“The State of the Social Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean” – A CLACSO Conference supported by the UNESCO Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme
From 6 to 9 November 2012, social scientists from all over the world will gather in Mexico City for the 6th Latin American Conference on Social Sciences which is a major item on the scientific agenda. This year, it will take place during the International Week of Science and Peace (6-10 November 2012).
It is an important event for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as for the whole of the international community, committed to the idea that social sciences have a major contribution to make to the development and implementation of development policies that are sustainable and that respect the needs of peoples and basic human rights.
The regional conference, which is organized by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO) with the support of UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) programme, aims to provoke reflection and debate on current issues confronting the social sciences by fostering critical thinking in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Opened by the UNESCO’s Assistant Director general for the Social and Human Sciences, Ms Pilar Alvarez-Laso, and the Executive Secretary of CLACSO, Mr Emir Sader, the conference will comprise 12 thematic sessions ranging from climate change to poverty eradication, and including questions related to education policy, access to knowledge, civil participation of young people, migration, feminism, national economies in the context of the capitalist crisis, and the idea of the state in Latin America.
A special session on the ideas that will shape the 2013 World Social Science Report, which will focus on global environmental change, will also be organized by UNESCO and the International Social Science Council (ISSC), whilst the Executive Director of the Mexican Council of Social Sciences (COMECSO) – which translated the Spanish edition of the 2010 World Social Science Report on knowledge divides – will participate in a round table on social change, science and technology.
Overall, the conference will include 90 round table events and debates, 10 keynote lectures and 2 international symposia involving over 200 world-renowned experts. It will take place over four days at many sites in the historical centre of Mexico City, bringing together thousands of participants, including 400 representatives from universities and research centres from more than 25 countries of Latin America, North America, the Caribbean and Europe.
Besides the UNESCO Assistant Director general for Social and Human Sciences, several other UNESCO representatives will participate in the debates as speakers, moderators or panelists, including the Executive Secretary of the UNESCO-MOST programme and the Director of the UNESCO Office in Mexico.
MOST is unique within the UN system. It is the only intergovernmental programme that aims to apply social science research to development issues, encouraging policy-oriented-research to face current global challenges, and bridging the gaps between researchers, civil society and policy-makers in order to allow them to work together, whilst respecting the individual role and place of each actor.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, MOST works inter alia by organizing regional fora of Ministers of Social Development and gathering young social scientists in the annual MOST summer schools.
At the international level, MOST has currently two strategic priorities: social inclusion and the social dimensions of global environmental change.