You can make money off the Humanities

Written on November 2, 2011 by Banafsheh Farhangmehr in Arts & Cultures & Societies

Under the banner »We use thinking – We mean business«, prorector Thomas Bjørnholm offered his view on the business potential of the Human Sciences

The Humanities don’t contribute to the economy, say some. They are not supposed to. After all, studying the Humanities has value in itself.

Prorector at University of Copenhagen Thomas Bjørnholm, however, believes that the Humanities should be looked at like any other branch of science. And in so, it should contribute to the economy.

At a panel discussion Thursday 24 March, Johan Roos of the Copenhagen Business School, Roskilde University’s prorector Hanne Leth-Andersen, and Thomas Bjørnholm each offered their view on the business potential of the Humanities.

»It is a sort of consensus discussion. We are all on the same side, we would all like more funding, etc.,« the moderator opened the debate. »But we are here to discuss if the Humanities can contribute to the economy,« he added before passing the mic to Thomas Bjørnholm.

Humanities are stigmatised

»Why ask this question at all?,« Bjørnholm responded. »The framing of this debate is rather defensive. Why doubt the value? It is unfortunate the way the Humanities are stigmatised as unprofitable«.

Humanities play an increasingly large role in our life, including our business life, Bjørnholm explained. He used obesity as an example of a social and economic problem that can be sufficiently addressed only if insights from the Humanities and Social Sciences are taken into account.

»My iPhone here is another example,« Bjørnholm explained. »Apple has taken it a step further than, let’s say, Sony Ericsson, and has created products that build on a deep understanding of our human relationship to technology.«

Continue reading in UniversityPost.dk


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