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European sociologists meet in Aberdeen to discuss rural challenges

The XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology Congress takes place in Aberdeen
"Social sciences lie at the heart of the Institute’s vision to engage with practitioners to develop new solutions to the challenges facing land and natural resource use.

How can people in rural areas thrive during times of rapid, transformational change? How can rural Europe cope with the many pressures arising from globalisation, migration, deregulation and the effects of neoliberal policies? Over 400 social researchers from around the world will gather in Aberdeen this week (18-21 August 2015) to look into these and many other questions, during the XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology Congress.

The conference will provide important opportunities for social scientists to explore new evidence and approaches to understanding the relationships between people, society and rural resources under conditions of neoliberalism. Social researchers are interested to look into Aberdeen city and shire experiences regarding rural innovation particularly in relation to renewable energy, local food, gentrification processes and land management issues, among many others.

Aberdeen offers a fascinating location for social research into these issues, given the dominance of the oil industry in the city and Aberdeenshire’s reputation for progressive farming, vibrant rural communities and a strong tourist sector, featuring coastal and mountain trails, dolphin and whale watching, and thriving whisky distilleries and microbreweries.

The congress is being organised locally by the James Hutton Institute - home of the UK’s largest group of social and economic scientists studying rural communities, land use and the environment and is sponsored by the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund, Visit Aberdeen, the Macaulay Development Trust and the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).  The James Hutton Institute was awarded the congress by the ESRS after a successful bid in 2015.

Professor Iain Gordon, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, said: “We would like to extend a warm welcome to all delegates of the ESRS congress. Social sciences lie at the heart of the Institute’s vision to engage with practitioners to develop new solutions to the challenges facing land and natural resource use. As well as the stimulation of the conference itself, the North-East of Scotland offers delegates, and their partners, a vast range of experiences from walks to whisky, hospitality to highland games.”

Kerry Watson, from VisitScotland’s Business Events team, said: “We are delighted to support this important event through the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund. Its status in terms of both agriculture and tourism makes Aberdeen city and shire the ideal location for the European Society for Rural Sociology Congress, which will also provide a considerable boost to the local economy of more than £600,000.”  

Louise Lonie, Director of Sales and Marketing at AECC, added: “AECC have worked with the James Hutton Institute on previous conferences and we are delighted they have chosen to return to the Centre to host ESRS. AECC have been working continuously to bring association conferences to Aberdeen which sees a considerable boost in both economic impact and business tourism in the region.”

Notes to editors

Founded in 1957, the European Society for Rural Sociology is the leading European association for researchers, policy makers and scientists involved in the study of rural issues including: rural governance, land use change, sustainable development, natural resource management, and food production and consumption.

Press and media enquiries: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

Printed from /news/european-sociologists-meet-aberdeen-discuss-rural-challenges on 02/12/23 08:38:39 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.