Imagining the Future of Social Science

QSR is a conference satchel partner for the upcoming ACSPRI Social Science Methodology conference at The University of Sydney (July 19-22). In this post Dr. Betsy Blunsdon, ACSPRI's Executive Director, explains the role of ACSPRI and outlines the themes of the conference.

Who are we?

August 2016 will mark 40 years since the incorporation of the Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated (ACSPRI). A not-for-profit organisation established in 1976, it enabled Australian social science researchers to gain access to national and international survey data.


Today, the broad aim of ACSPRI is the promotion and enhancement of social science research and methods in Australia.

Our most prominent activities are our regular training programs in social research methods and research technology.

We currently run annual programs in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane. ACSPRI also runs Academic Survey's Australia (ASA) our survey research centre, specialising in data collection for academic social science research, as well as methodological research and the development of software and tools. 

5th Biennial ACSPRI Conference


The University of Sydney: July 19-22, 2016

To mark ACSPRI's 40th anniversary, we have chosen the theme “Social science in Australia: 40 years on” for our 5th Social Science Methodology Conference.  

We think this is a fitting time to reflect on how social science internationally and nationally has changed over this 40 year period, looking at where we are now and what the future might hold.

One of the challenges in the social science methods space is it's dynamic nature. Given this and the need to keep abreast of changes and innovation, this conference provides the opportunity to reflect on where we've come from, highlight where we are and imagine our future as social scientists.

A unique feature of our conference is that it's multi-disciplinary and brings together researchers and methodologists from a range of environments and contexts.

With a focus on the past, present and future the conference is organised around four themes:

  • Research paradigms and designs;
  • Research methods and techniques;
  • Research technology and tools;
  • Datasets, data collections and data archiving.

Here's a sample of some of the qualitative methodology papers that are being presented;

For more information about the Conference and registration details visit the conference website or contact the ACSPRI office:


Dr. Blunsdon has extensive experience in survey research and research methodology as an academic researcher and as Director of Deakin's Computer Assisted Research Facility and now as Executive Director of ACSPRI and Academic Surveys Australia. She has project managed over 200 research projects since 2003 including The Australian Survey of Social attitudes (AuSSA). Her own research projects have included collaboration with researchers around the world including the UK, Canada, Turkey, Brazil, Austria, Japan and Taiwan.She was Academic Convenor of ACSPRI sponsored Social Science Methodology Conferences at The University of Sydney, in 2012 and 2014 and the upcoming conference in July, 2016. Blunsdon's publications include scholarly academic journal articles and edited monographs.





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