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Collaboration and digitalization brings the society forward

News: Nov 13, 2017

The very first conference within GPS400 (Gothenburg Cultures on the Town 1621-2021) was held on 8-9 November. In the initial panel discussion, one question in particular was discussed: what is collaboration, and how can different institutions act together in order to bring the society forward?

Eva Wiberg, Vice Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg, said that collaboration is a must, both within the university and between other universities, institutions, and actors. The humanities in particular is important as the society becomes increasingly digital.
’Humanists’ competence is important – we have the ability to analyze in broad terms and we also have strong ties to critical thinking. We should never apologize for our existence’ Eva Wiberg said.

The humanities help us understand today's social challenges

Anna Rosengren is the head of cultural administration in the city of Gothenburg, whose responsibility is to make cultural actitivties grow at the same pace as the city and its population.
’Humanist research needs higher priority. We are facing major challenges both locally, nationally and globally. We are dealing with segregation, integration, and exclusion – the humanities can help us understand these problems’, said Anna Rosengren.

Anna-Carin Ramsten at Vinnova commented that the collaboration phenomenon is nothing new.
’It's a Swedish paradigm! It was collaboration that built the Swedish ’folkhem’. When faced with major challenges after World War II, it was all about collaboration – between the industry, politics, and science. Thanks to this, many of us are sitting here in this room today’, said Anna-Carin Ramsten.

Citizen science – the cure for fact resistance?

Dick Kasperowski, a theory of science researcher, says that collaboration to him means: where in the research process can we involve those who are not researchers?
’How can one who does not conduct research become equal to a scholar? There are digital techniques that make this possible today. People have collected lots of material before, but it has been neglected. Citizen science is possibly the cure for fact resistance!’ Dick Kasperowski said.

Christopher Natzén of the Royal Library (KB) explained that KB's collections need to be made available digitally. Today, they are difficult to get access to if you are not in Stockholm, thus making research of the 20th century culture more complicated.
’Digitization of material would lift the humanities. If we can’t collaborate better in this area, we are going to miss a great deal of the 20th century’ Christopher Natzén said.

Collaboration as a natural part of research

Jenny Björkman at Riksbankens Jubileumsfond pointed out the lack of infrastructure for collaboration.
’The responsibility is often put on the individual researcher. And they often lack time.’
She also said that it is unfortunate to refer to collaboration as ’the third task’, as it often comes in third place, rather than being part of the research.

Marie Demker, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, agrees:
’Collaboration needs to be a natural skill for researchers. Being a scholar should not only include education and research’ Marie Demker said.
’But we must not forget that the greatest collaboration, that we are implementing all the time, is that we educate students. This is where we can plant seeds for future contacts and collaboration.’

Read more: Citizen Science - the public becomes experts


Originally published on: gps400.gu.se

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