Research

The main mission of the INSHS is to promote and disseminate the latest discoveries in the humanities and social sciences in open access. Its researchers produce an average of 6500 scientific publications per year. With its partners, the Institute develops and jointly runs transversal research networks throughout France.

The portal for research in the humanities and social sciences

Research at the INSHS relies on groups and networks which produce new digital resources. Many of these are available in open access.

Transversal research networks

The INSHS draws on its national expertise to jointly develop and lead cross-disciplinary networks throughout France with its university and institutional partners. Examples are Scientific Interest Groups (GIS) such as the Gender Institute, the Scientific Interest Groups working on African Studies or Asia, the Middle East and Muslim World along with a set of national (GDRs) or international research networks (IRNs).

In a similar vein, the INSHS has initiated multidisciplinary thematic networks (RTPs) which have worked on one-off expert missions studying food, war studies or the visual sciences and cultures.

The "SHS Sante" Platform

The "SHS Santé" research platform was set up in autumn 2020 for a period of 24 months thanks to funding from the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. It aims to develop collaborative humanities and social sciences research in the field of health while serving humanities and social sciences research in all its disciplinary components.

To develop this platform, the CNRS Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences chose to collaborate with the National Institute for Demographic Studies (Ined), the École Pratique des Hautes Études(EPHE) and Sorbonne Paris Nord University. These establishments are members of the Condorcet Campus one of whose main scientific themes is "Public Health, World Health". Institutions outside the Campus like the EHESP School of Public Health or the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (Cnam) are also associated with this platform.

Three themes are the object of particular study in this collaborative research project:

  • Patient and public involvement in how services, public policy making and research are organised.
  • The effects of structural changes on human health and lifestyles, particularly environmental, climatic and demographic changes.
  • The challenges of implementing public health policies at the territorial level with particular focus on health inequalities of all kinds.

Although the project is centred on the human and social sciences of health, it aims to develop interfaces with other sciences, particularly with environmental, biomedical, public health and engineering and information sciences.

Finally, the objective of this platform is to work alongside local and national stakeholders to develop methods for transferring knowledge to civil society - using participatory research methods - and to public sector decision-makers.

As far as interdisciplinary interactions and knowledge transfer and sharing are concerned, the platform's theme 2's aim is to integrate the InSHS's work since March 2020 as part of the Coordination sur les crises sanitaires et environnementales* (Coordinating Body for Health And Environmental Crises).

The platform is housed by the Condorcet Campus's Scientific Incubator.

Scientific coordination: emmanuel.henry@cnrs.fr

Scientific event – The effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Documenting, describing and analysing, June 29thand 30th2021

The aim of this scientific event held over a year after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in France is to provide a forum for sharing and discussing the research results on the subject of the pandemic and its effects in the human and social sciences and public health. It focuses on analysis of the French context while international issues which are obviously essential will be the subject of subsequent initiatives.

Research in the humanities and social sciences made a sustained effort to understand the short-term effects of the pandemic particularly in terms of social inequalities and vulnerabilities. Such research has also proposed frameworks for understanding and developed surveys to shed light on the forms of political management of the pandemic and the ways in which individuals, families and social groups experienced and reacted to the pandemic. This research analysed factors at local, territorial and national levels.

A major question underpinning this research is whether the pandemic simply reinforces pre-existing situations or is an event that slows down, interrupts or, conversely, accelerates certain ongoing changes to society. These may involve ways of living, working, travelling, socialising, learning, enjoying entertainment, producing and consuming or being a citizen. We are indeed aware that claiming the situation is entirely new and a break with the past or involves a crisis justifying exceptional health and political measures represents an important issue requiring reflexivity.

This event focuses on knowledge developed over the past year to document, describe and analyse the observed effects of the pandemic. It is divided into four sessions. The first, The Academic and the Politician, will be dedicated to analysis of the political management of the crisis and its possible effects on democratic life and its institutions. The second focuses on the pandemic's impact on health and demographic issues and the associated challenges. The third focuses on 'ordinary' life in a pandemic – the lives of individuals, families and social groups. Finally, the fourth session focuses on the hidden aspects of the crisis and the indirect effects of the pandemic.

