MSP for Aberdeen Donside and Minister for Childcare and Early Years in the Scottish Parliament Mark McDonald, along with Stuart Donaldson, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, and Piotr Teodorowski, a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, will join RGU’s Professor Sarah Pedersen, Professor Simon Burnett, Dr Graeme Baxter, Dr Iain MacLeod and Dr Lizzy Tait in debating the question of social media and politics.
The event is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences and will be held on Monday November 7 from 1pm to 2.30pm in Lecture Theatre 222 in the Aberdeen Business School building.
The annual ESRC Festival of Social Science is a week-long celebration of the social sciences and social science research, taking place from 5-12 November across the UK.
Professor Sarah Pedersen said: “Many young people in Scotland are engaged in political debate or learn about politics through social media. We hope that this debate will help them consider the pros and cons of this type of political communication so that they become informed participants.”
MSP Mark McDonald said: “Social media has become a major communication tool for a lot of people in their day-to-day life. As a member of parliament I think it is important that constituents are able to communicate with me however they can, and if that means searching for me on Facebook rather than in a phone-book then I have to adapt to that.
“Social networks also provide excellent opportunities to spread useful information and get a message out there quickly – just look at the recent #WeAreScotland twitter campaign which showed so many people what a fantastic and inclusive society we live in."
MP Stuart Donaldson continued: “The way we use social media is constantly changing so it will be interesting to hear what platforms young people are using to maximise their engagement in politics and democracy."
There is a £50 book token prize for the student whose Tweets about the event were judged by the speakers to be the most engaged and imaginative. The hashtag for the event is #RGUSMPol and Tweets will also need to contain the general ESRC Festival hashtag #esrcfestival.
The winner will be selected from the tweets sent between Monday October 31 and Friday November 11.
- The 14th annual Festival of Social Science takes place from 5-12 November 2016 with more than 250 free events nationwide. Run by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Festival provides an opportunity for anyone to meet with some of the country’s leading social scientists and discover, discuss and debate the role that research plays in everyday life. With a whole range of creative and engaging events there’s something for everyone including businesses, charities, schools and government agencies. A full programme is available at www.esrc.ac.uk/festival. You can also join the discussion on Twitter using #esrcfestival