SASSH Survey: ALLEA and the Union of the German Academies release extensive study of science academy research and the potential for collaboration

Survey and Analysis of Basic Social Science and Humanities Research at the Science Acad emies and Related Research Organisations of EuropeThe Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities and the federation of All European Academies (ALLEA) have released a survey and analysis of basic humanities and social science research at the science academies and related research organisations of Europe (SASSH). Information on research and working processes was collected using a survey that reached over 600 projects from 31 countries of the Council of Europe region. The publication of the findings elucidates the academy research landscape in the social sciences and humanities and identifies opportunities for inter-academy collaboration.

“There is great potential for the academies to undertake joint research on European cultural heritage and identity and, as the study has shown, a strong will to do so. The academies (and related research organisations) could make a significant contribution to the integration of SSH research in Europe, and thereby to a shared approach to explaining and tackling societal challenges. What is missing is an academies’ research programme and a corresponding digital infrastructure that would enable effective collaboration in the long-term”, explains Prof. Dr. Günter Stock, President of the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and ALLEA, in his summary of the SASSH findings.

Presentation of the SASSH-Study in Brussels on 7 May

Sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), SASSH is the first ever analytical inventory of research performed at and by the European science academies and related non-university research organisations. In 14 chapters, the publication details the projects’ financial and human resources, research sites, running times, opportunities for early-stage researchers, the use of digital research tools and European infrastructure consortia, publishing and archiving behaviour (including Open Access), forms and regularity of evaluation, the extent to which international collaboration is in place, the extent to which increased international collaboration is desired, and the perceived obstacles in doing so. One recurring question forms a thread running through the study: what are the implications of the findings for a European academies-based research programme for long-term SSH research on the model of the German Academies’ Programme?

The study is available in English and German and can be downloaded free of charge. It was released in Brussels in May at a round-table launch attended by representatives of the European Commission, the Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the European Parliament, European research networks and funding agencies for the SSH, and multiple European science academies.

To download the study, please click here.

Please note the above picture  is for free use by the press.
Suggested Caption: Presentation of the SASSH-Study in Brussels on 7 May

The Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities is the umbrella organisation of eight German academies of sciences and humanities. The member academies comprise a total of over 1,900 scholars of diverse subjects, all of whom are outstanding representatives of their research fields, both nationally and internationally. Together they are committed to promoting scientific exchange, excellence in research, and supporting young early-stage researchers in the sciences and humanities. The Union coordinates the Academies’ Programme, currently the most comprehensive humanities and cultural sciences research programme in Germany. In addition, the Union promotes the exchange of information and experience between academies, and conducts press and public engagement activities. Furthermore, the Union represents the German academies of sciences and humanities abroad and sends delegates to national and international science organisations.

Press and Contact:
Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities
Dominik Adrian
Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 203 70-627
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 325 98 73 73

The Boundaries of Europe – ALLEA releases first volume in essay series Discourses on Intellectual Europe

Book Cover- finalThis April, ALLEA released the first volume in its new book series Discourses on Intellectual Europe, which seeks to explore the question of an intrinsic or quintessential European identity in the context of an integrated cultural and intellectual region. Edited by the Italian scholar Pietro Rossi, the essays in The Boundaries of Europe focus on how boundaries of various types have shaped and impacted our understanding of Europe.

Europe’s boundaries have mainly been shaped by cultural, religious, and political conceptions rather than by geography. This volume of bilingual essays from renowned European scholars outlines the transformation of Europe’s boundaries from the fall of the ancient world to the age of decolonisation, or the end of the explicit endeavour to “Europeanise” the earth.

From the decline of the Roman Empire to the polycentrism of today’s world, the essays span such aspects as the confrontation of Christian Europe with Islam and the changing role of the Mediterranean from “mare nostrum” to a frontier between nations. Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the Atlantic are also analysed as boundaries in the context of exploration, migratory movements, cultural exchanges, and war. The Boundaries of Europe is edited by Pietro Rossi, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy of History at the University of Turin, member (and former President) of the Academy of Sciences of Turin, member of the National Academy of the Lincei and of Academia Europaea.

In times of crisis and rising scepticism towards the idea of European integration, the ALLEA book series Discourses on Intellectual Europe represents an effort from the scientific community in tackling these challenges for society’s commitment to Europe as an enduring cultural and intellectual region. Due to their long-standing tradition of preserving, securing and making available the cultural heritage of Europe, academies of sciences and humanities are in a special position to show and promote Europe’s deep-rooted intellectual and cultural richness.

