Category: SHAPE

“Minimum expectations” are no way to value the arts, humanities, and social sciences

The UK government recently announced its intention to reduce funding for ‘low value’ degrees in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Drawing on her research into the history of higher education policy, Zoe Hope Bulaitis argues that current governm…

The most consequential experiments carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic will be social

The public image of the response to COVID-19 has been presented primarily through a scientific lens. However, as Alana Couvrette argues, the COVID-19 pandemic has been as intense a period of socio-political experimentation, as scientific. Drawing on ex…

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