mariya Stoilova, Department of Media and Communications
Find out more about Children's data and privacy online
How can we use digital technology and design to make our data more accessible?
How easy is it to spot trends and patterns buried in tables or crowded graphs? For it to be truly useful, important data needs to be decision-ready and made available to policy makers and the public in an accessible, contextualising and inspiring way. Our new projects use digital technology and engaging design to literally map out policy trends, geographic, social and economic data, and the effectiveness of policy implementation; enabling deeper exploration of global gender equality, and of politics in the US and South Asia.
Presenters: Chris Gilson, United States Centre and Nicky Armstrong, Centre for Women, Peace and Security
Find out more about these initiatives in the US Centre, South Asia Centre and Centre for Women, Peace and Security.
How can we use scientific tools to make the most effective decisions and forecasts?
The tools scientists use to forecast events are useful, but imperfect. Computational power is not infinite, models cannot always mirror the real world, and some uncertainties just cannot be predicted. LSE’s Centre for the Analysis of Time Series (CATS) is at the forefront of improving these tools and communicating how to use them wisely to make real-world predictions. Our projects include collaboration with humanitarian agencies to save lives by acting before disasters occur; and forecasting the results of the US National Football League.
Presenters: Professor Leonard Smith, Dr Erica Thompson and Dr Ed Wheatcroft, CATS
Find out more about CATS
Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival #ShapetheWorld
This event is part of the LSE Festival: Shape the World running from Monday 2 to Saturday 7 March 2020, with a series of events exploring how social science can make the world a better place.