Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will involve a whole-of-society effort. To achieve lasting, community-wide change, policymakers will need human-centred approaches drawing on Australia’s ethical, historical, creative and cultural expertise.

Advising government

The Academy has joined with Australia’s other Learned Academies and leaders from Australia and New Zealand’s research and innovation sectors to form the Rapid Research Information Forum. Convened by Australia’s Chief Scientist, the Forum provides coordinated multidisciplinary, evidence-based advice to government as they work to contain and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each report has been led by a different Learned Academy, drawing on expertise from Forum member organisations.

Our Academy led the report Motivators for use of the COVIDSafe app, with Lead Author Professor Genevieve Bell AO FTSE.

Download the report

Other reports issued through the Forum the Academy contributed to include:

Impact of the pandemic on Australia’s research workforce

Learning outcomes for online versus in-class education

Monitoring wastewater to detect COVID-19

Seasonality of COVID-19: Impact on the spread and severity

Academy Fellows and leaders in the humanities community have been closely involved in the development of these reports.

Research directions

The Academy is addressing the impact of COVID-19 in the following projects:

The Future Humanities Workforce project will provide a comprehensive account of Australia’s humanities research workforce and plan for its future knowledge and skills requirements to ensure we are positioned to adapt to changing research environments. The project is responding to COVID-19 and its impacts on research environments.

Australia’s cultural and creative sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, with recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealing half of Arts and Recreation businesses have ceased operations resulting in mass unemployment. The impact of COVID-19 on arts, culture and creative activity is explored through our partnership with A New Approach.

The World Humanities Report is a landmark international initiative designed to showcase the current state of the humanities and its contributions to knowledge and society. Research teams throughout the world are identifying trends, analysing new and historic developments, and collecting examples of new and interdisciplinary scholarly approaches. The Report will also reflect on the role of the humanities in managing and recovering from COVID-19.

    Call for expertise

    Humanities expertise – Thanks to everyone who contributed to this call for expertise. This database has informed our advice to government, including to the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science and Australia’s Chief Scientist on the research sector’s responsiveness and capability. We will continue to draw upon this information in our policy work and in our engagement with international counterparts.

    For more information, please get in touch with the Academy’s Director Policy and Research, Dr Kylie Brass.

    Australian database – We have joined forces with Australia’s other Learned Academies to launch the COVID-19 Expert Database. The publicly available database provides access to Australia’s leading researchers and experts across all disciplines who are willing and able to help Australia tackle COVID-19 and its aftermath.

    International – The Union Académique Internationale invites humanities researchers to join the World Pandemic Research Network. The Network offers a real-time searchable global directory of resources about the societal and human impacts of the COVID-19.

    Position statements & policy

    Media mentions

    Humanities For Times of Crisis

    The Humanities For Times of Crisis article series, lead by the Academy with leading humanities experts, aims to shine a light on critical issues; to demonstrate how Australian humanities researchers have been contributing to understanding the impacts of COVID-19 and its aftermath; lessons learned from 2020; and how Australia might do things better.

    Further information

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