Europe needs a large Social Sciences and Humanities -centered research programme to tackle its "Grand Societal Challenges"!

Sign the open letter:
“An Open Letter to the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation,
Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.

A sustained and substantial European investment in cutting-edge Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities (SSH) can unlock new knowledge and insights that are necessary for Europe

  • to overcome inequality, exclusion and poverty and to adapt to demographic change (migration, ageing, gender relations etc.);
  • to develop resilient institutions that can strengthen sustainable growth, innovation processes, and social and political participation;
  • to exploit cultural diversity as a source for creativity, adaptive capabilities and social innovation;
  • to advance our understanding of cognitive processes and create educational opportunities in inclusive and democratic societies;
  • to understand the complexity of value systems, worldviews and behavioural patterns, and address issues of openness or resistance to change and
  • to move towards successful intercultural dialogue and global diplomacy.

If you agree with the need for SSH to produce policy-oriented research for Europe, and if you wish to see a strong SSH-programme under the new European Framework Programme Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) we invite you to read the Open Letter to the Commissioner and sign it!
The voice of SSH researchers must be heard in the design of the new framework programme. Join your name to the list of colleagues from across Europe and beyond!”

The economics of academic publishing

Interesting article by George Monbiot on academic publishing. His quote of Deutsche Bank analysis sums it up pretty well:

“But an analysis by Deutsche Bank reaches different conclusions. “We believe the publisher adds relatively little value to the publishing process … if the process really were as complex, costly and value-added as the publishers protest that it is, 40% margins wouldn’t be available.”(11) Far from assisting the dissemination of research, the big publishers impede it, as their long turnaround times can delay the release of findings by a year or more(12).”

Mill on Conservatives

Taken from Brad Delong post on ‘The Heritage Filter: Does America Have a Future in Which There Are Smart Conservatives?’:
“John Stuart Mill famously wrote to John Pakington:
I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.”

Academic journal dedicated to studying my home town

Its mission “consists in making free and easily accessible scientific articles on Brussels’ reality in order to stimulate their use in the public debate. Brussels Studies is an entirely trilingual journal (French, Dutch and English [yes every article – welcome to Belgium!]) which presents on its website articles that are accessible to non-specialised readers” – check it out.
Also have a look at this article by a friend of mine on whether Brussels could be chosen using centres of gravity: ‘diplomatic’, ‘demographic’, ‘metropolitan’ and ‘civic’