On the 30th April I attended a really great event organised by the AHRC for award-holders and was lucky to meet some really interesting people with some great projects, many of them student-led such as HumSci.   A couple of quotes came out of the day which really chimed with how I have always thought about HumSci, so I thought I would share them (slightly paraphrased) with you to give you an idea of the ethos of the two days:

the event is to test ideas
rather than provide answers…

                     young researchers don’t want to be ‘skilled’, they want to
think new things in new ways…

Academics are often afraid of space.  They expand their agenda to fill the available space, and perhaps it’s better to allow room for new ideas and discussions to happen….

Hearing other people discuss these issues makes me glad this workshop is based on reflection and discussion. We’re not asking participants to have done any reading or prepare anything in advance, but rather to reflect on larger issues such as ‘who owns ideas‘ and ‘what do you particularly value about your discipline, and what do you find its frustrations?’ There will be plenty of space to think new ideas in new ways, and I’m particularly looking forward to how this discussion will develop given the diverse backgrounds of the participants; this workshop is truly inter-disciplinary with PhDs and ECRs from (in no particular order):

  • History
  • Physics
  • Astronomy
  • Political economics
  • English literature
  • Mathematics
  • Ecology
  • History of science, technology and medicine (whether this is a separate discipline to ‘history’ is possibly a point of discussion…)
  • Art
  • Psychology
  • History of art