Examining the health of individual humanities and social science disciplines
Each year, the British Academy takes one of its disciplines and examines its health, and how it is taught, researched, and used by Government, industry, charities, and wider society. Our aim is to capture the mood at the top of the discipline, offering time and space for critical reflection.
The Reflections on Archaeology project was launched in early 2016 to celebrate the significant strengths in UK archaeology and honestly reflect on the challenges it needs to tackle if it is to continue to thrive.
Three roundtables entitled “What archaeology is, what it does and how it tackles global challenges and global questions”, “The educational landscape of archaeology across the life course”, and “Speaking for the discipline” were held over 2016 bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders.
Following the roundtables, the project steering group, which consisted of Professor Graeme Barker FBA, University of Cambridge, Professor Charlotte Roberts FBA, Durham University, Professor Christopher Gosden FBA, University of Oxford, Professor Audrey Horning, Queen's University Belfast and the College of William and Mary and Professor Kate Welham, Bournemouth University, Chair, University Archaeology UK, produced a summary ‘Reflections on Archaeology’ report to promote the findings within the subject community and to policy-makers.
The report emphasises the need for a single authoritative voice for the discipline and recommends that as a matter of urgency the major stakeholder organisations come together to find a solution to the problem that in its considered view threatens the future health of the discipline.
The Reflections on Economics series was brought together in a summary publication authored by President of the British Academy Lord Nicholas Stern, Timothy Besley FBA, London School of Economics and Lord Gus O'Donnell Hon FBA.
The summary publication follows on from a series of wide-ranging forums held over 2014/15 for careful examination of, and reflection on, the subject of economics.
These forums brought together academic and professional economists, economic historians, politicians, policy makers and business people and discussed questions such as:
What are the weaknesses in knowledge and understanding that should be examined?
What is the relationship between different areas of economics and the policy questions being asked and decisions being made? Does government ignore or misuse the advice of economists?
Do economists have valuable advice to give?
The report hopes to provide a helpful assessment of some key parts of economics today and is not an exhaustive account of theseround tables.