A rumour that the social sciences and humanities in the Netherlands might lose €150 million in the near future is worrying the field’s scholars.
According to insiders, the Van Rijn commission tasked with advising the Dutch research ministry is set to urge the government in April to siphon money from the social sciences and humanities into the technical sciences. Scholars have responded to the rumour by saying that this would only shift funding shortages from one field to another rather than boosting the overall contribution of science to society.
“At present the situation, in terms of funding and working conditions, is precarious in all scientific fields. A zero-sum game doesn’t solve that,” says Claes de Vreese, professor of political communication at the University of Amsterdam. He is chairman of the SSH Council, the consultative body of the social sciences and humanities in the Netherlands.