Three big ideas for social sciences

The social sciences academy election wish-list is on-line with other lobbies, except for one big idea  

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia released its election wish-list on Monday, accounting for the absence of its ideas in the leader debates. Two are standard stuff, increasing national R&D spending and restoring cuts to research funding.

But one addresses an important infrastructure issue, a national approach to accessing humanities and social science databases. “Much infrastructure for HASS data has been project-based and operates at an institutional level. Data infrastructure is uncoordinated and minimally integrated,” ASSA argues.

Another will cause conniptions among research measurement mavens, “a public value metric which accounts for economic, environmental, and social impact, as well as properly accounting for distributional impacts.”

And then there is a really big idea, an income contingent loan scheme for industry start-ups in partnership with university. “This instrument could be implemented during a time of budgetary restraint, while at the same time enhancing financial sustainability for the future,” ASSA suggests.



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