Category: SHAPE

How the Mars landings took SHAPE – Assessing the contribution of social sciences, arts and humanities to space exploration.

Space exploration can be viewed as the quintessential achievement of technological and scientific modernity. In this post Thelma Obiakor, argues that by appreciating the contribution of the social sciences, humanities and arts (SHAPE disciplines) it is…

Without social sciences, humanities and arts, the goal of sustainability may never be reached

Eric Neumayer and Charles Joly argue that the key challenges posed by making a transition to a sustainable net-zero carbon economy are social, rather than technological. As such, instead of waiting for technological change to simply emerge, in the post…

By focusing on commercialisation we fail to recognise the more complex ways universities engage with business

Collaborations between universities and firms are often understood in terms of technology transfer and the creation of innovative products. Utku Ali Rıza Alpaydın and Rune Dahl Fitjar, draw on findings from a survey of university firm interactions in Norway, to suggest that such engagements in fact represent a minority and that good policy in this … Continued

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