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60 researchers from 16 countries and 175 collaborators are working on the Institute for Culture and Society

The center, which started its activity at the end of 2009, held today its annual meeting , with the participation of 100 researchers.

13/12/12 09:20
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Researchers participating in the second annual meeting of the ICS. PHOTO: Manuel Castells

Nearly 100 researchers gathered today at the second annual meeting of the University of Navarra's Institute for Culture and Society . In total, 60 researchers from 16 countries, as well as 175 internal and external collaborators, work at this center, which began its activity at the end of 2009.

The meeting has addressed the challenges that the current scientific and economic environment poses for the development of the research at Humanities and social sciences. Among the lectures delivered were the following: "Challenges of the research in Human and Social Sciences", "Formulas to enhance the research with current resources, and "Alternatives to the assessment of scientific activity?". 

At the opening meeting, the President of the University of Navarra, Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, stressed that one challenge of that research center is to intensify its international dimension and to promote research from an interdisciplinary perspective, which corresponds to two fundamental objectives for the University.

Sánchez-Tabernero called for a "joint effort to find the best researchers" and asked ICS members to be able to "give in, be flexible and have the talent to recognize the talent of others". "Many of the University's hopes are pinned on the ICS," he concluded.

The creation of synergies between projects was highlighted by the General Manager of the ICS, Alex Hansen, as a way to improve the application of the resources currently available in a framework of general economic crisis.Daniel Torres-Salinas, expert in systems of assessment of scientific activity, clarified the advantages and disadvantages of the so-called altmetrics as impact indicators complementary to the traditional ones, such as bibliometrics.

Another discussion paper core topic was that of Joseph Davis, director of the Institute for Advanced Studies of the University of Virginia, who from the USA, by videoconference, offered his very suggestive vision on the role that the research should play, under the degree scroll "On Moral Enquiry as a Model for Research in Humanities and Social Sciences". Likewise, the scientific coordinator of the ICS, Ana Marta González, spoke on the social impact of the research, a distinctive value of this high school. The professor reflected on what is understood by socially relevant research and raised the need to articulate an integrating theoretical speech that provides interpretative keys to contemporary social reality.

With this goal the ICS was born as a strategic initiative of the University of Navarra to face the cultural and social challenges facing contemporary societies.

Its research is framed in four major areas -family and society, globalization and human rights, contemporary art, poverty and development- in which 10 projects are distributed: "The withdrawal of figuration in contemporary arts", "Emotional culture and identity", "Education of human affectivity and sexuality", "Religion and Civil Society", "The Public discourse: persuasive and interpretative strategies", "Borders and culture", "Mind-brain: biology and subjectivity in contemporary Philosophy and neuroscience", "Natural law and rationality internship", "Poverty and development", "Human dignity, advanced disease and palliative care".