Humanities scholars often fail to convince the decision-makers or general public, because their approach and rhetoric are not easy to grasp, according to Antti Ajava. Not rarely they focus on problems and criticism rather than on practical ways of solving those problems. Future Challenges in the Nordics, on the contrary, invites scholars to adopt a more pragmatic approach.
Antti Arjava is Secretary General of the Finnish Cultural Foundation, one of the financiers of Future Challenges in the Nordics.
Why did you want to fund the research programme?
“The Finnish Cultural Foundation mainly awards grants to individual scholars. In this programme we can support larger projects which have more impact.”
What are your expectations of the research programme?
“We especially wish to encourage interaction between the humanities or social sciences and the natural or technical sciences. Research proposals which are truly interdisciplinary are the best way to achieve really new results, rather than repeating old arguments in slightly different words. The major challenges, which are the focus of this programme, provide an excellent chance for it.”
Why is it important to highlight humanities and social sciences?
“This is an opportunity to learn from each other on both sides. The humanities scholars often fail to convince the decision-makers or general public, because their approach and rhetoric are not easy to grasp. Not rarely, they focus on problems and criticism rather than on practical ways of solving those problems.
This programme should invite scholars to adopt a pragmatic approach, which aims at providing solutions to the most pressing challenges. I hope it will enhance the influence and reputation of the humanities and social sciences on a more general level.”