The Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences (RCHSS) is Academia Sinica’s only research center in the social science and humanities disciplines. It aims to foster research which is multi-disciplinary in nature, and which would be difficult to conduct in other, single-discipline institutes in Academia Sinica.
RCHSS consists of five specific-topic research centers, including the Center for Political Thought, Center for Institution and Behavior Studies, Center for Asia-Pacific Area Studies, Center for Survey Research, and Center for Geographic Information Science. Each is headed by an executive director, who oversees all academic activities within the center.
RCHSS is renowned for its multi-disciplinary research, especially for local social issues. The Center for Institution and Behavior Studies combines law, information science, and geography to study multi-disciplinary issues such as network economics, empirical legal studies, and spatial competition. The research agendas of the Center for Asia-Pacific Area Studies include trans-boundary migration and circulation studies, maritime history, and development and population. The Center for Political Thought integrates scholars from various disciplines such as political science, history, philosophy, and jurisprudence to conduct multi-disciplinary research on comparative political thought.
Besides inter-disciplinary research on social issues, RCHSS also provides expertise to the academic community and public. For example, the Center for Survey Research is known for its survey methodology research. It is also widely considered to be the most reliable entity conducting surveys in Taiwan, and has the most comprehensive archive of survey data in the nation. The major goal of the Center for Geographic Information Science is to promote inter-disciplinary humanities and social science studies based on geographic information science and technologies. It provides not only technical assistance for scholars in history, archaeology and social sciences, but also digitized aerial charts and image interpretation to the general public for civil needs.