News & Announcement


The Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Department at IISER Bhopal has been set up recently with the aim of encouraging and inculcating a humanistic approach and awareness among students and researchers of science. We seek to encourage students to view science holistically as a domain of human knowledge which is not in isolation from, but in productive dialogue with society and culture, and with other areas of human production and thought like creative arts, philosophy and literature. The department has been conceptualized with this vision of foregrounding the interfaces between science, society and culture, and of initiating a dialogue between the basic sciences and the social sciences and humanities.

The sciences and the humanities were not always strictly segregated into distinct and watertight disciplinary compartments. The concept of ‘humanism’ in the European Renaissance, for instance, sought to produce an ethical and philosophical approach that seamlessly combined reason, scientific inquiry, and human interests and values. In the intellectual history of India and the world at large, science has deep connections and resonances with philosophy and ethics. Humanities and Social Science departments in science institutes like IISERs can encourage a valuable ‘humanist’ approach to the study of science, which challenges rigid and often artificial disciplinary boundaries. The HSS department aims to foster critical thinking, creativity and interdisciplinary study and scholarship. It proposes to help students be aware of and ask questions about societies, cultures, philosophy, history, economic and political thought, literary and creative arts, and the relationship of science to these diverse domains of human knowledge.

The disciplines currently represented in the HSS department are Economics, and English literature and language studies. The department offers core and elective courses in communication skills, English literature, Economics, Psychology and Intellectual Property Laws to all BS-MS students of the institute.