Workshop “With the hand in dough: Paving the way to the social impact dimension of research”
The University of Deusto organised on 13-14 September 2018 a conference with leading international experts to discuss the social impact dimension of research*. José María Guibert (Rector of the University of Deusto), Adolfo Morais (Deputy-Minister for Universities and Research of the Basque Government), Harald Hartung (Head of Unit at the European Commission) and other international experts from Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom and Finland discussed with DEUSTO research community the concept of social impact, approaches, implementation mechanisms and evaluation methodologies.
The event had a triple objective:
- to raise awareness on the relevance of social impact of research from different points of view and stakeholders’ perspectives (science policy players, university research managers and social agents);
- to reflect on the different measures and tools for measuring the social impact of research;
- to reflect on how to solve the existing tensions between excellent science versus social impact recognition, disciplinarity versus interdisciplinarity, among others.
Other issues under discussion were the different meanings of social impact, depending on the stakeholders’ perspective, the measurement of this impact and the debate on excellence and evaluation systems.
One of the most outstanding discussion points was the growing demand for closer cooperation and joint work between universities and other social agents to address the specific problems faced by society in a comprehensive way.
Participants shared their reflections on the difficulty of a linear recognition system for research results, its effects on social impact and the growing importance of involving stakeholders in the research activity.
The programme, list of speakers and videos are available at this page.
* DEUSTO understands the concept of Social Impact of Research in the wider sense of Societal Impact, which includes the social, cultural, environmental and economic returns coming out of research results (outputs) or products (outcomes).
The event was organised with the support of the Spanish State Research Agency, within the framework of the Spanish National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation (project nº ECT-2017-0335; funding: 180.100,88€)