2015 World Social Science Forum, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, David Rokeby, Indian Council of Social Science Research, International Social Science Council, ISSC, Montreal, Sally Wyatt, Social science, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, World Social Science Forum 2013
Organized in partnership with the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and formal support from the Canadian and Quebec Prime Ministers and others, the 2013 World Social Science Forum will take place in Montreal Canada on October 13-15, 2013. The event will focus on the impact of social transformation and digitization to the future of social science research and the social sciences. More about the forum here.
Professor Shermon Cruz will present a paper exploring the futures of the social sciences and will coordinate the panel “Changing Research Practices and Emerging Ways of Perceiving the Social Sciences“.
Below is the panel title and paper abstract “What Lies Over the Horizon: Scenarios for the Social Sciences in the Era of Social Transformations and Digitization“:
Changing research practices and emerging ways of perceiving the social sciences
Our ways of perceiving the social sciences has significantly shifted in the last twenty years. In fact, the discipline has entered an exciting new phase of development. The wave of digitization and the emergence of smart technologies have enabled scholars and social scientists in different parts of the world to digitize content, automate research, and re-wire the way knowledge is co-created and circulated. The ICT upsurge among other trends has created new prospects for social science education and research in the twenty first century (WSSR 2010) .
While digitization may have delivered huge gains and transformed the way we teach, learn and communicate knowledge, there are unknown unknowns, logical uncertainties, or if we may glitches impacting the future of digitization and knowledge distribution. The persistent digital divide between the developed and developing world as observed by Wyatt (2010) is one example and the cost of journal subscription and access to knowledge (Perarakis, Taylor and Trachana, 2010), cyber regulation and censorship are another. The digital divide as many has assumed could be a wicked problem. The futures of the social sciences and social science research remain uncertain.
This panel will explore and examine the “uptakes” and “downtakes” of digitizing the social sciences. It will discuss and assess the impact and implications of digitization on current research practices, academics, teaching and futures of the social sciences. The panel hopes to engage participants to a creative and critical conversation to explore the futures of social science research and the social sciences.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 – 11:00 – 12:45
What lies over the horizon? Scenarios for the Social Sciences in the Era of Digitization and Social Transformations
The social science catalogue now includes courses like coding and decoding, myth and magic, food futures, reality engineering, micropolitics, macrohistory and macrofutures, decolonization, re-creativity and re-invention, foresight studies, big history and galaxies, robotics and space sciences, spirituality and social transformations, etc. This was the tip of the iceberg. The climate of uncertainty and the explosive success of digital technology not to mention some game-changing events like the Occupy Wall Street, the discovery of the Higgs-boson like particle, the emergence of culture as driver of new economic growth among others continue to influence our ways of knowing and re-perceiving the social sciences.
Recently, many academics have speculated about the future of the social sciences. The shape of things to come will certainly come in a digitized content and more according to experts. This paper explored some scenarios on the futures of the social sciences. It tracked emerging developments and explored the possible, plausible, and preferred social science scenarios in 2040. It employed the futures triangle and archetypal scenario (business as usual, best case, worst case, outliers) methods developed by Sohail Inayatullah and Peter Schwartz respectively.The purpose of this paper is to anticipate events and leverage the changes shaping the future of the social sciences.
The Center for Engaged Foresight wish to congratulate Prof. Shermon Cruz for his selection as one of the 2013 WSSF grant recipient award for early career social scientist from the Global South by the World Social Science Forum (WSSF) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC).