Newsletter of Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities 04/2020

Risto Kunelius is the new director of HSSH.

1) Hannu Nieminen is grateful and leaves the position as director of HSSH 

Many thanks for support and collaboration!

 I had the privilege to act as the director of HSSH for its inaugural period in 2020. In its first year, we managed to establish an effective group of people for the HSSH staff, with whom we started the Institute’s basic functions and began to establish connections to both the researchers on the Central Campus and to many partners inside the UH as well as external collaborators. 

While writing this, we are still waiting information on the destiny of our major funding application for the PROFI6 by the Academy of Finland. If our application is successful, as we certainly wish, it will offer significant resources for the HSSH’s development form many years to come. 

In the application, the HSSH’s objective is mentioned becoming “one of the top five European research environments focusing on multidisciplinary SSH research and methodology by 2030”. The Faculties and other units of the Central Campus offer all necessary elements to make this objective real. 

I wish the HSSH’s new leadership, all researches, and other staff members of the Central Campus best success! 

With the best wishes,  

Hannu Nieminen 

Professor of Media and Communications Policy (Emeritus), University of Helsinki 

Visiting Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science (2021-2022) 

2) Risto Kunelius is the new director of HSSH


Risto Kunelius, professor of communications, has been elected for the new director of HSSH. He will begin his five-year term as director in January 2021.

 According to Kunelius, research groups on the City Centre Campus must be at the heart of the development of a multidisciplinary institute. In planning the activities, Kunelius wants to listen the City Centre Campus researchers closely. 

“What people are already doing is the most important starting point. We should not compete with it. There is that intellectual energy, work communities, and all that fun in the whole thing”, Kunelius says.

Previously, Kunelius has been the director of the INEQ (Helsinki Inequality Initiative) research initiative and a professor of communication and journalism at the University of Tampere.

“What people are already doing is the most important starting point. We should not compete with it. There is that intellectual energy, work communities, and all that fun in the whole thing”, Kunelius says. 

Read (Finnish) interview with Risto Kunelius from the HSSH website, where he tells what Santa Claus should give to the whole SSH research field. 

3 ) The research infrastructure for linguistics and digital humanities, FIN-CLARIAH, has been selected as one of the nationally significant infrastructures 

The national research infrastructure project FIN-CLARIAH (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure), led by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki, has been selected to Finland’s national research infrastructures roadmap covering the years 2021–2024.

Strategically important research infrastructure projects for Finland are selected for the roadmap, so the projects that have been included have been considered high-quality and significant entities.

"The roadmap is more important than before, because the Academy of Finland has decided that most of the infrastructure funding will be allocated to projects on the roadmap," says Mikko Tolonen, Associate Professor of Digital Humanities, who manages the DARIAH-FI component of FIN-CLARIAH.

The University of Helsinki is leading the project, and there have been preliminary discussions that HSSH could be the national coordinator of FIN-CLARIAH.

Read more (in Finnish) from our website.

4) HSSH moves at the turn of the year

HSSH will move to Vuorikatu 3 (the second floor) at the turn of the year. The INEQ research initiative and The Initiative for Advancing Research in Social and Health Affairs will also move to the same place. The common spaces support the multidisciplinary cooperation of the City Centre Campus. The Faculty of Theology has previously operated in the same premises.

5) New Research Culture -lecture 18.12.2021 

The second New Research Culture –lecture will be held on Monday 18.1.2021 at 13:00. The Keynote speaker is professor of English Language and Linguistics Bernd Kortmann.

In his video speech, Kortmann shares his insights on how, based on his experience, interdisciplinarity should be promoted both in the field of SSH and between the SSH field and natural sciences.

Kortmann´s title is: Fos­ter­ing Research Col­lab­or­a­tion and In­ter­dis­cip­lin­ar­ity in and beyond the So­cial Sciences and Hu­man­it­ies: Tools, strategies, them­atic strands

Kortmann directs the multidisciplinary FRIAS institute (Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies) in Germany. The institute combines the humanities and social sciences, medicine, the natural, and life sciences, and engineering.

The previous event overturned the stereotypes faced by researchers in the field of SSH. See the recorded video from the Think Corner´s website.

6) Join the HSSH Friends! 

Anyone interested in the HSSH's activities can join the e-mail list that forms the so-called Friends of HSSH community. The e-mail list provides information on HSSH news and other current affairs, events, as well as research and research infrastructure related to the SSH field. 

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