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Uppsala University to consolidate efforts in racism research

2016-03-23

Today, society is faced with the difficult situation of an increasing number of refugees and burgeoning racism, and the work for social inclusion is at an important crossroads. Uppsala University is now establishing a Forum for interdisciplinary racism research to deepen the pool of knowledge available on this issue.

‘Society urgently needs more knowledge about racism, migration, and social inclusion, and Uppsala University has both deep and extensive disciplinary breadth in this area of research. The new initiative is an important step to make the most of this wealth of knowledge, both for continued research and for its application to societal benefit,’ says Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson, who made the decision to provide the initiative with university-wide strategic funding on 22 March.

A survey conducted within the Humanities and Social Sciences at Uppsala University in 2014 found a large number of researchers and projects pertinent to the issue of racism. Now, a first initiative is being undertaken in order to further strengthen this research area at the University. The purpose of the Forum for interdisciplinary research on racism is to offer a common platform for new collaborations and research projects. And several researchers have already come out in favour of the initiative.

‘If we are to curb discrimination and make society more inclusive, the political work must be built upon a foundation of solid knowledge about the underlying reasons for the problems. We wish to establish an academic venture of great breadth and methodological openness, as such a direction is certain to result in the most benefit to society,’ says Anna-Sara Lind, docent at the Faculty of Law. Anna-Sara Lind is also active at the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB), where the proposal was drafted at the behest of the Faculty of Theology.

The next step is the appointment of a management board and a director of the Interdisciplinary forum for racism research.