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Conferences and workshops

Histera Seminar

What can history teach us about the prospects of a European Research Area?

Date: 3rd Oct 2013
Time: 08:30-13:00
Venue: Room AB-3C Centre Borchette - Brussels

Current European research policies make a number of assumptions about the role of scientific research and innovation in our economies and societies, about the governability of scientific research by public management and about quantitative tools such as research indicators.
These assumptions have their history and they often rely on particular philosophical and political commitments.
As Europe is faced with serious economic and political challenges, it is thus high time to remember the principles, the central features of those fundamental assumptions and rethink them.

The objectives of the seminar are:

• to present the historical developments that permitted the fundamental assumptions to come to life and to governing,
• how to integrate and adapt them in our modern reality,
• how to organize the ERA in the light of the past experience,


Launch Agenda

08:30 Registration – Coffee
09:00 Andrea Saltelli (EC-JRC): Introduction

09:30 Roger Strand (University of Bergen): The Knowledge Base for Research Policies and Governance of Science

Several academic disciplines are devoted to the study of science and research. Furthermore, scientific practitioners and institutions have their own opinions on what they do and how they should be governed. In this introduction, Strand will contrast the so-called “received view” of science, a set of opinions prevailing within scientific institutions themselves, with recent scholarly studies of science.

10:00 Kjetil Rommetveit (University of Bergen): Main Lessons from the History and Philosophy of Science and Modernity

Rommetveit will present the main points from the report “What can history teach us about the prospects of a European Research Area?”. Modern science, politics, law and humanities emerged together from a particular set of challenges in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. The main contemporary challenges as they appear at the beginning of the 21st century have their similarities but also clear differences with those experiences four centuries earlier. Drawing long historical lines, one can also see how research policies are one thread in these lines.

11:00 Coffee Break
11:30 Roger Strand & Kjetil Rommetveit: Conclusions and Recommendations

The presented report suggests a number of recommendations – not for the content of Europe’s research policies, but rather for the methods and principles by which they should be informed.

12:00 Fabienne Gautier, EC-DG RTD:
           Reaction of the Directorate General Research and Innovation in light of the new 2013 ERA communication.

12.30 General Discussion 

13:00 Lunch Buffet.

Additional informations

For further information, contact Daniel Albrecht at: