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UNESCO Chair – GACER News – January 7


Greetings Friends and Colleagues,
Lots of Work Still To Do
European League of Research Universities recommendations for Europe’s Horizon 2020
Some of you will have seen the policy paper above written for the League of European Research Universities designed to make the case for research funding for the Humanities and Social Sciences within the European Commissions’ Horizon 2020 research and Innovation framework

This grouping is made up of many of the elite European Universities, many of them highly ranked in the various league tables. At first glance, it is extremely valuable to see an articulate and thoughtful defence of Humanities and Social Sciences research within the context of the goals of Horizon 2020. In a world where Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines are seen increasingly as the key to maintaining a global growth and technology agenda, the reminder that concerns with the cultures, languages, sociological, geographic, historical matters are critical is refreshing.

What is disconcerting however is the lack of reference in this document to any of the discussions and practices that have been evolving over the past 10-20 years regarding issues linked to community based research, engaged scholarship, knowledge mobilisation, co-construction of knowledge between universities and civil society groups.

We know that colleagues in the Living Knowledge Network of Science Shops have been making good progress along with others to support principles of public engagement in the study and action on critical issues that are paid for by public taxation, but in our enthusiasm for the many new strategies evolving around the world to more closely link research to society, it is important to take note that for many influential scholars and higher education groupings, the benefits for society and scholarship itself of the kind of work that we are engaged with remains invisible.
Your thoughts welcome.
Rajesh Tandon and Budd Hall
UNESCO Chair in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education

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