Who launched the Campaign for Social Science?

The Academy of Social Sciences set up the Campaign. It is the voice of almost all the organisations representing social scientists in the UK (learned societies).

Why was the Campaign for Social Science launched?

The Campaign was launched in 2011 to celebrate the success of UK social science, at a time of change and uncertainty in the higher education system. It seeks to identify to the public what social science is, and make clear the benefits of a social science education. It publicises the strength of UK social science, as recognised, for instance, in the QS World University Rankings for 2011, which placed the UK second only to the US for the quality of its social science research.

What are the social sciences and why are they important?

The Campaign believes this is summed up best by the European Science Foundation: “Social sciences are key to the understanding of many…societal issues such as the balance between economic growth and impact on the environment. In other words the social sciences examine what it means to be a social being, ranging from the minutiae of human behaviour and brain functions, to large scale social movements, demographics, economics and politics.” A list of social science organisationsA fuller explanation of the social sciences by the Campaign.

What are the Campaign’s aims?

  • to inform and influence public policy with social science
  • to be regularly in the news and in the media with comment on social science issues
  • to speak with authority on the state of social science
  • to promote the benefits of investment in the social science education and research
  • More on our aims

What are the specific objectives of the Campaign?

These include:

  • that UK social science is accepted as critical to the Government’s agenda
  • a Chief Social Science Adviser to UK government ministers is appointed
  • submissions and oral evidence are regularly given to parliamentary select committees
  • longitudinal and key data sets deemed to be at risk are protected
  • social science education overall is better valued by the public

How have these been met since the launch?

Among various actions, the Campaign has:

Written and launched nine booklets in the Making the Case for Social Science series on the social sciences.

Lobbied for the reinstatement of the post of Government Chief Social Scientist, a post removed in 2010 when the role was downgraded and split between two people who also have other responsibilities. In 2015 we published our Business of People Report on social science and society.

Organised events such as a our Annual Lectures in partnership with SAGE Publishing, Making the Case booklet launches, and public seminars and panel discussions. The Campaign has held 40 roadshows at various UK universities to exchange ideas with social scientists and develop support for the Campaign. More on our events

Ensured publicity for the social sciences. The Campaign has publicised the benefits of social science in The Guardian, the Times Higher Education, Resarch Fortnight, The Financial Times, The Independent and other media.

See Our Achievements for more information

How is the Campaign governed?

The Campaign is not set up as a legal entity, but remains part of the Academy of Social Sciences, which is a registered charity (this arrangement saves money on legal and administrative costs). However, funds designated to the Campaign, and all donations, are ring-fenced for use by the Campaign only. The Campaign has a separate accounting system.

A separate Campaign Board has been set up which meets regularly.

The Academy of Social Sciences’ Executive Director oversees the delivery of Campaign activities.

How is it financed?

The Campaign receives no state funding, and relies on donations and sponsorship; among its sponsors are 80 universities, learned societies and publishers.

How can I help?

The Campaign needs widespread support.  See our page on how to help. We thank you for your interest and support.