What Works National Advisor is one more step to restoring Chief Social Scientist post, says Campaign

March 4, 2013

Stephen Anderson

The Campaign for Social Science has welcomed a Government announcement today [4 March 2013] that it will set up the post of What Works National Advisor to oversee six evidence centres for areas of social policy.

The Campaign’s Director, Stephen Anderson, said:

“We hope that the creation of the What Works National Advisor role is a significant step towards the restoration of a Government Chief Social Scientist post, rather than the end of the story.

“We shall continue to press for the Chief Social Scientist post with a wider remit to encompass all social science used by Government. However, we are glad that there is a commitment for the What Works National Advisor to consider the Chief Social Scientist post position, in conjunction with the wider social science community.”

“We must have a clear idea about what works to raise living standards and how we can best live together in society, so the new evidence centres will begin to help us to do that.

“We also hope that this means that policy will be based on what research and analysis indicate is the most effective way forward, and not presented just on a narrower cost-cutting basis.”

The Campaign has spoken out strongly for the restoration of the Government Chief Social Scientist post, which was scrapped in 2010. It gave evidence to an inquiry into departmental chief advisers by the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, which issued a report a year ago calling for the restoration of the chief social scientist post.

The Committee repeated that call in its report on behavioural change in July 2012. This said that the post should be reinstated as ministers were often unaware of relevant research that would help them reach better decisions.

The restoration of the Government Chief Social Scientist post has been one of the main aims of the Campaign since its launch two years ago.

For more information, please contact:

Tony Trueman
Press Officer, Campaign for Social Science
+44 (0)7964 023392
[email protected]
Follow us on twitter: @CfSocialScience