Describing, analyzing and understanding humans in society:

Throughout their history, human beings have created languages, languages and signs. They have invented forms of expression and representation, nurtured and transmitted cultures and developed knowledge and theories. They have also been willingly involved in complex political, social, legal and economic organizations. They have explored, occupied and managed the Earth which has often led to conflict with significant consequences for other species and the planet's resources. The aim of the research carried out by the INSHS's units is to understand this full set of elements.

A long-term commitment to clearly stated scientific priorities

The INSHS works in a complementary manner to its partners within joint research units. Currently, it particularly provides support for area studies, comparative approaches, global studies and transnationalization. From a methodological standpoint, this work focuses on formalization, quantification, modelling and simulation, digital humanities and gender studies. It also assists in the development of thematic research in the fields of education, health, human security and the relationship between artificial intelligence and the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). The INSHS plays a specific role in France in the development of archaeological sciences, anthropology and classical studies with constant thought and study aimed at making sure its priorities evolve and remain up-to-date.

Encouraging international research

The INSHS has prioritized the internationalization of its scientific communities' research as have the other nine CNRS institutes. It implements this policy through a variety of initiatives and projects. In particular, the Institute encourages its staff to interact with scientific communities in countries with a long tradition of research as well as in scientifically emerging countries.

To achieve this, the INSHS has created several International Research Laboratories (IRLs). With the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the INSHS jointly steers an exceptional network of International Research Laboratories (Umifre). The Institute also provides financial support for the international mobility of many researchers. It encourages their participation in International Emerging Actions (IEAs), International Research Networks (IRNs) and International Research Projects (IRPs).

The Institute's commitment to interdisciplinarity at the CNRS

The INSHS works in harmony with the approach involving exchanges and cross-disciplinary research defined by the CNRS's Mission for Transversal and Interdisciplinary Initiatives (MITI).

For example, the Institute works on joint research projects on the brain, cognition and behaviour with the Institute of Biological Sciences (INSB). The INSHS also runs projects with the Institute of Ecology and Environment (INEE) which study the relationships between human beings and their environments involving research units that are steered or jointly steered by the Institute. It also encourages its researchers to interact with the fields of computer and engineering sciences.


Support for IR and TGIR

Access to digital data is both an asset and a challenge for the INSHS because it promotes interdisciplinarity. Research Infrastructures (IRs) specializing in the humanities and social sciences make the best use of these massive data flows.

This is particularly the case of two Very Large-Scale Research Infrastructures (TGIRs) whose national roll-out is actively supported by the INSHS:

  • Progedo which aims to speed up the production and management of data in universities;
  • Huma-Num ("Humanités numériques", Digital Humanities) which offers collective data storage, processing interoperability and dissemination services.

They work in conjunction with the National Network of Houses of Human Sciences (RNMSH)which brings together and coordinates the research of 23 establishments in France. Today, the RNMSH has become the prime meeting place for partnerships and exchanges between universities, organizations and local authorities.