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  • Writer's pictureResearch Impact Enterprises [RIE]

Network for Advancing & Evaluating the Societal Impact of Science (AESIS)

Online, hosted from Ottawa, Canada 14 – 16 October 2020

There might not be a more timely moment to discuss the societal impact of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) than this fall. The global COVID-19 pandemic has posed and is still posing societal challenges that call for (interdisciplinary) research evidence that can be transformed into practical knowledge for a variety of societal stakeholders. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly apparent that SSH research has an important role to play in identifying, assessing and meeting objectives that touch upon matters such as accountability, equity and inclusiveness. In all, it seems that in these unique times, “change’’ is the new key word. We and our partners feel that in order to create a positive connotation to this word, it is of the utmost importance to assess, facilitate, and enhance the impact of SSH on society.

The AESIS Network is proud to announce that its next edition on ‘The Impact of Social Sciences and Humanities on Society’, hosted from Ottawa, Canada, and broadcasted online to a global audience. For this edition, we are aiming to foster a discussion on how one can assess and stimulate impact of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) through an interdisciplinary approach. In order to generate a profound impact of SSH on society, we believe collaborations with parties from business, government and not-for-profits, and engaging with the broader public are all vital aspects in this process.

We start the event with an attempt to both map and assess the impact of SSH; what does impact mean in the context of different segments of society, and through which indicators can you measure it? Then, we will identify different opportunities of collaborations with societal stakeholders, and discuss how co-creations of knowledge with other scientific disciplines may play a role in stimulating impact. Subsequently, we will engage in interactive discussions on which skills can enable one to optimize impact for the sake of the public as a whole and close with some targeted recommendations for the Canadian science policy system and beyond drawn from the conclusions of the meeting.

The momentum of a great need for interdisciplinary research and focus on addressing nation and global societal challenges in Canada’s research eco-system make it an excellent and indeed inspirational context to foster the worldwide discussion on impact. At the same time, several international perspectives can offer valuable and critical evaluations to the current progress and obstacles in Canada. The AESIS Network and its partners are excited to (virtually) welcome you to the ‘Impact of Social Sciences and Humanities 2020’ conference.

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