The Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC), in collaboration with the Department of Economic and Social Development of the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development of the Organization of American States, in alignment with the Inter-American Committee of Science and Technology Plan of Action of Panama 2011*, and together with its international network of more than 15,000 researchers, scholars and practitioners, ratifies that it will seek to promote interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and international research and education collaboration to contribute to sustainable social and economic development in the hemisphere.
Our main goals are to:
Increase and improve communication between HASTAC and its participants, as well as with governments, civil society, and industries across the Americas, working on socially conscious and sustainable collaborative endeavors;
Propose innovative mechanisms to fund the participation of humanities, arts, design, and social science researchers as an integral component of sustainable development projects;
Collaborate in the research and development of an integrated, effective, and equitable hemispheric cyberinfrastructure.
The HASTAC community recognizes that we live in an interconnected and complex world and that addressing the grand challenges of today—challenges that include education, climate change; population growth; food, water, and energy shortages; urbanization; natural and technological catastrophes; epidemics; poverty and social inequality; lack of access to education—requires researchers from around the world to work together to integrate our knowledge systems. We also recognize that it is critical that the humanities, arts and design, and social science communities play a collaborative and equitable role in the development of innovative solutions to these grand challenges.
Since the economic crises of 2008, several countries have reduced their research funding budgets, especially in the areas of the humanities, arts and design, and social sciences. We assert that innovation and the creative processes, as well as the cultural and historical context needed to implement innovation, are rooted in the humanities, arts and design, and social sciences. In addition to increasing support for science and engineering, countries will benefit greatly by increasing funding targeted at interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary efforts that explicitly include the humanities, arts and design, and social sciences to stimulate transformational innovative research. The grand challenges facing humanity can only be met when science, humanities, arts and design, and social sciences are employed together.
In recognition of these developments, HASTAC calls on the collective Ministers of Science and Technology; Culture and Education; and Finance and Competitiveness to work across Ministries and national borders to support research and develop an integrated hemispheric research data network. Further, the conceptualization of this effort should be informed, by the sciences and engineering, as well as by researchers in the humanities, arts and design, and social sciences in pursuit of sustainable economic and social development through evidence-based data-driven policy making and research and development**.
We request the OAS Secretariat to kindly distribute this Communique to all the relevant policy dialogues and ministerial meetings scheduled over the next year sharing the willingness of HASTAC Members to collaborate on sustainable social and economic cooperation programs and projects in the Americas.
*Organization of American States Inter-American Committee on Science and Technology (COMCYT). “Plan of Action of Panama.” Organization of American States, Panama City, Panama, November 17-18, 2011.
**This declaration has also drawn inspiration from the 2013 Rio de Janeiro 6th World Science Forum. See, World Science Forum. “DECLARATION 6th World Science Forum, Rio de Janeiro, 2013.” World Science Forum Rio de Janeiro, adopted 27 November, 2013. http://www.sciforum.hu/declaration/index.html.