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Reflections on Disciplines

Each year, the British Academy takes one of its disciplines and examines its health, and how it is taught, researched, and used by Government, industry, charities, and wider society. Our aim is to capture the mood at the top of the discipline, offering time and space for critical reflection.

Examining the health of individual humanities and social science disciplines

Each year, the British Academy takes one of its disciplines and examines its health, and how it is taught, researched, and used by Government, industry, charities, and wider society. Our aim is to capture the mood at the top of the discipline, offering time and space for critical reflection.

Reflections on Archaeology

The British Academy is convening a series of round tables called 'Reflections on Archaeology' during 2016. These round tables are aimed at sparking in-depth discussion about the current state of the art of Archaeology, the issues it faces as a discipline and constructive suggestions for tackling them.

The first event was held on Wednesday 24 February and considered the question, 'What Archaeology is, what it does and how it tackles global challenges and global questions?' Presentations and responses were given by:

  • Professor Chris Gosden FBA, 
  • Professor David Mattingly FBA, 
  • Professor Matthew Collins FBA, 
  • Professor Martin Bell FBA

The round table addressed the following questions:

  • What is Archaeology as a discipline and what is it not?
  • What disciplines does it work with?
  • What methods does it use?
  • How can it help societies today and how can it help them plan for their future?

This event will be followed by two further round tables in this series, which will turn to address the teaching and educational landscape (11 April 2016), and a collective voice for the discipline respectively (20 June 2016).

For more information, please contact Jonathan Matthews on j.matthews@britac.ac.uk.

Reflections on Economics

Most recently, we completed our Reflections on Economics series, brought together in a summary publication authored by President of the British Academy Lord Nicholas Stern, Timothy Besley FBA, London School of Economics and Lord Gus O'Donnell Hon FBA.

The summary publication follows on from a series of wide-ranging forums held over 2014/15 for careful examination of, and reflection on, the subject of economics.

These forums brought together academic and professional economists, economic historians, politicians, policy makers and business people and discussed questions such as:

  • What are the weaknesses in knowledge and understanding that should be examined?
  • What is the relationship between different areas of economics and the policy questions being asked and decisions being made? Does government ignore or misuse the advice of economists?
  • Do economists have valuable advice to give?

The report hopes to provide a helpful assessment of some key parts of economics today and is not an exhaustive account of theseround tables.

Read the report in full here.

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