NA Reports – Lithuanian Sociological Association (LSA)
Milda Ališauskienė, LSA President
Vidmantas Vyšniauskas, Vytautas Magnus University
President in 2018: Milda Ališauskienė
Report of activities in 2017
Lithuanian Sociological Association (further – LSA) was established in 1996. In 2010, LSA refreshed its activities, aiming at the development of the studies of Sociology and research, in order to meet the needs of contemporary society. LSA represents the interests of Lithuanian sociologists in national and international organisations and national state institutions. LSA aims to propose improvements for the studies and research within the field of sociology in Lithuania. LSA seeks to foster cooperation with organisations of similar kind – interested in the studies and research of sociology and related disciplines in Lithuania and worldwide.
In 2017, LSA actively participated in the public processes shaping Lithuanian science policy and further supported the dissemination of knowledge about sociology, its studies and research in the country. In the following chronological sequence, we will present the activities of LSA in 2017.
In January 2017, the LSA together with the Lithuanian Political Science Association prepared a letter to the Lithuanian Council for Research regarding the requirements for high impact publications. The two associations requested the Lithuanian Council for Research to evaluate scientific publications according to their quality. It was also requested to approach the international and national academic associations for their expertise about scientific journals and their impact on the particular disciplines. According to the two associations, this step would complement and provide alternatives to the well-known databases of scientific journals.
In April 2017, LSA together with other academic associations of Social Sciences and Humanities issued a declaration about the need for a new educational policy in Lithuania. On the ground of this declaration, the Lithuanian Movement for the Humanities and Social Sciences was established, which united 14 academic associations to foster their participation in the higher education and science reform in Lithuania.
In April 2017, LSA expressed concern about Lithuania’s MP Mantas Adomėnas’ initiative to restrain the publication of sociological surveys before the political election. The Statement issued by the LSA highlighted that such an initiative would undermine the freedom of press and the right of citizens to receive objective information. In the press release, the LSA also stated that if approved, such a restraint would allow politicians to manipulate surveys’ data in their favour.
On April 21, 2017 LSA together with Vytautas Magnus University co-organised the 3rd national conference for young sociologists and anthropologists: “Relevant Problems and Contexts in Sociological and Anthropological Research”. Its participants discussed various topics, such as family, migration, and identity questions.
In May 2017, representatives of LSA together with representatives of other academic associations that joined the Movement for the Humanities and Social Sciences met with the Minister of Education Jurgita Petrauskienė and her office members. The discussion aimed at the preparation of co-operation guidelines between the Movement and the Ministry of Education throughout the higher education and science reform. Following this meeting in June, LSA participated in another meeting organised by the Lithuanian Council for Research.
In June 2017, LSA prepared a letter to the Ministry of Education and Science asking to lower requirements for the number of students within the Sociology bachelor and master degree programs.
In September 2017, LSA together with the Movement for the Humanities and Social Sciences issued a declaration concerning the accusations of plagiarism against the Rector of the Kaunas University of Technology.
In October 2017, LSA together with the Lithuanian Political Science Association appealed to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania concerning the new composition of the board of the Lithuanian Council for Research. The Board did not have any representative of the social sciences.
In November 2017, LSA representatives met with the politicians of four political parties in the Parliament. The meetings were aimed at the discussion of the funding for higher education and science and its part in the State budget.
M. Abraham (ISA President), A. Krupavicius, M. Ališauskienė (LSA President) and A. Maslauskaite at the LSA conference in November 2017
On November 17 2017, LSA organised the 9th annual national conference “(In)equality, Power and Social Justice in Contemporary Society” that was held at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. A welcoming speech and plenary speech were given by the president of the International Sociological Association, Professor Margaret Abraham. The LSA annual conference hosted around 100 participants, 56 speakers from various universities of Lithuania delivered their papers on discrimination and social justice in contemporary society.