Impact of the humanities

Through this symposium, with three presentations and the subsequent panel debate, the Faculty of Humanities aims at qualifying the debate about impact assessment and evaluation systems in the humanities - and beyond.

Watch livestream from the symposium 13:00 - 16:00.

Focus on contributions of humanities

During the last decades, increasing attention has been paid to how research contributes to society. The focus is often on economic benefits created through innovation and on how research can be translated into countable economic entities such as patents and spin-offs.

This focus, however, leaves broader contributions to cultural, democratic and social needs of society out of focus.

The humanities influence and provide benefits to society in numerous ways that reach beyond the university. Academics in the humanities contribute to an informed public debate through their contributions to the press, television and radio. They contribute to the shaping of public policy through collaborative work with authorities and public institutions.

The humanities provide cultural expertise, which is embedded in exhibitions, artistic performances and new trends in architecture and design. And the humanities are regularly involved in knowledge exchange and partnerships with industry and private companies leading to new products and commercial benefits.

Two aims

Mapping out the broader contribution of the humanities to society is the first aim of this symposium. Making the broader impact of the humanities visible and measurable immediately leads to a discussion of metrics and indicators of impact.

The second aim of the workshop is to discuss which metrics to use and how to use them to reach a wider recognition of research and education merits in the humanities.

The symposium is opened by Dean Ulf Hedetoft, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen.


For attendance, please sign up using the form.


  • Paul Benneworth, University of Twente, Netherlands
    Senior Researcher, Center for Higher Education Policy Studies, University of Twente; coordinator of the HERA VALUE project (FP7), aimed at establishing recommendations for measuring the effect humanities research.
  • Mikkel B. Rasmussen, ReD Associates
    Co-founder of and Senior Partner in the innovation and strategy consultancy Red Associates, which employs methods from the social sciences and humanities to study human behaviour.

  • Christoph Köller
    Managing Director, Görgen & Köller GmbH; works in several projects with research organizations in order to improve the impact of their social sciences and humanities research.

Panel debate

  • Ane Hendriksen, CEO, Velux Foundation
  • Mikkel B. Rasmussen, Senior Partner, ReD Associates
  • Rune Lykkeberg, Editor, Politiken
  • Klaus Bruhn Jensen, Professor, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen
  • Julie Sommerlund, Associate Dean for External Relations, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen.


  • David Budtz Pedersen, University of Copenhagen
    Postdoc, Co-Director and Research Fellow at the Humanomics Research Centre; leader of the interdisciplinary research project “Humanomics: Mapping the Humanities”, funded by the Velux Foundation.

The symposium will be conducted in English and will be livestreamed.