This scientific event takes place in the framework of a collaborative humanities and social sciences research initiative housed by the Condorcet Campus's Scientific Incubator. This is led by the CNRS alongside the CNAM, the EHESP, the EHESS, the EPHE, the INED and Sorbonne Paris Nord University thanks to dedicated funding from the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. The RnMSH, the public health institute of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), is also part of the event's programming committee. Finally, the 'SHS Santé' platform and the Covid-19 Ad Memoriam Institute also wished to take part in developing this event.

 

*Within the Coordination sur les crises sanitaires et environnementales (Coordinating Body for Health And Environmental Crises).

In March 2020 the CNRS and the Inserm set up the HS3P-CriSE Coordinating Body for Health And Environmental Crises in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Public Health. They worked alongside the main actors in this area particularly the Conference of University Presidents (CPU), the National Institute for Demographic Studies (Ined), the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), the Research Institute for Development (IRD) and the EHESP School of Public Health. The project is under the auspices of the National Alliance for the Humanities & Social Sciences (ATHENA), the National Alliance for Life Sciences and Health (AVIESAN) and the National Alliance for Environmental Research (ALLENVI). It works in coordination with the national network of Houses of Human Sciences (MSHs) and Very Large Research Infrastructures in the HSS, particularly Progedo, and with the World Pandemic Research Network initiative created by the network of Institutes for Advanced Study (IEAs).

 

Presentation of the HS3P-CriSE Coordinating Body

In March 2020 the CNRS and the Inserm set up the HS3P-CriSE Coordinating Body for Health And Environmental Crises in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Public Health under the auspices of the Athéna, Aviesan and Allenvi Alliances.

The coordination initiative was based on the fact that human health is essential for individuals and communities. Unlike other pandemics in the 20thand early 21stcenturies, the Covid pandemic is currently prompting governments and societies to think deeply about how to best respond to the medical, political, legal, ethical, economic, cultural and social challenges it brings up. Certain modes of production and consumption are already facing other challenges, particularly those caused by climate change and environmental issues in general and these are also beginning to be questioned in the light of the pandemic along with the ways in which we live together. Such questions are being asked at all levels - in the regions and territories and nationally and internationally.

This situation is of great scientific interest for researchers in the humanities, social sciences and public health. Several past, ongoing and future calls for projects support this work. These have been run by national research funding agencies like the French National Research Agency or ANR (Flash covid-19, RA- Covid-19, Resilience Coivd-19), at the European level (H2020), by regions, universities, foundations, public institutions or ministries. There have been multiple interventions in the public space like virtual seminars and conferences, calls for contributions on networks and within scientific communities and the publication of books and special journal issues.

In this context, the CNRS and the Inserm joined forces to help structure HSS and public health research initiatives into Covid-19 and, more generally, infectious diseases and major health and environmental crises. The "HS3P-CriSE" Coordinating Body for Health And Environmental Crises in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Public Health works under the auspices of the Athéna, Aviesan and Allenvi alliances and in collaboration with representatives of the main actors in this field particularly the Conference of University Presidents (CPU), the National Institute for Demographic Studies (Ined), the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), the Research Institute for Development (IRD) and the EHESP School of Public Health. The project is under the auspices of the National Alliance for the Humanities & Social Sciences (ATHENA), the National Alliance for Life Sciences and Health (AVIESAN) and the National Alliance for Environmental Research (ALLENVI). It works in coordination with the national network of Houses of Human Sciences (MSHs) and Very Large Research Infrastructures in the HSS, particularly Progedo, and with the World Pandemic Research Network initiative created by the Network of Institutes for Advanced Study (IEAs).

The CNRS and the Inserm each appointed a co-coordinator namely Marie Gaille, director of the InSHS, CNRS, philosopher and CNRS research professor and Rémy Slama, director of the Inserm's Public Health Institute, environmental epidemiologist and a research professor at the Inserm.

The work of the coordination is presented on the dedicated website.

