Blog

Putting evidence to work in a lockdown and beyond: how we’ve set about addressing the Covid-19 attainment gap

By Professor Becky Francis (Chief Executive, Education Endowment Foundation) When schools were closed to most pupils in March to stop the spread of Covid-19, two questions were uppermost in my mind. First, what would the impact be on the attainment gap which separates disadvantaged children from their better-off classmates? And secondly, given the severe risk… Read more »

What Works and the Pandemic

Michael Sanders (Chief Executive of What Works for Children’s Social Care) and Ella Whelan (Research Assistant at What Works for Children’s Social Care) The emergence of a global pandemic in early 2020 has shaken up the established order of social policy to an extent we would have thought unimaginable twelve months ago. A year ago… Read more »

Covid-19 and Geopolitics

By Dr David Mussington (Director of the Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise and Professor of the Practice at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy) A pair of existential crises – the spread and disruptive impacts of COVID-19, and the intensification of peer competition between the United States and China – together… Read more »

Social science inspires researchers to create much needed system and service change for people who are homeless with substance use problems

By Dr Hannah Carver and Dr Tessa Parkes, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for us all, but let’s consider how much harder it has probably been for people experiencing homelessness and problem substance use. For them, the coronavirus can be particularly dangerous because following public health advice is… Read more »

The truth about Covid

By Mark Easton, BBC’s Home Editor The virus can neither be bullied nor sweet-talked. It is above and beneath politics, deaf to entreaty and blind to justice. Hope does not lie in ideology or propaganda but in evidence and facts, however inconvenient. We must apply the laws of science, both natural and social, to understand… Read more »

Will Coronavirus change voters’ expectations of government?

By Professor Sir John Curtice FBA FRSS FRSE FAcSS (Professor of Politics, University of Strathclyde, and Senior Research Fellow, NatCen Social Research) The coronavirus pandemic has seen the government intervene in the country’s social and economic life to a degree unprecedented in peacetime. At the height of the pandemic people were required to stay at… Read more »

COVID-19: Lessons to be learned from confronting a wicked problem

By Professor Ray Hudson FAcSS (Professor of Geography, Durham University) There is no doubt that the arrival of the coronavirus has posed unprecedented problems for public policymakers and politicians in and beyond the UK.  COVID-19 can be thought of as a classic example of a wicked problem. That is, a complex problem with emergent effects… Read more »

How political science can help the COVID-19 response: Insights from a study of China

By Professor Jane Duckett FBA FRSE FAcSS (Edward Caird Chair of Politics, University of Glasgow, and Director of the Scottish Centre for China Research) Political science’s role in the world’s COVID-19 response Governments around the world have responded very differently to the pandemic because of the political ideologies of their leaders, because of the structure… Read more »

COVID-19 and Energy System Transformation – the future in fast forward? Or old habits die hard?

By Professor Michael Bradshaw FAcSS (Professor of Global Energy, Warwick Business School) and Dr Caroline Kuzemko (Associate Professor of International Political Economy, University of Warwick) In March, we were planning a workshop on ‘The Geopolitics of Energy System Transformation’, to be held at Warwick Business School’s Shard facility in June. The workshop was linked to… Read more »

New COVID-19 video series begins with Paul Johnson FAcSS Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies

As part of our programme of work showcasing the social science community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Campaign for Social Science together with the Academy of Social Science has teamed up with the Policy Institute at King’s College London to launch a new series of short video interviews. Over the coming weeks leading academics,… Read more »

An immune system for the body politic: Using social science to control COVID-19

By Dr Thomas Hale (Associate Professor of Global Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford) COVID-19 attacks the human body, but it is largely the body politic that defends us against it. While we wait for vaccines and treatments, we depend on health systems, governments, and the actions of others to detect the… Read more »

Contact tracing apps highlight bigger challenges with tech, trust and power

By Chris Yiu (Executive Director for Technology and Public Policy, Tony Blair Institute) The pandemic has brought more technology into all of our lives, from family gatherings on Zoom through to doing the weekly shop online. It has also played an important role in the policy response, by arming policymakers and public health authorities with… Read more »