This series of essay collections forms part of a wider set of ALLEA activities directed towards these objectives. The volumes are edited by eminent fellows of ALLEA member academies and appear in a bilingual format that seeks to underline Europe’s cultural diversity. Ultimately, the ALLEA book series seeks to explore the question of an intrinsic or quintessential European identity, its roots, and other crucial pan-European issues in an effort to contribute to the intellectual discourse that will shape Europe’s future.

Each ALLEA member academy will receive a gratis copy of this volume from the ALLEA secretariat.

Extra copies may be ordered from the publisher here.

European Academy Organisations’ statement on President Juncker’s announcement of the new mechanism for independent scientific advice

5 Akademien

The European Academy Organisations welcome President Juncker’s proposal for the academies to play an active part in the new mechanism for independent scientific advice in the European Commission. 

We very much welcome the proposal of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to more strongly involve the academies in Europe through their networks in the new mechanism for independent scientific advice for policy making in the European Commission.

With the resources of 90 academies across Europe assembling more than 10,000 eminent experts from all scientific disciplines we are well placed to provide objective independent evidence to the EU policy making process, and to contribute to debates about the benefits and risks of possible new and existing EU policies.

We recognise that the new approach seeks to better organise the demand and supply of scientific advice and welcome the opportunity to work with other sources and services providing scientific advice to the European Commission.

We are ready to work closely with the European Commission to finalise the details of the new mechanism and to ensure close and efficient interactions with the High Level Group of eminent scientists.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 26 March 2015, confirming the preparedness of our five European academy organisations to deepen their already close and fruitful inter-academy cooperation in Europe.

Professor Sierd Cloetingh, President of Academia Europaea
Professor Günter Stock, President of ALLEA
Professor Jos van der Meer, President of EASAC
Professor Reinhard Hüttl, President of Euro-CASE
Professor Dermot Kelleher, President of FEAM

The European academy organisations include Academia Europaea, the pan-European Academy of Humanities, Letters and Sciences; ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities from the Council of Europe region; EASAC, the association of National Academies of Science of EU member states, Norway and Switzerland; Euro-CASE, the organisation of National Academies of Engineering, Applied Sciences and Technology in Europe; and FEAM, the European umbrella group of National Academies of Medicine and Medical Sections of National Academies of Science.

To download the Press Statement please click here.

For the European Commission press release on the new Science Advice Mechanism (SAM) please click here.

“Going Digital” – Launch of ALLEA E-Humanities Working Group report

Front Page Going digital reportThe ALLEA Working Group E-Humanities has launched a report “Going Digital – Creating Change in the Humanities” which is presented on 7 May 2015 in Brussels to representatives of the EU institutions and stakeholders of the European scientific community by the President of ALLEA, Professor Günter Stock, and the chair of the ALLEA Working Group on E-Humanities, Dr Sandra Collins.

The report contains the working group’s key findings and recommendations regarding key innovations and requirements to ensure continued growth and excellence in the Digital Humanities for the EU. It was prepared by eminent experts in the field of E-Humanities, including on aspects of digital archiving, long-term preservation, digital research tools and infrastructures, from ALLEA member academies and with the support of the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH).

The report’s recommendations include to:

– “take a long-term view”: Sustaining long-term archives of unique and important cultural artefacts is critical for Europe’s leadership in Digital Humanities. Adopting best practice for infrastructures is essential.

– “encourage openness”: Open Access to data and infrastructures enables enhanced research, research integrity and cost-effectiveness. Open Data needs to be adequately funded.

– “support your people”: Training and career progression are essential to prevent the loss of the critical skills needed to retain our competitiveness in Europe. Data management roles need suitable recognition.

In his opening address of the launch event, the ALLEA President underlined the role of the European academies as “a unique pan-European knowledge base that is trusted, non-partisan and long-term. The academies therefore have an important contribution to make to debates regarding sustained digital infrastructures, the achievement of long-term durable digital preservation, and the societal responsibility for preservation of our digital cultural heritage”, said Günter Stock.

Please click here or on the cover image above to download the digital report.

To find out more about ALLEA’s E-Humanities Working Group please click here.