Shape the Future: how the social sciences, humanities and the arts can SHAPE a positive, post-pandemic future for peoples, economies and environments

by Molly Morgan Jones, Dominic Abrams and Aditi Lahiri

02 Oct 2020
Journal of the British Academy, volume 8 (2020)
https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/008.167
100 (pp. 167-266)

Abstract: COVID-19 is the most challenging global public health crisis we have faced for many decades. However, it is more than a health crisis. The impacts go well beyond the medical sphere and are changing lives, livelihoods, communities and economies within and across nation-states. The British Academy launched its Shape the Future initiative in May 2020 to bring insights from the social sciences, humanities and the arts together to understand how we can shape a positive future for people, the economy and the environment post-pandemic. These disciplines have a critical role to play in the handling of and recovery from the pandemic. This paper summarises the discussions held during twenty policy and research workshops which considered topics under three broad themes relevant to the post-pandemic future: revitalising societal well-being, recreating an inclusive economy around purpose, and revisiting the histories and cultures of science, policy and politics.

Keywords: COVID-19, society, history, culture, policy, SHAPE.

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