Yes! The indispensability of the social sciences and humanities has been a trending topic in recent days, both nationally and internationally. Last week, Carolyn Gregoire penned the “irrefutable evidence of the value of a humanities education” (The Huffington Post), while Patrick Dunleavy, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at London School of Economics, shared his opinions on how the “skew towards science is neglecting a 23.4bn social sciences industry” (The Conversation). Moreover, this week, Pericles Lewis, president of Yale-NUS College in Singapore, reflected on how “a humanities education produces truly creative leaders” (The Guardian) and Kamila Pieczara noted that “a more deliberate quest for causal explanations will reinvigorate social science’s relevance in mass media and policy” (The London School of Economics and Political Science).
But beyond their reflections, what better way to appreciate the field of the social sciences and humanities, than by immersing yourself first hand…
Know a grad student who's outside of or new to the field of History and Philosophy of Science or Science and Technology Studies and wants to learn more? Applications from students across Canada and across humanities and social science disciplines are invited for a special five-day summer school – no fees! (In case you missed it… no fees!) Situating Science Summer School 2014: Science in Human Contexts will provide advanced training in the fields of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) and Science and Technology Studies (STS) in a picturesque retreat near Kingston, Ontario. The seminar is an excellent opportunity for graduate students interested in learning about general issues and key areas in these fields. The event is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)-funded Situating Science Strategic Knowledge Cluster, a national network connecting and promoting the humanities and social studies of science and technology. The week will address each of the four themes of the Situating Science Cluster: historical epistemology and ontology; material culture and scientific/technological practices; scientific communication and its publics; and geography and sites of knowing. For further details about all the programming and steps to apply before the Monday, April 14, 2014 deadline, see here.
Another institution motivated to promote research in the humanities and social sciences is the Trudeau Foundation. As a generous sponsor of two Big Thinking lectures this year (Joseph Heath on February 11 and Catherine Dauvergne at Congress 2014 on May 28), we were delighted to hear that the Foundation welcomed nine new individuals to its network made up of researchers and practitioners. “The 2012 Trudeau scholars will be the first to benefit from their advice, but the nine new 2014 Trudeau mentors will also share their vast experience with the Foundation's extended community” (Trudeau Foundation).