A stimulating two-day webinar hosted in Indonesia this week, the biennial Symposium on Social Science 2020, featured speakers and research papers from all over Asia.
It also included foreign presenters and panel keynotes such as Australia’s Dr Daniel McCarthy of the University of Melbourne on “another face of power” and New Zealand’s Professor David Robie of Auckland University Technology on climate change and covid-19 – “redefining the relations between humankind and the environment”.
Selected papers will be published in a book to follow the publication from the first Social Science Symposium in 2018.
In the provocative keynote, Singaporean philosopher, former diplomat and academic Professor Kishore Mahbubani warned the world was entering a global “Asian new order” and he has called on researchers in the Asia-Pacific region to shed Western dominance of the social sciences.
Dr Mahbubani, author of the recent book Has China Won? The Chinese challenge to American Primacy, told more than 200 participants on the webinar that Asian “mental maps” needed to change to address the new reality.
“The world has changed fundamentally – we must understand that,” he said. “But our problem is that the mental maps that we have to understand this new world, our mental maps given to us by our 19th century, 20th century [social scientists] – mostly Western – cannot guide us in the 21st century.”
The Pacific Media Centre was a partner of Indonesia’s Centre for Southeast Asian Social Studies for this symposium.
Professor Robie's presentations:
- (New) Ecological Problems: Post-pandemic climate change an Oceania existential threat
- The sociology of a pandemic: Countering a covid ‘disinfodemic’ with a campus media initiative