Shamit Saggar to lead the Campaign for Social Science

5 September 2017

The Academy of Social Sciences is delighted to announce today [September 5] that it has appointed Professor Shamit Saggar CBE FAcSS to lead its high-profile Campaign for Social Science from 1st October 2017. He succeeds Professor James Wilsdon FAcSS, who is stepping down as Chair after four formative years in the role.

Professor Saggar is Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Essex. Professor Saggar’s experience spans the intersection between academia and practice, having held academic appointments at Sussex, Queen Mary, UCLA, Yale and Toronto, as well as leadership roles in the regulatory, legal, financial and non-profit sectors. He was appointed CBE for services to social science and public policy in the Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year.

Professor Roger Goodman FAcSS, Chair of the Academy of Social Sciences, commented:

“I am delighted that Professor Shamit Saggar will take up the role of Chair of the Academy’s Campaign for Social Science at such a crucial time for the whole social science community. We look forward to him building on the extraordinary success of his predecessor, James Wilsdon, who, together with the Campaign’s Board, has given social science a voice to equal that which has been enjoyed for many years by the Campaign for Science and Engineering.

“Professor Saggar brings with him a wealth of experience across the whole spectrum of social science activity and in particular in creating bridges between the academic and practitioner communities. We very much look forward to working with him as the incoming Chair and are delighted that James Wilsdon will continue to be active within the Academy as a member of its Council and Chair of its Policy Working Group.”

Professor Saggar also commented:

“Modern social science is central to achieving a prosperous and cohesive society, and during the past six years the Campaign for Social Science has had great success in making this case to influential audiences. So I am delighted to become the Campaign’s next Chair, building on the achievements of my predecessor, James Wilsdon.

“I am alive to the fact that there are important allies for the Campaign in the research user and practitioner communities, particularly in government, regulation, commerce and non-profits. Social science research and evidence makes a real difference to how well each of these sectors performs and in turn the public standing of social science.

“I am very much looking forward to working with the Campaign Board and the Academy at this crucial moment in the research and political landscape of the UK.”

Professor Heather Laurie, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Essex, said:

“We are very excited Shamit will be playing a key national role in championing how research in the social sciences can improve people’s lives and help us understand our changing world. Shamit has consistently shown how high-quality social science research can deliver incredibly valuable insights to policy makers in government, the third sector and other policy forums.”