Imagine a hot air balloon carrying eight top social science & humanities scholars losing hot air and plummeting to earth. The balloon can only carry one person without crashing, and the scientists have to decide who is most worth saving.

They decide that their duties to science and society mean that only the most useful researcher should be the one to keep their place. And to decide that, they each agree to explain why their research is the most socially useful and take a collective vote!

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This is the idea behind the Science Slam Zagreb, organised as part of the ENRESSH Training School on Evaluating Societal Impact of Social Sciences & Humanities Research. As part of this informal event, a selection of Training School delegates will take to the floor and explain why their research matters the most to society, and a vote will be taken on who has the most convincing story.

The ambience will be relaxed in the Central Zagreb venue we have chosen for the conference, but the intention is deadly serious. In a time of crisis, society is increasingly asking its scientists to explain their social value, and all scientists – including social scientists and humanities scholars – risk being “thrown overboard” if they fail to convincingly make their case as to why their research matters.

The Science Slam is an emerging idea in science communications and the ENRESSH Training School uses the approach to help young researchers to learn these vital science communications skills in practice, and to inspire the audience to begin to develop their own effective narratives of useful social sciences and the humanities.

The Social Science Slam Zagreb 2018 begins with a drinks reception, followed by the Balloon Debate, and followed by a buffet, public vote and the Prize Award.

Although the primary audience for the event is conference participants, we also have a limited number of places for local participants who would be interested to listen to the presentations and cast their vote with the rest of the Audience.  For further information or to reserve a place for this exciting and stimulating event, please contact the Training School Chief Trainer, Paul Benneworth.

This event is part of the COST Action European Network for Research Evaluation in Social Sciences and the Humanities, funded as cost action CA: 15137.  This event is also taking place thanks to the kind support of the Croatian Ministry of Education and Science and the Institute for Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb.