CHASS Newsletter #42


HASS On The Hill 2010 – Looking to the future

HASS researchers and managers have a rare opportunity to influence the national debate at the highest level at this year’s HASS On The Hill in Canberra.

The 2010 HASS On The Hill will fall – we hope – just after the much discussed and anticipated Federal election. This is when strategic directions for coming years will be decided, and the HASS sector has an unparalleled opportunity to influence the new political agenda.

Earlier this year the Australian Government signalled its commitment to building links with academic and research institutions, and included the social sciences and humanities in its science communications strategy. These links are also a driver of reforms in the Australian public service.

The new Prime Minister, The Hon Julia Gillard MP, has sent a clear signal of inclusion to researchers, institutions and practitioners in the HASS sector with her commitment to consultation. Reflecting the keen competition for fresh ideas and good policy, the Opposition parties and the Greens have also sought links with HASS organisations and will play an active part in the 2010 HASS On The Hill. Australia needs HASS knowledge and skills to solve complex problems – and HASS expertise in public policy and building collaborative teams is essential too.

Given the uncertainty about the election date, and the urgent need to bring research and industry knowledge into policy development, the Council has reformed the shape and content of HASS On the Hill for 2010.

Its centre piece will be workshops bringing Australia’s leading researchers face-to-face with officials discussing the pressing challenges we face, including the population debate and design in the national innovation system. With the help of Ministers and Shadow Ministers we will be seeking involvement from the relevant parliamentarians who are active on these issues. Public service departments have also shown keen interest in joining and participating in these formus for knowledge exchange.

Early Career Researchers will meet with Parliamentarians and officials, over a special lunch session. The Council will ask member organisations to nominate these researchers.

A session about resources and policy to ensure our collecting institutions – galleries, libraries and museums – are equipped for the digital era of research and knowledge exchange will be important.

To be held at Parliament House on 18 October and continuing at the National Library of Australia on 19 October, registrations for the 2010 HASS On the Hill will open in the coming weeks, on the Council’s website.

The Council intends that HASS On The Hill will be a source of fresh ideas and knowledge for the new Parliament and a continuing bridge between the HASS sector and public officials, even if the date changes to accommodate the political cycle and a later election date.

Bridging disciplinary divides to solve complex problems

Underlining the need for local strategies to deliver innovation for Australian business and social policy, is a new report – Connecting Ideas – collaborative innovation in a complex world – prepared by the Australian Institute for Social Research at the University of Adelaide explores the nexus between the physical sciences and other disciplines and why it is important. It applies and develops plans for the national innovation system and integrates international learning to look at strategies for South Australian education and economic resources. See Associate Professor John Spoehr’s article.

Helen O’Neil
Executive Director
Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
7 July 2010

Council for HASS to work with the Science Media Centre

The Council’s Board has approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Adelaide based Australian Science and Media Centre. The Council will work with member organisations to identify and connect HASS specialists when social science and transdisciplinary comment is required and will collaborate on other projects.

The Board noted that the Council and the AusSMC have shared goals, especially the encouragement of public engagement with the sciences to full realise the social, economic and environmental benefits of Australian research.

The AusSMC is a national, independent not for profit organisations which connects media and journalists with new research and researchers. It is increasingly briefing journalists on the research informing major transdisciplinary issues.

The Council’s Executive Director Helen O’Neil said the MOU was an exciting opportunity to boost research communication and knowledge exchange.

The Council in the News:

Old academics don’t retire, they just go into research

National Research Infrastructure Council

The National Research Infrastructure Council (NRIC) intends to develop a Strategic Framework for Research Infrastructure Investment [PDF] to guide the strategic intent, principles and approaches to investing in research infrastructure.

HASS disciplines and projects are included in the process and the first stage is a paper which is open for comment until July 16.

Become a member of the Council!

Strengthen your voice in public debate and contribute to public understanding of the value of research and new knowledge in the humanities, arts and social sciences.

Join Australia’s leading universities, professional and arts associations and collecting institutions as a member of the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences – an essential network for communication and collaboration.

HASS at a glance

Rural Research and Development Corporations Model

ASSA has contributed a submission to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Rural Research and Development.

Arts Plus: New Models New Money

Direct funding for individual artists has fallen by a third since the mid 1990s and alternative funding models are needed. In ArtsPlus: New Models New Money [PDF] Arts Queensland and the Centre for Social Impact propose the establishment of a Foundation for the Artist – the first of its kind in Australia – to bring together public, private and corporate funding for artists and the creation of new work. The Foundation will complement existing funding sources.

DASSH Board Changes

Professors Gerry Turcotte and Monique Skidmore have assumed the positions of President and Deputy President until the 2010 AGM for DASSH.

State of Design – Victoria’s Design Festival

The annual Victorian State of Design Festival
increases the awareness of the value of design and showcases how design generates innovation, promotes sustainability and adds value to business and society.

New Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Mr Simon Crean MP has been appointed Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Calendar of events

Did you know that CHASS member organisations can upload and promote their events on the Council’s website? The calendar is highlighted in CHASS News which goes out to 2000 subscribers and organisations, and is a great way to spread the word about events coming up.