Euroscience Open Forum 2014

Session: The Roles of Social Science and Humanities in Addressing Global Challenges

The future of Europe is increasingly determined by the ability of its governments, industries and citizens to integrate and deploy knowledge through economic, societal, and cultural measures. Policymakers look towards science to find solutions to the grand challenges of our time such as climate change, energy and food security, and sustainable resources. Sustainable approaches to those challenges will involve a comprehensive interdisciplinary research capacity, calling for cooperation among the natural, social and human sciences in order to co-produce robust knowledge. Innovation today means more than traditional industrial progress; it covers both technological and socio-cultural innovation; it deals with the manufacturing and service sector, but also with the public and third sector. Social science and humanities have the tools to analyze social, political, and economic processes and transfer new knowledge and innovative solutions among individuals and institutions. Even the basic capacity to acknowledge and define what a societal challenge is, is co-shaped by socio-economic analysis. This session explores some of the most promising strategies that European and global organizations have adopted to promote the integration of the social and human sciences within an interdisciplinary research agenda. Four high-level speakers will be asked to address questions about where SSH research is headed and how best to make visible the societal relevance of the human and social sciences. The session presents an exclusive medley of recent reports and initiatives mapping the outcomes of research in the SSH domain, including the Lithuanian EU Presidency Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities (September 2013), The League of European Research Universities (Advice Paper 2012), A New Agenda for Australian Humanities (July 2013), and the Velux Foundation’s Meta-Hum Initiative (2012).

  • “Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities” – Conclusions from the Lithuanian EU Presidency Conference on the Social Sciences and Humanities”
    Prof. Helga Nowotny, President European Research Council (2010-2013), Chair of the ERA Council Forum Austria
  • “Social Sciences and Humanities Essential Fields for European Research”
    Prof. H.W. Wim van den Doel, Dean of the Humanities Faculty, Rapporteur of the Research Position Paper on the Humanities, League of European Research Universities (LERU), University of Leiden
  • “The Transformation of the Humanities: An international perspective”
    Prof. Kirsten Drotner, Chair of Science Europe’s Humanities Committee (HUMAN), Institute for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark

Discussant:Prof. Liviu Matei, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Professor at the Department of Public Policy, Central European University

Moderator: Prof. Vincent F. Hendricks, Professor of Formal Philosophy, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen

Session: Mapping Social Science and Humanities (SSH)

Increasingly, investments in and dependency on knowledge production have triggered an interest in understanding and visualizing the exchange of knowledge and ideas in science. Mapping scientific fields is of growing interest to scientists, policymakers, funding agencies and industry. Computation of bibliometric data such as co-authorships, co-citation analysis, and cross-disciplinary collaborations supply new insights about the research landscape. However, research in the social sciences and humanities is often difficult to survey, since these fields are embedded in diverse and often diverging epistemic cultures. Some are specifically bound to local contexts, languages and terminologies, and the SSH domain lacks global referencing bodies and dictionaries. Hence, mapping scientific activity and understanding interdisciplinary exchanges requires researchers to go beyond traditional statistical methods, such as co-citation analysis, and develop new semantic technologies such as topic models, natural language processing, as well as survey-based studies. This session explores how combinations and variations of science mapping can provide a productive basis for debates about research in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “Bibliometric and bibliographic analysis in SSH”
    Prof. Gunnar Sivertsen, Nordisk Institutt for Studier av Innovasjon, Forskning og Utdanning (NIFU), Oslo, Norway
  • “Visual analytics in mapping of socio-semantic networks”
    Dr. Jürgen Pfeffer, Institute for Software Research. School of Computer Science. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
  • “Digital humanities and semantic technologies”
    Speaker tbc

Discussant: Dr. Katja Mayer, Research Fellow & Project Manager. Department of Social Studies of Science and Technology. University of Vienna.

Moderator: Prof. Frederik Stjernfelt, Humanomics Research Programme, University of Copenhagen


Dr. David Budtz Pedersen, Co-Director & Research Fellow, Humanomics Research Centre, University of Copenhagen

Dr. Katja Mayer, Research Fellow and Lecturer, Department of Social Studies of Science and Technology, University of Vienna, Austria