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Listen to humanities, funders say

Europe needs to incorporate the humanities into research design if it is to compete in tackling major societal challenges, according to a Science Europe committee.

European innovation has become increasingly incremental rather than radical, Science Europe’s Humanities Scientific Committee said in an opinion paper published on 22 December. This is a problem, it says, because incremental innovation may not deliver the solutions needed to address the major societal challenges we now face. 

In order to come up with the “breakthrough answers" needed to tackle climate change, health, food security, or access to clean water, for instance, "conditions need to be created that lead to the ‘unanticipated’ answers that are capable of producing radical innovation,” the paper states. 

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