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Prospering Wisely: How the Humanities and Social Sciences Enrich our Lives

Edited by The British Academy

This booklet shows the powerful contribution the humanities and social sciences make in shaping our standard of living and quality of life.

Our times confront us with tough choices, as societies, as economies, and as individuals. To understand challenges which include an ageing population, migration, sustaining the environment and managing climate change, we require conceptual clarity and impartial, evidence-based research and analysis, together with openmindedness and creativity in exploring new ideas. This is precisely what research and scholarship in humanities and social sciences do. The quest for a better, deeper, more valuable life has always been at their heart. They seek to illuminate the human condition and explain how economies, cultures and societies function. In addition to the intrinsic value of this quest, the insights it generates can guide – and promote – reasoned political and public discourse, by bringing fresh knowledge and ideas to the fore.

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Policy and research

The British Academy’s policy and research work is dedicated to applying that insight to policy issues for public benefit and societal wellbeing.