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ESRC awards two prestigious fellowships to Warwick researchers

Two Warwick researchers have been awarded two prestigious social science Professorial Fellowships available in the UK.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) have announced the appointment of only seven fellowships under the Professorial Fellowship Scheme 2013-13 and two of them are coming to Warwick.

The new Warwick fellows are Professor Matthew Watson, from Politics and International Studies and Professor Celia Lury, Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies.

The scheme is designed to support leading social scientists working in the UK, by providing them with the freedom to pursue their own innovative and creative research ideas.

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Professor Matthew Watson’s fellowship will explore the ways in which the market economy has become embedded in our everyday experiences. Particularly he wants to challenge how the market is seen as a force that we have little control over. He is planning a number of publications to result from his fellowship. He said:

In the wake of the global financial crisis austerity measures have forced people to come to terms with more limited life chances due to market failure. I see my role as a potential ESRC champion to connect with these people in an attempt to empower them politically with new ways of thinking about the modern economy's major institution."

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Professor Celia Lury’s fellowship will allow her to investigate how methods of social research enact the world, and how they are evaluated by those who use them and by those whose activities they measure. She said:

Research methods have never been confined to the academic world, but we are currently seeing big changes in the distribution of data, methods, expertise and forms of valuation as part of the rise of digital technologies, big data and citizen science. I want to look at how research methods are making the social world in new ways through their organisation of constantly changing processes of connecting, converting, ranking and listing."

Each of the fellows will make a significant contribution to the development of social science, while also acting as a champion for ESRC and the social sciences, promoting their vital role in addressing current and future issues for modern society and the economy.