Humanities boost gets thumbs up

NUS President Tan Chorh Chuan.

The social sciences and humanities may soon receive a boost in developing talent and research here.

At a press conference yesterday, the Ministry of Education announced that an international panel of experts supported plans to grow these areas here and offered its recommendations.

One suggestion was the setting up of a research council focusing on the social sciences and humanities.

The panel, comprising academics and university heads, had gathered to discuss tertiary-education trends. Its ex officio member, National University of Singapore president Tan Chorh Chuan, said social-science research can alleviate public-health concerns such as smoking.

The long-term solutions for such problems "are not going to be delivered by advances in basic medical sciences or technology", he noted.

"It will have to involve a much better understanding of how individuals perceive risks with regard to health and what makes them take certain actions."

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