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Mapping the Humanities and Social Sciences in Australia

By Jingwei Li (People's Daily Online)

16:35, July 26, 2013

The Australian Government has commissioned a new project to map the national research and teaching capacity in the humanities and social sciences (HASS).

Announcing the project, Innovation Minister Kim Carr, and Australia's Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, said the report would profile the HASS sectors, including trends in student enrolments and infrastructure capacity.

"Our capacity to respond to, and thrive in, the Asian Century relies on our humanities and social science research and teaching capability," Mr. Carr said.

"These disciplines provide the cultural, linguistic and social perspectives required for our future economic, political and cultural advancement – both regionally and globally."

The Mapping the Humanities and Social Sciences project will complement the Chief Scientist’s Health of Australian Science report released in last May and provide a picture of the overall health of Australia’s research and teaching capacity in the HASS disciplines.

"As we did with the Health of Australian Science, we need also to check on the health of Australia's humanities and social science disciplines," Professor Chubb said.

"This mapping project will provide an assessment of current capacity, future demand and identify strengths and vulnerabilities across the HASS disciplines."

The assessment will be undertaken by the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, led by Professor Graeme Turner.

In addition to profiling the humanities and social sciences sectors, the project will consider how government, universities and the humanities and social sciences communities might address issues of sustainability and gaps in capability.

The project is supported by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, the Office of the Chief Scientist and the two Academies.

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