Renehan Hall, NUI Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Irish Social Sciences Platform (ISSP) and the Irish Research Council (IRC) present a one day conference on
The Social Sciences in Ireland: Status, Challenges, and Prospects
9.20am-5pm, Thursday, October 2nd 2014
Renehan Hall, NUI Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Admission is free but registration is essential.
Who should attend: academics, PhD students (with the approval of supervisor), research support officers, funding agencies and policy practitioners with an interest in the current health and future prospects of the social sciences in Ireland.
One day conference includes presentations on the legacies of PRTLI4 funding for the social sciences in Ireland; a keynote address by Prof. Ed Soja (UCLA);
Horizon 2020 workshop led by the IRC and panel discussions on future challenges facing the social sciences in Ireland.
*IRC Workshop on Horizon 2020 - Creating Opportunities for Social Scientists
The aim of the workshop (part of the conference) is to encourage and empower researchers at all career stages in the social sciences to apply to future Horizon 2020 funding as partners or co-ordinators; to collaborate and network with social science researchers in other Irish institutions; and to provide national contact points for EU research with suggestions for research themes and topics that Irish social scientists would like to see included in future Work Programmes.
 A limited number of travel bursaries are available for attendance at this workshop (to a maximum of €70). Further details at link to registration above.
1.    Plenary session – Demystifying H2020: How EU Work Programmes are designed/shaped and the opportunities that exist for Irish social scientists to shape this agenda – Paul Kilkenny, IRC
2.    3 parallel Workshops on Irish social scientists shaping the content of HORIZON 2020 2016-17 Societal Challenge Work Programmes  (led by Paul Kilkenny (IRC) and Allen White (UCC)) with input from National Contact Points/NDs
3.    Rapporteur/de-brief session
*If you wish to attend this workshop, please send a 100 word summary of your research interests to (please put 100 WORDS in subject matter on your email, thank you).
This is essential to allow organisers to customise the workshop to your needs.
Keynote Address
Prof Ed Soja, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
and National University of Ireland Maynooth Distinguished Visiting Professor
The Mission of the Social Sciences Abstract:
When the social sciences were formed in the late 19th century, a powerful historical bias was introduced to each separate discipline, and would dominate theory formation and empirical analysis ever since.  This social historicism was built in part on the privileging of time over space.  Time (and its social construction as history) was seen as dynamic, developmental, process-oriented, dialectic, problematic whereas space tended to be seen as fixed, immobile, a purely physical form, background, an external and extra-social environment.  In recent years, however, a more balanced view of space and time, history and geography, has begun to develop, primarily in association with some have called a "spatial turn" in the human sciences.  I will explore this transdisciplinary spatial turn, with a particular look at the new geographical economics.  One major challenge to the social sciences today is to accommodate and recognize this spatial turn while never losing the critical explanatory power of the historical imagination.
Biography: Professor Ed Soja is one of the world's foremost thinkers on socio-spatial inter-relations. He teaches in the Regional and International Development (RID) area of Urban Planning and also teaches courses in urban political economy and planning theory. After starting his academic career as a specialist on Africa, Dr. Soja has focused his research and writing over the past 25 years on urban restructuring in Los Angeles and more broadly on the critical study of cities and regions. His wide-ranging studies of Los Angeles bring together traditional political economy approaches and recent trends in critical cultural studies. Of particular interest to him is the way issues of class, race, gender, and sexuality intersect with what he calls the spatiality of social life, and with the new cultural politics of difference and identity that this generates. In addition to his work on urban restructuring in Los Angeles, Dr. Soja continues to write on how social scientists and philosophers think about space and geography, especially in relation to how they think about time and history. His policy interests are primarily involved with questions of regional development, planning and governance, and with the local effects of ethnic and cultural diversity in Los Angeles. His major books include Postmodern Geographies (1989), Thirdspace (1996), Postmetropolis (2000), Seeking Spatial Justice (2010) and My Los Angeles (just out 2014).