Social science provides an essential evidence base for the policy response to COVID-19

By the Decision Maker Panel (A partnership between the Bank of England, Stanford University and University of Nottingham) There is a widespread call for an evidence-based response to the pandemic. ‘The Science’, we are told, informs the government policy on the medical aspects of the problem. We might reasonably ask what evidence base can social… Read more »

Future-proofing fiscal stimulus for the post-COVID-19 world

By Tera Allas CBE FAcSS (Director of Research and Economics, McKinsey United Kingdom and Ireland Office) Fresh strategic thinking could be key to ensuring that any post-COVID-19 fiscal stimulus fully supports the government’s aims for long-term, sustainable, equitable growth. COVID-19 has not changed the fundamental long-term priorities for the UK Countries around the world have… Read more »

Covid-19 and mental health: A window of opportunity for social science

By Professor Louise Arseneault FMedSci FAcSS (Professor of Developmental Psychology, King’s College London and Mental Health Leadership Fellow for the UKRI Economic and Social Research Council) The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a general sense of loss across borders: loss of lives, employment, relationships, homes, education, and opportunities. People’s care and concern for others have found… Read more »

Covid-19 and Social Security – where now and where next?

By Professor Jane Millar OBE (Professor of Social Policy in the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Bath) Many people have been unable to work, or have lost their jobs, in the Covid-19 lockdown. The social security system is there to help people in such circumstances, to maintain income and to prevent destitution.… Read more »

Politics after the pandemic

By Professor Anand Menon (Director, The UK in a Changing Europe and Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs, Kings College London) Politics is back. From the exchanges at PMQs, to the bickering among Tory backbenchers, to Jeremy Corbyn claiming he was right all along, things seem to be returning to something approaching normal. Yet… Read more »

Universities and the recovery of local communities from the COVID-19 crisis: A role for the social sciences

By Professor John Goddard OBE FAcSS (Emeritus Professor of Regional Development Studies, University of Newcastle) and Des McNulty  (Assistant Vice Principal for Economic Development and Civic Engagement,  University of Glasgow, and Vice Chair of the Glasgow Commission for Economic Growth) While universities face major challenges to their funding and business models as a result of… Read more »

Pandemic acceleration

By Professor Andrew Tatem FAcSS (Professor of Spatial Demography and Epidemiology, University of Southampton and Director of WorldPop and Flowminder) COVID-19 is breaking records for its speed of global domination – what are the changes in global connectivity behind this and how can we measure them? It took thousands of years for humans to reach… Read more »

We need an evidence-based recovery from the coronavirus pandemic

By Professor Steve Martin (Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Wales Centre for Public Policy, Cardiff University) It’s June 2016 and the UK Justice Secretary is telling a Sky News Q&A on Brexit ‘People in this country have had enough of experts’.  Fast forward four years and it all feels very different. Now… Read more »

Business as usual? Race, white privilege and COVID-19

By Professor Kalwant Bhopal (Professor of Education and Social Justice and Director of the Centre for Research on Race and Education, University of Birmingham) Recent figures released from the ONS suggest that the number of COVID-19 deaths amongst members of the BME community is much higher compared to those from white and other backgrounds. A… Read more »

Social solidarity and social cohesion: The headline story of COVID-19

By Professor Stephen Reicher (Professor of Psychology in the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St. Andrews) Over recent weeks, social science has been in the media to an extent that I have never seen before. Discussions of social cohesion and social solidarity, of trust and of relations to authority have become… Read more »

Re-imagining science advice in a post-COVID-19 future

By Dr Chris Tyler (Director of Research and Policy, UCL, STEaPP) and Dr Adam Cooper (Lecturer in Social Science and Public Policy, UCL, STEaPP) Science advisory structures have been shaped by events. In the UK, the modern science advisory system was heavily influenced by the experience of dealing with the BSE crisis, with minor but… Read more »

COVID-19 in care homes: What happened and how should we go forward?

