Round Table of the ESA National Associations will continue the science policy discussions over internationalisation of Sociology and its future developments in Europe started by ESA National Associations Council in 2006. What are the working principles, strategies and current practices of the European Research Council in promoting sciences in Europe? What are the determinants of internationalisation of social sciences? How far can internationalisation develop? Do the academic evaluation criteria make social scientists more open to international collaboration? What are the future career paths of Sociologists? Do we need a European Social Science Forum to discuss the internationalisation issues? Helga Nowotny, the Vice-President of the European Research Council (ERC) and Vice-Chair of the ERC Scientific Council is a special guest of the Round Table.
I will briefly introduce the ERC and the opportunities it offers for ‘frontier research’ in Europe – including sociology. The ERC is part of FP7, but rests on a radical policy shift: it follows a true bottom-up principle without thematic priorities. It grants substantial awards to Starters (2-6 years after Ph.D.), Consolidators (6-10 years after Ph.D.) and to senior researchers (Advanced Grants) on a European-wide competitive basis for scientific excellence only. I will then share my observations on the position of sociology within the SH (social sciences and humanities) domain and where sociologists can or should reposition themselves.
Helga Nowotny is Professor em. of Social Studies of Science at ETH Zurich and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the University of Vienna. She has held teaching and research positions throughout Europe. She has been Chair of EURAB and Chair of the Standing Committtee for the Social Sciences of the European Science Foundation. She is a Member of the Advisory Group for the Royal Society Study “The Fruits of Curiosity”, Chair of an International Benchmarking Review of UK Sociology and a Member of the EC Expert Group “The role of Community research policy in the knowledge-based economy”. She has received the prestigious Bernal Prize for life-long achievements in social studies of science. She is a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences a Member of the Holberg Prize Academic Committee and of the Jury for the Prix Claude Lévi-Strauss. For more details please visit Prof. Nowotnys Homepage: http://www.helga-nowotny.eu/