Plateforme Mémoire et résilience

Créée par l’Institut des sciences humaines et sociales du CNRS, la plateforme de recherche « Mémoire et résilience » a pour ambition de développer et de structurer la recherche en sciences humaines et sociales autour des thématiques de mémoire, de résilience et de coexistence, non seulement dans toutes ses composantes disciplinaires, mais aussi dans ses interfaces avec les sciences biologiques.

Il s’agit de renforcer, structurer et faire dialoguer les recherches sur les conflits violents et crises passés et leurs effets dans le présent, abordés en termes de mémoire, de traumatismes, de « résilience », au travers de controverses (racisme, antisémitisme, passés coloniaux, etc.) comme de mémoires ordinaires (en famille, sur les territoires, dans les mondes du travail, etc.).

L'InSHS a souhaité collaborer, pour le développement de cette plateforme, avec le Campus Condorcet et ses établissements membres, dont de nombreuses équipes travaillent sur les thématiques mémorielles. Des institutions extérieures au campus, comme Sciences-Po Paris, l’université de Paris, l’université de Lille, AMU, l’université de Grenoble-Alpes, sont également associées à cette plateforme. Celle-ci a en effet vocation à structurer la recherche à une échelle nationale. Elle collabore à cette fin avec des institutions comme le Centre national de ressources et de résiliences (CN2R), ainsi qu’avec des structures spécialisées, comme le GDR Mémoire du  CNRS, le Labex Les passés dans le présent, le GIS Archives et démocratie (en cours de création), l’Institut Covid-19 Ad Memoriam ou des programmes de recherche comme 13-11.

La Plateforme Mémoire et résilience entend remplir trois missions :

  1. Être un lieu de dialogue commun à des recherches diversifiées et dont les temporalités sont variées, sur les expériences, les perspectives scientifiques et les choix méthodologiques. Il s’agit de consolider ces recherches au-delà des objets particuliers, c’est-à-dire de manière pluri- et interdisciplinaire, et en lien avec les acteurs politiques et sociaux intéressés.
  2. Concevoir et développer une plateforme de services répondant au mieux aux besoins singuliers des recherches dans ces domaines, et un espace de formation (par des experts et par les pairs), notamment en matière de règles juridiques, de méthodes de collecte et d’archivage de données sensibles, de gestion des interactions avec les médias ou des interlocuteurs politiques, ou encore de collaboration avec les acteurs de l’éducation et les artistes. La Plateforme Mémoire et résilience doit permettre de cette manière une meilleure collaboration entre missions dédiées ou services fonctionnels des établissements (protection des données, affaires juridiques, communication, sécurité, référents déontologie, racisme et antisémitisme et intégrité scientifique, et Très grandes infrastructures de recherche). 
  3. Permettre le développement d’une programmation scientifique dédiée, sur la base de ce dialogue transversal et, en particulier, depuis le territoire du Campus Condorcet.

Trois thématiques seront privilégiées dans le cadre d’un appel à manifestation d’intérêt (AMI) en 2021, pour amorcer des recherches nouvelles, ouvrir des chantiers méthodologiques innovants, ou construire et consolider des collaborations interdisciplinaires :

  1. Recherches interdisciplinaires sur les liens entre mémoire individuelle et mémoire sociale.
  2. Archives, mémoire, numérique : l’AMI encouragera des recherches et initiatives sur les questions posées par les évolutions croisées des thématiques mémorielles, des humanités numériques, des politiques des données sensibles et de l’organisation et des usages des archives.
  3. Mémoires et territoire du Nord-Est parisien : la plateforme encouragera les recherches qui, en lien avec les collectivités territoriales, les institutions d’enseignement et les acteurs sociaux, interrogent, en mobilisant notamment les sciences participatives, les mémoires sur le territoire du Campus Condorcet (Nord-Est parisien et de la Seine-Saint-Denis). 

La Plateforme ambitionne donc de développer des modalités de transfert de connaissance en direction de la société civile, des établissements d’enseignement et des institutions politiques et patrimoniales, en lien avec les acteurs politiques, économiques et sociaux locaux ou nationaux, en même temps qu’elle mobilisera des méthodes et modalités participatives de la recherche.

