Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Humanities research key to the future of European policy making

18.12.2008
Research and debate at the "European Diversities - European Identities" conference in Strasbourg on October 8-9 has reinforced the importance of humanities research in helping to deliver social policy in the next few years.

The fourth annual HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) conference brought over 150 humanities scholars and policy makers together to discuss the role that collaborative research can play in grappling with some of the challenges facing the continent, it also reflected on some of the questions of identity facing humanities in the early years of the 21st century.

The HERA conference was also doing double duty as the first European Conference for Collaborative Humanities Research. As such, most of the participants were representing inter- or multidisciplinary, multi-institution and international collaborations, designed to answer the kinds of questions too big to fit into one disciplinary "box". The collaborations offered unexpected combinations such as theologians working with neuroscientists, or linguists with biologists. As the conference progressed, it became clear that these inter-disciplinary collaborations along with new technologies are changing the nature of the humanities research.

The need for large-scale, international and inter-disciplinary research in the humanities was spelled out by Jean-Michel Baer, Director of the Science, economy and society Directorate of the European Commission's DG for Research.

The humanities must "be addressing the common societal challenges and problems we face, such as climate change, brain diseases, ageing and scarcity of resources," said Baer. "Humanities have a role to play in nation building, and policy relevant research is needed at the EC level", he added.

The particularity of European research was a theme picked up by Philip Esler, Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Board and Chair of the HERA Network Board.

In Esler's view, "humanities research has a crucial role to play in European policy making, and one that has a very distinct nature from the sciences. "

Over the course of the HERA conference, it became clear that the transnational, interdisciplinary approaches such as these are changing the kinds of questions that humanities researchers can ask. Given the powerful technology and enormous amounts of data now available to modern researchers, these collaborative approaches are likely to become the model for the humanities as it moves into the 21st century.

Thomas Lau | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esf.org/research-areas/humanities/era-net.html

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>