McMaster emphasizes role of humanities, social sciences research

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McMaster, along with a number of research-intensive universities, recently became a signatory to the Leiden Statement, a document aimed at promoting and cultivating social science and humanities research.


The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, of which McMaster is a member, has emphasized the fundamental role of social sciences and humanities in the global research landscape.

The U15 and its international counterpart associations,* recently met in Leiden, The Netherlands to sign the Leiden Statement, a document aimed at promoting, nurturing and cultivating social sciences and humanities research.

“McMaster is pleased to support this critical document,” says McMaster President Patrick Deane. “It expresses the universities’ determination to resist exclusive emphasis on certain groups of disciplines, raises a flag for inter-disciplinary respect and cooperation, and re-engages the entire research base so that we can more effectively address, in all their complexity, the problems that face the world today.”

Read President Deane’s article, The Significance of the Leiden Declaration

Under the Leiden Statement, the research-intensive university networks agreed to work together to advance social sciences and humanities research and called for an expanded role for the social sciences and humanities in addressing problems through interdisciplinary research.

The signatories committed to:

  1. Ensuring that social sciences and humanities disciplines continue to receive effective support within their institutions;
  2. Highlighting the contributions of these disciplines to national and global well- being;
  3. Ensuring that social sciences and humanities research and education programs flow without unnecessary constraint to the wider  community;
  4. Promoting strong funding and support for social sciences and humanities research; and
  5. Advancing global research collaborations, including interdisciplinary approaches.

*Signatories to the agreement include the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of East Asian Research Universities (AEARU), the Group of Eight (Australia), the RU11 Japan, the Russell Group (UK), and the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities.