The Report is being read widely. Here are some early reactions to it:

Matt Flinders‘The world is changing rapidly and there is little doubt that the twenty-first century will be shaped by both challenges and opportunities for the United Kingdom. In this context the role and potential of the social sciences to deliver social value – in economic, cultural and all sorts of ways – has never been greater. This report provides an evidence based framework for world-class capacity building that is both ambitious and timely.’
— Professor Matt Flinders FAcSS, Chair, Political Studies Association


Ziyad MararThis initiative makes a tremendous contribution to the debate around the value of social science which needs to be highlighted ahead of the General Election and subsequent Autumn Spending Review. The impact of social science research is often misunderstood or narrowly construed and The Business of People will be pivotal in helping to ensure that the true significance of social science is widely understood. We at SAGE are delighted to have worked so closely with the Campaign to publish this timely report, and on a personal front, I was proud to be part of the working group involved in its drafting.’
— Ziyad Marar, Executive Vice President & Global Publishing Director, SAGE


Hetan ShahGood social science is underpinned by good data. We welcome this report’s proposals to support the UK’s longitudinal datasets, to strengthen data sharing in government for research purposes, and to invest in statistical literacy for all social scientists. This echoes the calls we have made in our own Data Manifesto.’
— Hetan Shah, Executive Director, Royal Statistical Society



Judith Mudd‘The British Sociological Association (BSA) welcomes The Business of People, especially its strong recommendations for social science to be taken more seriously for the contribution it makes to society as evidenced by the high quality of impact case studies in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. We strongly support the recommendation that the Economic and Social Research Council’s share of the Research Council budget should better reflect this excellence. The BSA welcomes the focus on the importance of disciplinary underpinnings and the strength of interdisciplinary work both across the social sciences and in an equal partnership with science. We recognize the need for social science and social scientists to be better integrated into government and policy making and support the appointment of a Chief Social Scientist. As excellence in Sociology is spread across many institutions rather than concentrated in a few we are particularly supportive of the recommendation that the critical role of annual quality-related (QR) funding be maintained. Finally, an international focus is crucial to the project of social science and the pipeline of international students is crucial to this and should be supported.’
— Judith Mudd FAcSS, Chief Executive, British Sociological Association


Professor Paul Boyle‘We live in an inter-disciplinary age, where the value of social science perspectives to our understanding of the most complex global problems is increasingly taken for granted. Both Mark Walport’s recent annual report, and this timely piece from the Campaign for Social Science, remind us of the value of social science in its own right, and the critical role it has to play in inter-disciplinary science. The UK is blessed with having world-leading social scientists who are increasingly demonstrating the value that their work has for society and the economy.’  – Professor Paul Boyle FAcSS, Vice-Chancellor, University of Leicester and former Chief Executive, Economic & Social Research Council


Jonathan Breckon‘The health of the UK social science base is critical to the supply and integration of useful evidence in decision-making across all areas of policy and practice. I welcome this timely intervention by the Campaign for Social Science; its recommendations are essential reading for the next governments in all four UK jurisdictions as they grapple with the challenges of the decade ahead.’
— Jonathan Breckon, Head of the Alliance for Useful Evidence


Patrick Dunleavy‘Social science in the UK is a massively successful, collective enterprise, built up by thousands of academics, researchers, post-docs and students into one of the UK’s great industries. It provides a key component of what makes the UK an advanced society, a civilised country, a vibrant economy, a magnet for overseas students and scholars, and one of the world’s great democracies. The Business of People shows this contribution well, and makes the case for continued, indeed expanded resourcing of this kind of research.’
– Professor Patrick Dunleavy, Chair, LSE Public Policy Group and co-author, The Impact of the Social Sciences (SAGE 2014)


jane elliott

‘A rich and helpful report that really encapsulates the health of the social sciences in the UK.’  — Professor Jane Elliott, Chief Executive, Economic & Social Research Council



sharon witherspoon‘It’s really helpful to see a positive and robust report. It gives some very positive and clear and precise things that all of us – not just funders, not just government, not just academics, all of us – need to think about doing better or differently. And I think we need as a group to engage with that.’ — Sharon Witherspoon MBE FAcSS, Director, Nuffield Foundation


Michael Reiss‘International measures show that the UK produces outstanding social science research. This is fortunate as the need for such research will only increase in the years ahead, as The Business of People makes clear. Return on investment analyses also show the benefits of increasing the amount that the UK invests in all areas of its research, including that in the social sciences. Both points underscore the importance of the report’s recommendation that the Government Chief Scientific Adviser should produce a new strategic framework for the social sciences, encompassing research, data and the supply of trained people to meet the needs of individual disciplines, business and government.’– Professor Michael Reiss FAcSS, former Pro-Director: Research and Development, UCL Institute of Education


Daryl O'Connor‘The Business of People report is an excellent example of the social sciences, including psychology, working together in order to attempt to influence the research and funding agenda over the next decade. It contains numerous far-reaching recommendations that are likely to directly impact on psychology now and in the future.’ Professor Daryl O’Connor FAcSS, Professor of Psychology, University of Leeds



Jamie Hacker Hughes‘The social sciences are among the most popular degree choices for undergraduates and British social scientists punch well above their weight in terms of the number, impact and reach of publications. As a psychologist, I welcome this report which calls for research funding in the social sciences to be strengthened, for more social scientists to take up senior roles as advisors across Government departments and for a social scientist to take up a Chief Advisor role to Government.’ Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, President Elect, British Psychological Society


Ian Menter ‘This report demonstrates just how much the social sciences as a whole contribute to our country – in terms of knowledge, skills, people and the economy. Research and evidence matters and requires continued investment to ensure its quality is maintained. In educational research we know how powerful the impact of our insights can be for policy and practice and this is equally true of all the social sciences.’ — Professor Ian Menter FAcSS, President, British Educational Research Association


Loraine Gelsthorpe

‘The Business of People is essential reading not only for our next Government, but for everyone. It outlines key social science themes in relation to profits, policies, markets, organisations and attitudes and emphasises how vital it is to invest in research, promote cross-disciplinary initiatives, support social science education, and fully utilise the distinctive skills and critical insights that social scientists can bring to policy formation and delivery. The British Society of Criminology, whose members are at the coal-face of research regarding human processes, is fully behind the Campaign to convince people of the significance of social science in the real world.’ Dr Charlotte Harris, Executive Director and Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe FAcSS, President, British Society of Criminology (pictured left)


‘The Business of People is an important document setting out the priorities for UK social science as seen by a cross section of both very senior academics and social science learned societies. I hope very much that it will not only inform manifesto decisions but also act as something of a road map for the Government, once in power. UK social science is internationally renowned and we owe it to ourselves and its beneficiaries to keep it so.’
— Sally Hardy FAcSS, CEO, Regional Studies Association