"Unity and diversity. The contribution of the social sciences and the humanities to the European Research Area"
Bruges, 29-30 October 2001
Under the title "
Unity and diversity. The contribution of the social sciences and the humanities to the European Research Area
", the Belgian EU Presidency, in close collaboration with DG Research of the European Commission, organizes a major international research conference on October 29-30, 2001. The conference will take place in the heart of the historical town of Bruges (NW Belgium).
200 to 250 researchers and policy makers from all over Europe (including the candidate countries) are expected to attend. The conference language is English. There is no registration fee.
The conference will be co-chaired by professor Bea Cantillon (University of Antwerp; representing the social sciences) and professor Dominique Willems (University of Ghent; representing the humanities), who are assisted by an international scientific committee.
The conference aims at highlighting the potential of the social sciences and the humanities in contributing to the establishment of the European Research Area (ERA) and in contributing to the 2000-2005 strategic goals Europe has set itself: promoting new forms of European governance, stabilizing Europe through enlargement and cooperation, implementing a new economic and social agenda, and improving the quality of life of the individual citizen.
The conference, which is conceived as the first in a series of comprehensive European conferences on the social sciences and the humanities ("
The Future of European Society Conferences
"), is organized in two plenary and four thematic parallel sessions. The latter will focus on:
- Governance, citizenship and civil society
- Social cohesion, diversity and inequality
- Social and cultural change: the impact on well-being
- Science, technology and social change: the role of foresight
Contributors to the thematic sessions will present their research results (which must be relevant from a European perspective), derived from research funded by the EU (TSER, Key action) and other sources.
The plenary sessions will be devoted to cross-cutting aspects, such as:
- Research infrastructures for the social sciences and the humanities
- Challenges for the social sciences and the humanities within the ERA
- The policy relevance of research
- Organisation of government-funded policy-oriented research in Europe
- The need for transnational comparative analysis
- The concept of interdisciplinary research
- The importance of historical analysis as a research tool
The participation of Philippe Busquin, EU Commissioner for Research, in the closing plenary session is envisaged.
The conference and hotel registration forms, together with the preliminary programme and some practical information on Bruges are now
- Registration date for hotel accommodation at preferential rates: till August 27, 2001
- Registration date for conference participation: till October 1, 2001
For more information you may contact Koen Verlaeckt at