Category: SHAPE

Putting social science in its place – Could social science parks be the answer to wicked problems?

Whilst many of the challenges addressed by the social sciences concern global issues, they are ultimately experienced and manifested within the specific context of communities and localities. In this post, Chris Taylor discusses SPARK, an initiative by Cardiff University to develop a ‘social science park’, and how bringing together transdisciplinary groups from academia and local … Continued

Podcast: Has social science influenced the policy response to COVID-19?

The latest episode of LSE IQ poses the question: What’s the point of social science in a pandemic? When governments across the world were forced to take unprecedented measures in response to COVID-19 in 2020, much attention was focused on the teams of scientific and medical experts assembled to advise and develop national policy responses. … Continued

Why do we need a social imagination?

This year has for many brought into sharp focus the social basis of almost all major global challenges, be it the climate crisis, racial justice, or COVID-19. Reflecting on his career in and around the social sciences, Ziyad Marar, outlines why a social imagination is now more important than ever, and puts forward 10 ways … Continued

Why do we need a social imagination?

This year has for many brought into sharp focus the social basis of almost all major global challenges, be it the climate crisis, racial justice, or COVID-19. Reflecting on his career in and around the social sciences, Ziyad Marar, outlines why a social imagination is now more important than ever, and puts forward 10 ways … Continued

Should supervisors be training PhD students to achieve impact?

In addition to thesis writing, PhD candidates in SHAPE subjects are expected to be able to communicate their research to diverse audiences and also be prepared for careers outside of Higher Education. Should PhD supervision cover these areas, or does impact training sit more naturally elsewhere in the university ecosystem? In this post, Katherine Parker-Hay, … Continued

A ‘New Normal’ for the Social Sciences: Improving Pandemic Preparedness and Response

COVID-19 has led to an upheaval in almost all aspects of life, including the role of the social sciences in public health and pandemic responses. Whereas in the past, the social sciences have often played the role of cultural brokers, this upheaval offers an opportunity to explore a ‘new normal’, characterised by social scientists taking … Continued

Data protection laws apply to anyone who collects information about a living individual. So what do researchers in arts, humanities and social sciences need to know?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has significant implications for academic researchers. The Royal Historical Society recently published a set of guidelines to help researchers navigate the legal requirements around data protection. Dr Katherine Foxhall, RHS Research and Communications Officer explains some of the key factors that researchers in SHAPE subjects should be aware of. … Continued

Businesses know the value of social sciences. Higher Education policy needs to catch up

The social sciences are recognised for their role in evaluating policy and offering practice-based interventions about ‘what works’. However, they are less often justified in terms of their value to the private sector. Sharon Witherspoon outlines the finding of a report into eight case studies of UK businesses.  The report covers a range of different … Continued

What is the role of the social sciences in the response to COVID-19? 4 priorities for shaping the post-pandemic world

Science has been central to informing policy in the response to COVID-19. But ensuring the successful implementation of these policies and the direction of a long-term recovery is the role of the social sciences. Dr Rachel Middlemass outlines the specific contributions that social sciences have to play in informing how we rebuild post-pandemic and the … Continued