By Professor Mary Daly FAcSS FBA ( Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Oxford)   What happened? While we are still gathering the evidence on the particular vulnerability of care homes to the pandemic, the statistics to date are arresting and disturbing. As of  May 19 2020, there had been nearly 15,000 COVID-19 attributed… Read more »

Responding to COVID-19: Social capital and the social sector in the 21st century

By Andy Haldane FAcSS (Chief Economist and Executive Director, Monetary Analysis and Statistics, Bank of England) “There’s no such thing as society”.  So said Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1987, in a famous interview for Women’s Own magazine.  She went on, “people must look after themselves first” and then, and only then, their neighbours.… Read more »

The COVID-19 crisis and educational inequality

By Professor Anna Vignoles (Professor of Education, University of Cambridge) and Professor Simon Burgess (Professor of Economics, University of Bristol) Younger generations will pay a heavy price for our response to this virus. First, their educational opportunities and attainment are being affected by lockdown, variable home-learning facilities, and changing assessment methods. Second, leaving school in… Read more »

Managing the impacts of COVID-19: The role of behavioural and social sciences

By Professor Susan Michie FAcSS FMedSci (Director of UCL Centre for Behaviour Change) and Michael Sanders (Reader in Public Policy at KCL Policy Institute and Chief Executive, What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care) The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged much of the world, leading to quarantines, lockdowns, and the unprecedentedly vast state intervention in the… Read more »

Economics and epidemiology in the time of COVID-19

By Jonathan Portes (Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Kings College University London) “Assume a can-opener”.  The old joke about the economist on a desert island (look it up!) sums up one view of economists, and by extension other social scientists – their theories may be interesting, but they aren’t of much use in a… Read more »

Bringing together the social science response to COVID-19

By Professor Bobby Duffy (Chair, Campaign for Social Science) and Dr Rita Gardner CBE FAcSS (Chief Executive, Academy of Social Sciences) The Campaign for Social Science has a core mission to demonstrate the vital role that social sciences play in improving decision-making, societies and lives. It’s a mission we passionately believe in, and a role… Read more »

Social sciences and social imagination

By Professor Geoff Mulgan CBE (Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation, UCL) Crises – whether wars or pandemics – can sometimes, though not always, fuel social imagination.  New arrangements have to be created at breakneck speed and old norms have to be discarded.  The deeper the crisis the more likely it is… Read more »

Making Waves or Drowned Out? The Impact of Women in/on Political Science

by Fiona Mackay (This blog is derived from the Women in Social Science Conference at City, University of London on 3 April 2019. Chaired by Professor Sue Scott FAcSS, the conference was organised by the Academy of Social Sciences, its Campaign for Social Science and NatCen, and supported by ESRC and Palgrave Macmillan.) While there has… Read more »

Am I an Asian Woman or a Woman Who is Asian? A Personal Reflection Being a Woman of Colour in the Academia

by Shan-Jan Sarah Liu (This blog is derived from the Women in Social Science Conference at City, University of London on 3 April 2019. Chaired by Professor Sue Scott FAcSS, the conference was organised by the Academy of Social Sciences, its Campaign for Social Science and NatCen, and supported by ESRC and Palgrave Macmillan.) In 2007,… Read more »

On the Need for Collective Action and Sustained Attention

by Katherine Twamley (This blog is derived from the Women in Social Science Conference at City, University of London on 3 April 2019. Chaired by Professor Sue Scott FAcSS, the conference was organised by the Academy of Social Sciences, its Campaign for Social Science and NatCen, and supported by ESRC and Palgrave Macmillan.) I have benefited… Read more »

Women in Social Science: The Personal and the Statistical

By Jil Matheson (This blog is derived from the Women in Social Science Conference at City, University of London on 3 April 2019. Chaired by Professor Sue Scott FAcSS, the conference was organised by the Academy of Social Sciences, its Campaign for Social Science and NatCen, and supported by ESRC and Palgrave Macmillan.) In celebrating women’s… Read more »