La plateforme est implantée dans l’hôtel à projet du Campus Condorcet.

Coordination scientifique : sandrine.lefranc@cnrs-dir.fr
Secrétaire générale :  francoise.paillous@cnrs.fr 
Coordination administrative : vita.mikanovic@cnrs.fr 
Secrétariat : nicolas.claudon@cnrs.fr

Les prospectives scientifiques

L’InSHS lance une réflexion prospective collective. Pour ce faire, dès 2022, il participe, co-organise, conçoit des colloques et événements qui entrent dans ses priorités, soutient des réseaux autour de thématiques structurantes ou en devenir et soutient des ateliers réflexifs.

Scientific and technical information tools

CNRS researchers at INSHS produce an average of 6,500 publications each year, two-thirds of which consist of scientific journal articles and book chapters. They can access more than 8,000 journals and around fifty platforms and databases via the BIB-CNRS portal funded by the CNRS.

Scientific and technical information tools

The INSHS has created different tools to promote and disseminate scientific research results including publications and research data:

  • the RIBAC observatory which analyzes, characterizes and quantifies the scientific activities and production of all research actors;
  • VariSHS, a platform which promotes and disseminates the work of HSS researchers;
  • JournalBase, a bilingual open access platform on which users can run searches in humanities and social science journals and compare their referencing in different national and international sources and databases;
  • a support policy for French scientific journals in the humanities and social sciences which aims to help professionalize practices and promote better dissemination and greater visibility;
  • a charter on how to write affiliations in researchers' publications;
  • a network of STI correspondents in INSHS units which promotes the sharing and dissemination of practices, tools and experiences and acts as an intermediary between the Institute and its units;
  • a training policy for all INSHS stakeholders (Thematic schools, ANF)
  • support for around twenty professional networks linked to the CNRS.

 

The INSHS has been actively supporting open access to research publications and data for around ten years through the national HAL platform and the OpenEdition infrastructure.

These tools and projects were developed in coordination with the major players in the field of scientific and technical information at national - with Research Infrastructures and Very Large-Scale Research Infrastructures (IRs/TGIRs) - and European levels.

Analysis of scientific production

Like the other sciences, the humanities and social sciences need to possess numerical indicators to complement the peer review of scientific production but specific features also have to be taken into account in our fields. These include a greater diversity of publication media (journal articles but also a significant proportion of book chapters), maintaining multilingualism, the presence of small research communities working on highly specialized subjects (e.g. endangered languages) and the absence of reference databases for bibliometric studies.

In this context, the INSHS's Scientific Council and management have developed a database called RIBAC which makes it possible to identify and describe the activity of research players in the humanities and social sciences in a standardized manner.

Publications

Les chercheurs CNRS permanents en sciences humaines et sociales ont produit annuellement environ 6500 publications en 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Les articles de revue et les chapitres d'ouvrage représentent près de 2/3 de la production totale.

Les différents types de publications scientifiques
​Les différents types de publications scientifiques produites par les chercheurs en sciences humaines et sociales entre 2011 et 2018

 

La répartition des types de publication est différente selon les champs disciplinaires.

 

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Poids des principaux types de publications scientifiques des chercheurs et ingénieurs CNRS par section du comité national en 2015-2016 

 

En « économie et gestion », presque ¾ de la production correspondent à des articles de revue et des documents de travail. Plus des 2/3 des productions dans le domaine « Hommes et milieux : évolution, interactions » se font sous forme d'articles de revues et de rapports. Les linguistes (section 34), sociologues et politologues (sections 36 et 40) et géographes (section 39) produisent également davantage d'articles dans des revues que de chapitres d'ouvrage.

A contrario, il y a une prédominance en faveur des chapitres d'ouvrage dans la production des anthropologues (section 38), des chercheurs et ingénieurs des domaines des «Sciences philosophiques et philologiques, sciences de l'art» (section 35) et des historiens des mondes anciens (section 32) et modernes et contemporains (section 33).

