Social sciences the Rubik’s Cube of humanity – Prof Herman van der Merwe
Did you know that it took the Hungarian inventor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik one month to master his own mechanical puzzle, the Rubik’s Cube? With 42 Quintillion possibilities but only a few correct solutions, the Rubik’s Cube is the epitome of human society: with each block representing a social science topic.
This is according to Prof Herman van der Merwe, executive dean of the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology on the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Vaal Triangle Campus. Prof Van der Merwe is also the co-chairperson of the eight International Conference on Social Sciences (ICSS) which will take place in Durban from 23-25 August 2017. The conference will see delegates from around the world in attendance and represents a collaboration between the NWU and the Social Sciences Research Society in Turkey.
The value of social sciences
According to Prof Van der Merwe social science in its broadest sense, is the study of society and the manner in which people behave and influence the world around them. “This field of study deals with various topics such as economics, political science, history, law and geography – to name but a few. It is important to note that as a science it examines society and how people interact and develop,” explains Prof Van der Merwe.
Social science tells us about the world beyond our immediate experience, and can help explain how society works - from the causes of unemployment or what helps economic growth, to how and why people vote, or what makes people happy. It provides vital information for governments and policymakers, local authorities, non-governmental organisations and others.
Importance of the ICSS
This ICSS is a conference for those members of academia, business and industry, community leaders and government representatives who are interested in disciplines such as:
- Business studies
- Ethnic studies
- International Relations
- Political Science
- Public Administration and Public Governance
- Community Development
- Urban and Regional Planning
- Sport Management
- Cross-disciplinary areas of the above related to each other or other areas.
The aim of the conference is to bring together a wide audience of academics, policy makers and practitioners around clearly circumscribed topics, engage participants in fruitful debate, and facilitate mutual understanding. An additional goal of the conference is to provide a place for academicians and professionals with inter-disciplinary/ multi-disciplinary interests related to social sciences to meet and interact with members inside and outside their own particular disciplines.
For more information about ICSS please visit the conference website http://www.icssconference.net/index.html
Prof Herman van der Merwe, executive dean of the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology on the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Vaal Triangle Campus and co-chairperson of the eight International Conference on Social Sciences (ICSS).