Reflections on an uplifting and sobering conference

by Nancy Kelley Deputy Chief Executive and Director of the Policy Research Centre, NatCen. Listening to such a talented group of women over the course of an afternoon at the Women In Social Science conference was uplifting and sobering in equal parts. The quality of thinking, the honesty, and the passion of the speakers was uplifting.… Read more »

Mental Health, Academic Life and Me

by Matthew Flinders FAcSS [World Mental Health Day 2018] ‘How can we live in a mad world’ Matt Haig writes in his book Notes on a Nervous Planet (2018) ‘without ourselves going mad?’ This is not, if we are honest, a new question. In the 1960s the Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing challenged the idea… Read more »

Other people are having way, way less sex than you think they are

By Bobby Duffy, Board Member, Campaign for Social Sciences, King’s College London Research shows we think young people have a lot more sex than they do in reality – and men have a particularly skewed view of the sex lives of young women. As part of Ipsos’ long-running studies on misperceptions, to be released in a… Read more »

Meet the Board: Rachel Neaman

Rachel Neaman is a digital leader specialising in digital transformation, ethics, skills and inclusion. She has extensive senior leadership experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in the UK and internationally. Passionate about harnessing technology for positive social outcomes and ensuring technology works for everyone, she has held CEO positions in the not-for-profit sector, and was the first… Read more »

Meet the Board: Jonathan Portes

Jonathan Portes is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at King’s College London Jonathan is also a Senior Fellow of the Economic and Social Research Council’s “UK in a Changing Europe” initiative, based at King’s, which promotes high quality research into the complex and changing relationship between the UK and the European Union and… Read more »

Meet the Board: Bobby Duffy

Bobby Duffy is the Managing Director of Public Affairs in the UK and Global Director of the Ipsos Social Research Institute. He has previously been seconded to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, conducting analyses on life satisfaction and trust in other people, and is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Policy Institute, King’s College… Read more »

Meet the Board: Patrick Diamond

Dr. Patrick Diamond is a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Queen Mary, University of London. He was also a Senior Adviser in Number 10 and the Cabinet Office for over 10 years. Patrick Diamond has authored a number of books and reports on social and public policy, and is a former Councillor in the… Read more »

The British public aren’t as polarised on immigration as you might think

In an article originally appearing in The Conversation, Dr Tom Vickers, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Nottingham Trent University, examines attitudes to migration and how policy could be developed to foster more inclusive consensus.  The British government’s target to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands has been criticised in a new report by MPs, who claim… Read more »

Catalonia crisis shows Spain’s constitution is no longer fit for purpose

In an article originally featured in The Conversation, Dr Emmy Eklundh, Lecturer in Spanish and International Politics at King’s College London explores how the deepening crisis in Catalonia injects new urgency into the need for constitutional reform in Spain. Amid reports swirling that Catalonia’s president, Carles Puigdemont, was either set to call new elections to… Read more »

Gedzgem – Resilience: Researching Global Mental Health Multilingually

Alison Phipps, UNESCO Chair: Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts, University of Glasgow, looks at the power of language and performance in helping communities overcome trauma. Our first visit to Ghana, with our hosts Gameli and Naa Densua Tordzro, was part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Large Translating Cultures Grant: Researching Multilingually… Read more »

Is together always better?

Dr Robin Miller, Deputy Director of the University of Birmingham’s Health Services Management Centre, looks at how to create successful partnerships in the NHS. How good are NHS organisations and the wider system at achieving the potential benefits of partnering? The opportunity to move away from current frustrations may seem attractive but there’s no guarantee… Read more »

Is it too late to build a better world?

Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS explains why the UK should invest in the social sciences. The greatest challenge we face is to use our intellects to guide our actions in making the world a better place for us and our fellow human beings. This is no easy task and its history is littered with false… Read more »

Spotting the fake

Marina Jirotka is Professor of Human Centred Computing, Associate Director of the Oxford e-Research Centre and Associate Researcher of the Oxford Internet Institute. Helena Webb is a senior researcher in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. Here they consider what can be done by government and social media platforms to tackle… Read more »

We need a new narrative around sexuality in the UK

It’s been 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK, marked by decades of progress made by the LGBTQ community in the push for equality. Here, Michelle Grimwood, PhD Scholar in the Faculty of Education Health at the University of Greenwich, looks at the quality of life reported by lesbian, gay, and bisexual people,… Read more »

Should we be worried about the US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement?

Last week’s Queen’s Speech confirmed that despite the path chosen by the US, the UK would honour the Paris Agreement. Here Shonil Bhagwat, Senior Lecturer in Geography at the Open University, looks at the motivations and implications behind the US decision, and how international action on climate change will go on. As the world’s second… Read more »

The DUP for early learners

Theresa May’s ongoing efforts of forming a minority government with the Democratic Unionist Party following last Thursday’s hung parliament have propelled the Northern Ireland party into the national spotlight. Professor John Brewer of Queen’s University Belfast offers a ‘crash course’ in the DUP, the price of cooperation and risks for both parties, and how this… Read more »

Brexit, net migration and Eurochildren

Dr Nando Sigona, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of IRiS at the University of Birmingham, looks at UK net migration targets and how the consequences of Brexit are felt more widely among EU nationals. The UK’s Office for National Statistics has released its quarterly update on net migration. This time the figure, 248,000, the lowest… Read more »

France’s ambiguous presidential election

As a new president is inaugurated in France, James Shields FAcSS, Professor of French Politics and Modern History at Aston University, warns against seeing Emmanuel Macron’s election as a mandate to reform France or as a sign that the challenge from the Front National has been seen off. Does Emmanuel Macron’s victory over Marine Le… Read more »

Rights and repression: how leaders respond to violent and peaceful protests

Dr M. Rodwan Abouharb, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at UCL, looks at the multipronged approach of leaders in responding to both violent and peaceful protests. Clyde Beatty, one of America’s most famous lion tamers performing in the early 20th century, had a distinct approach to keeping lions and tigers at bay during performances. He… Read more »

Social science is key to tackling challenges facing UK healthcare

Following the launch of The Health of People report on April 5, Alessandro Lanuto, Communications Manager at the Campaign for Social Science, looks at how the social sciences can relieve pressure on healthcare services and improve population health. There are nearly four million people living with diabetes in the UK. One in four British adults… Read more »

The Oscars and inequality that stubbornly persists

As the dust settles on last month’s Oscars ceremony, Sara De Benedictis of City University London and the London School of Economics, and Dr Anne Graefer of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, analyse the event’s political undertones, as well as some of the social, racial and gender inequalities that persist in Hollywood.… Read more »

Martin McGuinness’s resignation and the prospects for change in Northern Ireland

Martin McGuinness’s resignation has prompted reactions ranging from accusations of political sabotage to speculation about his ailing health. Here, John Brewer, Professor of Post Conflict Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, examines what this means for Northern Ireland’s future, and whether the current power-sharing agreement that privileges the largest parties will be maintained, or if this… Read more »

‘Fake news’–why people believe it and what can be done to counter it

In the wake of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the US, “fake news” has emerged as a pervasive, and potentially subversive, phenomenon. In an article promoted by the Campaign and originally appearing in The Conversation, Professor Simeon Yates, Director of the Institute of Cultural Capital, a strategic collaboration between the University of… Read more »

From Rabbits to Ubers: What the ‘new’ gig economy means for employment, education and politics

The ‘#gigeconomy’ has rapidly transformed how people work. Professor John Bryson, Professor of Enterprise and Economic Geography at the University of Birmingham, traces the evolution of these transformations and their effect on the capitalist system, while setting out how education and political structures need to respond to ensure long term benefits. A new term –… Read more »

New constituency boundaries for the House of Commons: gerrymandering or independent process?

With Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election and ever-louder whispers of a possible snap election before 2020, the impact of last month’s new constituency boundary proposals could redefine the political landscape sooner than expected. Here, Dr Alistair Clark, Senior Lecturer in Politics at Newcastle University, examines the history and possible impacts of the proposals, while highlighting how social… Read more »

A second Corbyn victory will have significant consequences, both for the Labour Party and for British politics

With Jeremy Corbyn’s widely-expected landslide victory to be announced on Saturday, Dr Judi Atkins, Lecturer in Politics at Coventry University, assesses the implications of his re-election both for Labour and British politics more broadly. Following the EU referendum result and the subsequent vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party embarked on its… Read more »

Terror, Republican values and a very French paradox

As France comes to terms with a series of major terrorist atrocities, its core Republican values are being tested by a prolonged national state of emergency and an increasingly security-driven public agenda. Professor James Shields FAcSS, Professor of French Politics and Modern History at Aston University, reflects on the political implications of the intensified terrorist… Read more »

The need for a whole system approach in prison reform

Professor Martina Feilzer, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice in the School of Social Sciences at Bangor University, looks at the challenges that lie ahead for the sweeping prison reforms announced in last May’s Queen’s Speech, and what the new Justice Secretary can do to tackle many of the pressing issues that persist. It… Read more »

Newsfocus: Understanding the (Rio 2016) Olympics

With the Rio Olympics kicking off this Friday, Professor John Horne FAcSS, Professor of Sport Sociology at the University of Central Lancashire, and author of Understanding the Olympics, looks at the challenges facing the Olympic brand and discusses some of the underlying criticisms exposed by the 2016 edition.

UK social science will be dealt a serious blow by Brexit

In an article originally appearing in the Guardian, Ashley Lenihan and Sharon Witherspoon look at the long term implications of Brexit for UK social science.

Academy calls for detailed parliamentary scrutiny of Higher Education and Research Bill

The Academy of Social Sciences and its Campaign for Social Science have called for detailed parliamentary scrutiny of the Higher Education and Research Bill following the uncertainty resulting from the referendum decision to leave the European Union.

Driverless cars and the society of traffic

Last week’s Queen’s Speech set out bold new technological initiatives that seemed reminiscent more of science fiction than practical policy. In the first of our series of responses to some of the government’s proposals, Dr Eric Laurier, Reader in Geography and Interaction, and Deputy Head of RTD: Social Sciences Recruitment at the University of Edinburgh,… Read more »

Study indicates immigration not to blame for terrorism

Migration is overall not a source of terrorism according to new research from the University of Warwick. In fact the study indicates that more migration could create a decrease in the number of terrorist attacks, not an increase. The research was designed to establish whether migration helps spread terror attacks between countries. The lead author,… Read more »

Four billion people affected by severe water scarcity

There are four billion people worldwide who are affected by severe water scarcity for at least one month a year. That is the conclusion of University of Twente Professor of Water Management, Arjen Hoekstra, after many years’ extensive research. This alarming figure is much higher than was previously thought. His ground-breaking research was published in… Read more »

Media scepticism sows doubt, not progress, on climate change

In the third and final article of our COP21 commentary series, Dr. Catherine Happer, Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow, looks at why climate change still hasn’t captured headlines in the UK, and how the interplay between media and politics fuels scepticism and apathy, despite increasing popular support for action. On November 30,… Read more »

What do belief systems have to do with climate change?

The similarities between climate change and belief systems may be its strength because they help reinforce the idea of climate change, influence public opinion and trigger public action in just the same ways as belief systems gain popularity and mass support.

What do belief systems have to do with climate change?

In the second article in our COP21 commentary series, Shonil Bhagwat, Senior Lecturer in Geography at the Open University, looks at the similarities between belief systems and climate change, and how their interconnectedness helps reinforce climate change as an idea, while influencing public opinion and triggering public action. The world is waiting with baited breath… Read more »

The ‘issue from hell’

The major reason for why climate change is a wicked problem is that, even as far back as 1998, it was realised that it necessarily concerns human activities and not just physical or technological futures.

