Why Social Sciences matter

Nieuws | de redactie
18 november 2011 | The European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, voiced her support for Social Sciences and Humanities during a speech at the British Academy London. These would be crucial to identify causes and societal impact of the current European crisis.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn held a speech at the British Academy London on theimportance of Social Sciences and Humanities. These would becrucial to face the challenges of a crisis ridden EuropeanUnion.

“Energy and resources are becoming scarcer and more expensive aswe consume more. The internet and social networking are changingthe way we work, interact and communicate… We need the SocialSciences and Humanities to examine, interpret and understand thesechallenges and point us to answers,” commented Geoghegan-Quinn.

Especially in the current crisis Europe  needs to look toSocial Sciences and Humanities “to explain why and how the currenteconomic crisis happened, to identify its social impacts and todiscern future trends.” This is why the European Commission has thegoal “to inspire, recognize and support excellence” regarding thesedisciplines.

Key role of social innovation

According to Geoghegan-Quinn, one research area the EUCommission will especially foster is going to be social innovation.This is meant to “advance our understanding of the key issues ofsocial innovation itself: the way it is measured; the regulatoryand recognition barriers; the monitoring and design of appropriatefinancial instruments; the role of private-public partnerships andof creativity and learning.”

Social innovators and social entrepreneurs would play a key rolein this context as they are able to “mobilize people’s creativityto develop solutions and make better use of scarce resources [whichis especially important] in times of major budgetaryconstraints”.


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