New president to raise international profile on value of social research
University of Newcastle Professor John Germov has been appointed the President of the Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (DASSH: www.dassh.edu.au).
Representing 45 universities across Australia and New Zealand, DASSH is the peak body for research and education in the arts, social sciences and humanities.
Professor Germov said there was an urgent need to increase the communities' understanding of the significant contribution of research and education made by the arts, social sciences and humanities disciplines to the wider society.
"Research in the arts, social sciences and humanities underpins public policies and programs, informing and shaping the 'big issues' that are driving social and economic change and development – issues as diverse as understanding health behaviour, the impact of an ageing population, labour trends and the balance of land use and economic development.
"In teaching, the arts, social sciences and humanities disciplines cover a third of undergraduate students studying full-time at Australian universities, and three in ten postgraduate students.
"While recent public commentary has questioned the value of some research in these fields, the arts, social sciences and humanities are flourishing, world-class disciplines in Australia and New Zealand, and ensuring their ongoing strength will be vital as we grapple with social change as a community."
Professor Germov said it was both an exciting and challenging time to be leading DASSH.
"My role as President is to ensure that the contribution and value of research and teaching in the arts, social sciences and humanities disciplines is clearly understood by the broader national and international communities," Professor Germov said.
"DASSH and its members will continue to advocate strongly and garner support so that we can be central to conversations on issues that really matter, and to make valuable contributions to the development and implementation of current and future public policies and programs in Australia, New Zealand and beyond."
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, said Professor Germov was recognised by his academic and industry peers across the globe as a strong advocate for social research, and his appointment to head the peak body of DASSH was well-deserved, reflecting his outstanding contribution to research and education over more than two decades.
Professor Germov is UoN's Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Education and Arts and Director of the Centre for Social Research in Energy and Resources. In 2010, he was awarded the Outstanding Service to the Australian Sociological Association Award. His research interests include the social determinants of food consumption and production, work place change, and alcohol consumption and harm minimisation. Professor Germov has published 19 books, including a Canadian edition of his social determinants of health text, Second Opinion (2012).Follow Professor Germov on Twitter @jgermov
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