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Session Overview
MD02: ESA Discussions: Assessing Sociology - Research and Impact Assessments and their Implications
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
12:45pm - 1:45pm

Session Chair: Sue Scott, University of York
Location: PE.1.38
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: E, Level: 1.

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Assessing Sociology: Research and Impact Assessments and their Implications

John Holmwood1, Marta Soler-Gallart2

1University of Nottingham, United Kingdom; 2University of Barcelona, Department of Sociology, Spain

This Midday Session will explore the issues raised by the increase in assessment, audit and evaluation in relation to academic research. This process is probably most highly developed in the UK were it began in 1986, but has spread across Europe in various forms, including a range of attempts top measure the social and economic impacts of research. It can be argued that this process has raise the profile of research in Universities and beyond, but also that it has valorized particular forms of knowledge production at the expense of the further development of critical sociological thinking.


JOHN HOLMWOOD is Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham and Visiting Research Professor at the Institute for Philosophy at the Czech Academy of Sciences. He is a former President of the British Sociological Association and a current member of the ISA Executive and a Managing Editor of Discover Society. He is an active campaigner for public higher education. His talk will look at market-oriented policies designed to enhance the instrumental value of knowledge – ranging from research evaluation audits and policies for co-production of research – and their impact upon the social sciences and the place of sociology within them. It will argue that individualistic, behavioural science is promoted at the expense of critical, social (structural) science.

MARTA SOLER is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Barcelona and director of CREA research center on theories and practices Overcoming Inequalities. She is a member of the ESA Council and of the Board of the Catalan Association of Sociology. She is currently the Coordinator of the EU 7th Framework Programme, IMPACT-EV. This project is evaluating the impact and outcomes of European SSH research (2014-2017), which describes the development of a system of indicators of scientific impact, political and social research in SSH. Her talk will discuss the findings from this project and their implications for social science research and researchers across Europe.

SUE SCOTT is an Honorary Professor at the University of York (UK) and a Visiting Professor at Helsinki University. She has been a Pro Vice Chancellor with responsibility for research and currently acts as a consultant on Research Assessment and Impact to a number of UK Universities. She is Chair of the Helsinki University Change Review. She is a Vice President of the ESA.

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