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Social scientist wants to know what you think about on the throne

University of Exeter lecturer Dr Joanie Willett is hosting a series of community discussions designed to collect information on what various members of the public think the British constitution should look like.

The events, collectively called #OnTheThrone, are spread across three venues in Cornwall. The first instalment will run from 11.30-13.30 at The Stannary, Penryn Campus, Penryn on Wednesday 4th November. On Saturday 7th November, participants can find Dr Willett at Pannier Market in Truro from 10.00-13.00, and on the Falmouth High Street from 15.00-17.00.

Dr Willett, who is based in the both Politics department and the Environment and Sustainability Institute on the Penryn Campus, will be discussing the outcomes of her conversations with Cornwall Councillors, Members of Parliament, and other officials. She said: “Big changes affecting everyone are happening in British politics. We have already seen Cornwall get the devolution deal, giving us a bit more say in what we do here, and many cities and regions are also going to get more powers.

“This provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to shape the nature of how our country is run, and Parliament is currently asking for people’s views on what the British constitution should look like. #OnTheThrone is part of this consultation process.”

Participants in #OnTheThrone will be asked to think about questions such as, If you had power, what would you change in your community—or in the UK? Do you feel that you have the power to change things? Who does have power? Do you think power should be distributed more equally—and, if so, how?

The discussions will feed into the UK-wide debate about what citizens want government in Britain to look like, and what individuals should—and should not—be able to do. The conversations are also designed to teach community members that everyone’s voice is equally important.

#OnTheThrone is part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Festival of Social Science, which runs from 7th-14th November across the country. The celebration aims to highlight the ways in which the social sciences can illuminate key issues in our social, economic, and political lives.

Details of the national event can be found on the ESRC website

Date: 26 October 2015

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