 

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Répartition des articles de revue publiés par les chercheurs CNRS par section du comité national et par source (source RIBAC 2015)
Poids des principaux types de publications scientifiques des chercheurs CNRS par section d’évaluation en 2012
Poids des principaux types de publications scientifiques des chercheurs CNRS par section d’évaluation en 2012

 

 

Participation à des colloques des chercheurs CNRS de l’InSHS

L’activité « colloque » (communication et/ou organisation) est effectuée par 90,5 % des chercheurs et il n’y a pas de différences très importantes entre les disciplines (source Ribac 2012).

 

Activité « colloque » des chercheurs SHS
Activité « colloque » des chercheurs SHS par section du comité national

 

Presque 2/3 des colloques auxquels ont participé les chercheurs ont une audience internationale.

La presque totalité des présentations (95,7 %) se font sous la forme d’une communication orale. Les présentations sous forme de poster restent relativement peu nombreuses en SHS (source Ribac 2012).

 

Répartition des posters présentés par les chercheurs SHS
Répartition des posters présentés par les chercheurs SHS lors de manifestations scientifiques par section du comité national (source Ribac 2012)

 

La participation et le portage des projets et programmes de recherche financés sur contrats des chercheurs CNRS de l’InSHS

Environ 2/3 des chercheurs (64 %) ont déclaré être membres ou porteurs d’un programme de recherche. La répartition par section fait apparaitre une grande diversité de pratique d’une discipline à l’autre.

 

sections

Nbre de chercheurs membres ou responsables de programmes

Nbre de chercheurs total RIBAC 2012

%

31 - Hommes et milieux : évolution, interactions

80

97

82,5%

32 - Mondes anciens et médiévaux

160

225

71,1%

33 - Mondes modernes et contemporains

113

188

60,1%

34 - Sciences du langage

137

195

70,3%

35 - Sciences philosophiques et philologiques, sciences de l'art

113

202

55,9%

36 - Sociologie et sciences du droit

117

192

60,9%

37 - Economie et gestion

86

181

47,5%

38 - Anthropologie et étude comparative des sociétés contemporaines

91

166

54,8%

39 - Espaces, territoires et sociétés

109

135

80,7%

40 - Politique, pouvoir, organisation

135

196

68,9%

autres sections

13

21

61,9%

 Total

1154

1798

64,2%

 

Nombre de chercheurs CNRS de l’InSHS membres ou porteurs de projets en fonction de la typologie des projets

typologie des projets

nombre de responsables

nombre de membres

ANR

182

537

Divers national

81

335

Ministère

58

143

Europe

54

202

CNRS

51

112

Investissement d'avenir

46

131

Région

44

89

Divers international

27

333

Fondation

24

31

Université

16

44

Laboratoire

12

97

MSH

11

25

Mission archéologique

9

59

Privé

1

58

Total

616

2196

Public dissemination of your research results

If you are a researcher at the CNRS in a research unit co-supervised by the InSHS and have a problem or question concerning the public dissemination of your research results, the InSHS is there to discuss the matter with you and guide you to the right contact person at the CNRS to help you if necessary.

You can write to the director or deputy scientific director in charge of your unit and to the InSHS Communication Pole.

The freedom of expression for researchers is consubstantial to academic freedom. As a principle it is enshrined in and protected by the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights, the jurisprudence of the French Constitutional Council and France's Research Code. Nonetheless as with all fundamental rights, exercising freedom of expression needs to comply with the law. French law sets out certain limits to the freedom of expression to reconcile it with other fundamental principles. In this way, insults and defamation are prohibited as is defending terrorism while privacy and secrets are protected including administrative, industrial, commercial and business secrets, etc.

Public speaking by CNRS researchers, engineers and technicians is also regimented by statutory obligations and ethical principles (Law dated July 13th1983 on the rights and obligations of civil servants). These govern the activity of all civil servants who have to respect obligations of dignity, probity and integrity, impartiality, neutrality, professional secrecy and discretion. They are also required to carry out their functions and to obey their hierarchy and respect the principles of secularism and non-discrimination.