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Social-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) annual conference

15 October 2014

The Social-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) annual conference took place at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen in April this year.

David Barrett attended the Social-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) annual conference which took place at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen in April this year. This three day conference showcases a wide array of contemporary socio-legal research in a multitude of different streams. The Law School is particularly well represented at the conference with a significant number of staff and PhD students giving papers on the innovative socio-legal research they are currently undertaking. The conference began with a plenary panel that discussed Scottish Independence. It culminated in a dinner which took place in the magnificent Beach Ballroom on the sea front. During the dinner prizes were given out and, to my surprise, I was awarded the SLSA Poster Prize. The dinner ended with a traditional Scottish ceilidh which was the perfect way to wind down after an extremely stimulating but tiring conference.

After a brief rest I took my winning poster to Hannover in Germany (which led to it being dubbed ‘the David Hasselhoff of the poster world’ by my colleagues). This was for the Volkswagen Stiftung Herrenhausen conference entitled ‘Re-examining social inequality’. Ironically for a conference that examined social inequality it took place in a palace (the irony of which was lost on most of the participants). Despite this the quality of the conference was outstanding. Presenters included eminent economist Sir Paul Collier, former World Bank Lead Economist Branko Milanović and Shoshana Zuboff a Social Psychologist from Harvard University. In addition the conference organisers had provided funding for 30 PhD students/early career researchers to attend the conference. This provided for a wide range of perspectives, with participants coming from a wide range of disciplines and countries with every continent being represented (I was the sole British representative). I particularly enjoyed hearing about the innovative work that other researchers are undertaking and how the problem of social inequality is viewed in different countries. Overall it was the perfect conference: stimulating discussion, excellent location, exquisite food and great company, which left me very enthusiastic about my future research plans.

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