Social Science Research Council holds first meeting

SINGAPORE - The new Social Science Research Council, set up by the Government last year to provide concerted direction for social science and humanities research, held its inaugural meeting on Friday.

The council, which comprises local social science academics and public policy experts, discussed the social science research landscape in Singapore, and highlighted possible strategies to address the country's future needs and those of other Asian societies.

Led by Mr Peter Ho, senior advisor for the Centre for Strategic Futures, it was formed to understand and better address new and complex challenges that may affect Singapore. These include providing for an ageing population, preserving social mobility, and building common identity and a sense of belonging in a globalised world.

On the formation of the council, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam said: "The Social Science Research Council comes at an important juncture in our history.

"Quality research in the social sciences and humanities will enrich understanding of how we are evolving as a people and help us find the most effective ways to sustain a vibrant, fair and resilient society."

Council member Prof David Chan, director of the Behavioural Sciences Institute at the Singapore Management University, said: "When properly supported and applied, such research will help translate good intentions into actual actions that will improve the quality of life for people in Singapore."