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The Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in the Modern University

Event held on 1 March 2011 (venue: The British Academy).

The Rt Hon David Willetts MP used the newly redeveloped Wolfson Auditorium at the British Academy to voice his continued support of the arts, humanities and social sciences.

The Minister said: "'Quite simply, the humanities and social sciences are essential to a civilised society... They are deep sources of human satisfaction, helping us to navigate our way through the world – both as individuals and as a society."

"The university, as an institution ... works because of its range. Arts, humanities and social sciences are a crucial part of the life of such institutions."

Speaking to an invited audience, Mr Willetts also used the event to announce Government funding of £33.5m to a special project utilising social science research. The 2012 Birth Cohort Study 'will investigate how pre-natal influences, as well as the interplay of genetic and environmental factors affect human development' in a bid to "transform our ability to compare the lives and life changes of different generations".

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