Arts, Humanities and Society

Working Group Remit

The Arts & Humanities make a significant contribution to society, helping to address major social, economic and environmental challenges.  This Working Group promotes Arts & Humanities research and practice which helps to ensure that the needs of society – in Scotland and in the wider world – are met in fairer, more responsible and more sustainable ways.

We believe that collaboration and partnership are fundamental in this context and we aim to catalyse greater cooperation between Arts & Humanities disciplines and those in the Social Sciences and Sciences, and between researchers, practitioners, communities, policy makers, and organisations in the public, private and third sectors.

We have highlighted the following as priority themes upon which our activities will focus:

·        tackling significant inequalities in society;

·        improving life chances for individuals and families;

·        creating sustainable places which contribute to quality of life;

·        valuing our built and natural environment and protecting and enhancing it for future generations;

·        building strong, resilient and supportive communities.


BUILDING A CAREER BEYOND ACADEMIA, Glasgow, 12 May 2014.  A workshop for PhD students, with invited external speakers, on the application of research skills outside of academia for public benefit.  A report on the event is available under 'outputs' below.IMG 0887

ARTS & HUMANITIES at the SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT, Edinburgh, 8 October 2014 (pictured right).  A showcase event featuring a panel debate with invited speakers and an exhibition of inspiring collaborative projects, where Arts & Humanities researchers and practitioners have worked with communities, public bodies, NGOs and charities, and with other disciplines and professions, to help address societal challenges and deliver public benefit. You can read the report from the event here.

BUILDING MEANINGFUL LINKS WITH COMMUNITIES, Dundee, 16 March 2015.  A workshop on developing long-term relationships and collaborations between researchers and practitioners, on the one hand, and communities, third sector and public sector organisations, on the other.

BUILDING A CAREER BEYOND ACADEMIA, Glasgow, 14 May 2015.  Read the report of the 12th May 2014 event here.

We have also sponsored a workshop on UNIVERSITY-PRISONS PARTNERSHIPS IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT (Edinburgh, 20 March 2015).  This event was co-organised by YAS Arts, Humanities & Society Working Group member Anne Schwan. Read the brochure from the day here.

SILENT HISTORIES, January-August 2016: the working group won seed corn funding to run a project around the history of refugees in Scotland, inspired by the global refugee crisis. the project will launch a video and schools pack, aimed at Scottish schools children (8-11+ years), outlining the experiences of refugees to Scotland, and asking them to thinking locally and globally about what they can do to help.


Co-lead: Mirko Canevaro (

Our Members

Dr. Ian Simpson is currently Principal Researcher in Statistical Genomics and Bioinformatics at Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS) and Principal Investigator in the Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation (IANC) at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.

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