Our long-term plan is to engage with research problems that can be addressed by collaborative teams of scholars from social sciences and humanities, natural sciences, engineering and management, and public health. A project on climate in the age of the anthropocene, for example, might bring together the biologist, the anthropologist, and the economist, as well as those trained in cultural management, or public health and community medicine experts. Such projects would benefit from a historically informed sense of how different Asian societies have developed, and how they engage with each other in the resolution of problems faced in common. A project on food, health, and medicine could draw in a similar range of expertise. Another one, for instance, in business and innovation might focus on competition, productivity, and the growth of new industries in Asia by convening researchers from business and economics, sociology and public policy. Other topics like education, city cultures, technology and future of work, gender and religious identities could also serve as points of convergence for trying out new methodologies drawn from different disciplines. The groundwork for undertaking such projects will be laid by a few initial initiatives.
In the next five years, the Centre will develop at least 5 to 6 comparative research projects with collaborators from across Asia in the following thematic areas: