Communication, risk and uncertainty
Law and governance
Socioeconomic inequalities in health
Healthcare system efficiency
Polarisation and populism
The National Institute for Research on the Socioeconomic Impacts of Diseases and Systemic Risks (SYRI) will address topics fundamental for a better functioning society. The National Institute brings together 150 scientists from three of the top Czech scientific institutions.
The research impact of the new institute will contribute to enhanced scientific performance of the Czech social sciences and humanities in an international context, said Deputy Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Štěpán Jurajda at the opening conference of the SYRI in Brno. The institute brings together scientists from Masaryk University, Charles University and the Czech Academy of Sciences. Funded by the National Recovery Plan programme, the Institute will address nine research areas.
Jurajda pointed out that the Czech social sciences and humanities have received less funding for research projects than other research areas when considered in an international context. “SYRI is an important first step in this regard,” said Jurajda. “The National Institute project also responds to the need for data collection, which is essential for analytical support of public decision-making processes during and after crises."
One of the new institute’s goals is enhancement of the scientific performance of Czech social sciences in a global context. According to Jurajda, the strengthening of the impact and role of Czech social sciences depends, among other things, on the success of the reform of access to individual public administration data, especially the substantive plan of the Public Data Management Act.
Until now, scientific consortia in the Czech Republic have mainly operated in the natural sciences; their involvement in the humanities and social sciences is something of a novelty. SYRI’s consortium is coordinated by Masaryk University. According to its Rector Martin Bareš, it is one of the most important pillars of the present.
“The Covid-19 pandemic, the energy crisis, inflation, and war in Ukraine have been affecting our lives for three years now,” said Rector Bareš. “Crises are always burdensome; they produce high levels of stress and have the ability to affect society as a whole. What better time for science to prove itself the optimal tool for the finding of answers and the providing of insights and solutions, so preventing negative consequences of major crises? Science makes a fundamental contribution to enhanced social resilience. For all these reasons, we at Masaryk University are glad that the founding of the SYRI National Institute has been made possible, and that Masaryk University and its experts will play a crucial role in it.”
Researchers at the SYRI Institute will study current risks, using their scientific findings to formulate recommendations for public policy actors operating in various areas, such as the economy, health care and education. “We want to provide excellent scientific results that will be immediately useful,” said SYRI’s scientific director Klára Šeďová, who is also leading a team that will use an exceptional database
The South Moravia Region will establish long-term cooperation with SYRI researchers. “Improving the quality of public services is one of the most important goals of the South Moravia Region,” said Jiří Nantl, Deputy Governor of the South Moravia Region. “Its ability to work better with data and conduct experimental evaluations of different public policies and approaches is important. I see great potential for the region in SYRI’s activities, not least in the area of education, where SYRI will draw on a research capacity unique in the Czech Republic to verify the effectiveness of various teaching approaches and conditions of education.”