There might not be a more timely moment to discuss the societal impact of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA) than this fall. The persisting global COVID-19 pandemic is posing societal challenges that call for interdisciplinary research evidence that can be transformed into practical knowledge for societal stakeholders. In the broader sense the importance of SSHA impact on society is still too often underestimated and is in need of improved supporting structures, policies and strategies. In order to generate a profound impact of SSHA on society, a strong impact framework for assessing and stimulating impact, as well as collaborations with parties from business, government and not-for-profits, and engaging with the broader public, are all vital aspects.
To facilitate this aim, AESIS is proud to announce that its next edition on ‘Impact of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts on Society’ will be hosted from Brussels, Belgium, in an online format. In this conference we bring together research managers, science policy makers, funders, knowledge exchange experts, and other relevant professionals from all parts of the world, to tackle topics such as: What does impact mean in the context of different segments of society, and through which robust and valid indicators can you assess it? How can the path to impact be made more accessible, and which skills can enable one to optimise impact for the sake of the public as a whole? Which opportunities of collaborations with societal stakeholders are there, and how may co-creation of knowledge with other disciplines and sectors play a role in stimulating impact?
In order to offer the most insightful programme to our audience, AESIS will be collaborating with ECOOM. ECOOM is the Flemish Expertise Centre committed to mapping the R&D and innovation landscape and they have teams working on gaining a better understanding of and methods for measuring the social impact of research in all disciplines, as well as developing indicators and evaluation mechanisms for non-written research output. Working with them and other partners involved in the Belgian Science-Eco-system provides 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 Belgium.
After editions in Cardiff, Copenhagen, Washington and Toronto, we are thrilled to be bringing this cross-sectoral conversation on the Societal Impact of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts to Brussels. AESIS, ECOOM and their other partners are excited to virtually welcome you to the ‘Impact of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts 2021’ conference.