The Future of Social Sciences and Humanities: Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Approaches

The report on the future of social sciences and humanities delivered to the Austrian Ministy of Science and Research is based upon some relevant EU projects in the field. Science and research have undergone a remarkable shift of attention. Science and research have not only to meet the traditional criteria of excellence, validity and reliability, but have to be evaluated against the criteria of valorisation. Hence, social sciences and the humanities are confronted with the following challenge: How can the social sciences and humanities better address the needs of societies in the future?

There are relevant questions for social sciences and humanities: what about the access to health, what about participation of patients concerned about the direction of medical research is directed, and the research on which sicknesses are prioritised? These questions, however, are by and large understood as normative questions to be decided politically. The need for scientific knowledge in this field is frequently neglected. The study ‘Social Sciences and Humanities for Europe’ has examined the prospects for future development of the social sciences and humanities in Europe, their potential alignment and how they relate to social demands and societal needs. The results shed light on the added value of a stronger inclusion of the social sciences and the humanities in the research policies in Europe. It has considered the experiences of the diverse international and national communities of scholars as well as those of knowledge stakeholders.

Project Description