New Nordic humanist centre to create new understandings of the world’s societal challenges
Thanks to a donation from The A.P. Moller Relief Foundation, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Southern Denmark will establish a new research centre: the Nordic Humanities Centre for Challenge-Based Inquiry. Based on humanistic disciplines, the Centre will contribute nuances, perspectives, new understandings and opportunities for action in relation to the major societal challenges such as the climate crisis and pandemics.
The Nordic Humanities Centre for Challenge-Based Inquiry is being established thanks to a grant of DKK 60 million from The A.P. Moller Relief Foundation.
‘In my book, humanism has been somewhat thrust into the background. This has done a disservice to humanity. The goal of the Centre is therefore to bring more humanistic perspectives on the challenges of the world into play and thus complement the technical sciences with new opportunities and visions,’ says Ane Maersk Mc-Kinney Uggla, President of The A.P. Moller Relief Fund.
The Centre is set to become a key research centre based on humanistic academic disciplines, such as language, history and literature.
The Nordic Humanities Centre for Challenge-Based Inquiry will be anchored at both the University of Copenhagen and the University of Southern Denmark.
‘I am grateful for the trust that The A.P. Moller Relief Fund has shown our university, and I look forward to following the work of humanistic researchers when they translate their knowledge into solutions to major and challenges that are relevant for this day and age. I am convinced that the strong humanistic research environments at the University of Copenhagen and the University of Southern Denmark – which will now have the opportunity to try out new forms of cooperation – will be able to contribute perspectives, nuances and analyses and with a deeper historical perspective that at the same time points to the future,’ says Henrik C. Wegener, Rector of the University of Copenhagen.
Jens Ringsmose, Rector of the University of Southern Denmark, adds:
‘Our society faces a number of problems that challenge our cohesion, the way our society should be, and in the case of the climate crisis, the state of our planet. Never before has humanistic research been more important in understanding the complexity of our problems and the ethical challenges we are facing. We are therefore immensely grateful for the donation, which means that humanistic researchers at the University of Southern Denmark and the University of Copenhagen will have even better opportunities to contribute solutions to the major challenges that confront us.’
Research themes and organisation
A large number of researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the University of Southern Denmark, both seasoned and young talents, will be associated with the Centre. In addition, a centre manager and administrative staff will be appointed, whose primary tasks will include assisting with the major dissemination work expected from the Centre.
As a starting point, the researchers will be involved in the activities and research undertaken at the Centre in one-year intervals to complement its core staff and the academic centre management. Each research team will be composed of researchers from Denmark, supplemented by researchers from especially the other Nordic countries, but also from the rest of the world. The Centre will focus its efforts on disseminating its findings to a wide audience.
The A.P. Moller Relief Fund’s grant of DKK 60 million will make it possible to operate the centre for six years, starting in 2023.