Social science’s huge contribution to national life recognised in honours list

11 June 2011

Tony Crook

The huge contribution social scientists make to national life has once again been recognised in the bi-annual award of honours. The Queen’s Birthday list includes geographers, social anthropologists, economists and sociologists, working both inside and outside universities, and the citations to their awards note their vital contribution both to scholarship and public affairs.

Among those honoured are:

Professor Ron Johnston, professor of geography at the University of Bristol and expert in electoral systems;

Professor Jan Pahl AcSS, emeritus professor of social policy at the University of Kent, author of influential studies on family finances and domestic violence; and

Professor Geoff Whitty AcSS, former director of the Institute of Education and sociologist of teaching and the curriculum.

Professor Peter Elias, an authority on labour markets and strategic advisor on data resources to the Economic and Social Research Council, is also honoured. Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, on whom a knighthood has been conferred, is a distinguished economist, who taught at the London School of Economics.

Other social scientists in the list are Professor Christopher Hood AcSS, Gladstone professor of government at the University of Oxford and expert on the civil service, Professor Nirmala Rao AcSS, pro-director of the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University and researcher on urban government and Professor Wendy James, retired professor of social anthropology at the University of Oxford, well known for her field studies in Sudan and Ethiopia.

The Academy of Social Sciences and the Campaign for Social Science offers all of them its congratulations. Professor Tony Crook, Campaign chair, said: “The honours list displays both the vitality and importance of social scientists in modern British life, not just in research and scholarship but in contributing to policy-making and better-informed commercial decision making.”