The ‘issue from hell’

From November 30 to December 11, the eyes of the world will be on Paris as leaders from around the globe convene to agree historic measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions. With COP21 now in full swing, the Campaign takes a look at the role of social science in understanding the causes and impacts of… Read more »

World University Rankings 2015-2016 by subject: social sciences results announced

View the full list of the world’s top 100 universities for social sciences The triumph of the US and the UK in the Times Higher Education subject ranking for social sciences sends a “powerful warning” to policymakers to “tinker” with funding “at your peril”. That is the view of James Wilsdon, professor of science and… Read more »

The spending review is just the start of a battle for UK research

In an article originally appearing in The Guardian, Campaign Chair James Wilsdon, Campaign Head of Policy David Walker, and Kieron Flanagan, senior lecturer in science and technology policy at the University of Manchester, write about the future of UK research.

Social scientists represented among Queen’s Honours

Social scientists were well-represented among the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015.

Almost half of the world’s leaders have a social science degree

A study of the world’s leaders has found that almost half have a social science degree. The British Council, in partnership with Ipsos Public Affairs, conducted a study of the educational backgrounds of 1,700 people in 30 countries.

We need to invest in early intervention services to improve lives and save money

Dr Sajid Humayun, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich, writes about a recent letter in the press from charities saying that early interventions to stop young people getting into serious difficulties could save £1.7bn a year: Persistent antisocial behaviour is remarkably common. In its most severe form as a diagnosable mental disorder,… Read more »

Schools need to do more to tackle bullying

Dr Loretta Trickett, Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law, International Criminal Law and Criminology, at Nottingham Trent University, writes about a recent important study on the effects of bullying, and her own childhood experiences It is perhaps unsurprising that a longitudinal study by Warwick University  has found that the effects of bullying by peers is more… Read more »

European governments are responsible for the Mediterranean death toll

Dr Tom Vickers, Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences and Languages at Northumbria University, writes about the recent migrant deaths in the Mediterranean: 24.4.15:  The deaths of at least 1,200 people in the last week, as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe, have caused outrage in the European media, and… Read more »

Social scientists are as vital as engineers, argues Academy Fellow

Professor Jonathan Michie FAcSS, co-editor with Professor Sir Cary Cooper FAcSS, of Why the Social Sciences Matter, has written about the need for social science input into the the greatest challenges of our time, for the Guardian Higher Education Network. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Read the article  

The latest social science podcasts

Catch up with the latest social science podcasts of talks at the British Library. These include one by Professor Matthew Flinders FAcSS, University of Sheffield, author of Defending Politics. He spoke on ‘The Problem with Democracy’

Help to build a picture of UK research

Social scientists have the chance to contribute to a project which maps out UK science. The Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology is running a project is to build a picture of the whole research landscape in the UK and to develop a stronger evidence base.

Social scientists well-represented among New Year Honours

Social scientists were well-represented among the New Year Honours 2015.

Key book on the importance of social science to be published

A major new work on the importance social science is to be released in the new year. Why the Social Sciences Matter, by Professor Jonathan Michie and Professor Sir Cary Cooper, is published by Palgrave.

Campaign welcomes Department for Education ‘evidence check’

The Campaign for Social Science welcomes the launch of an online forum which members of the public can use to evaluate evidence from the Department for Education. The initiative follows a request by the House of Commons Education Committee to the Department for its policy and evidence on each of nine topics. Anyone is welcome… Read more »

Sex crimes not being recorded: the police need to believe allegations

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has today published a damning report on police crime recording. It estimates that, each year, almost a million crimes are missed out of official figures. It points particularly to violent and sex crimes that are not recorded. In this article, Dr Kate Cook (right), Manchester Metropolitan University, looks at… Read more »

Multiculturalism promotes better exam results

Dr Caroline Howarth, of the London School of Economics, argues that multiculturalism itself is part of the reason for good exam results in London: Recent research discussed in The Guardian last week shows that schools with higher numbers of ethnic minority pupils do better than more mono-cultural schools. While some commentators and politicians seem miffed… Read more »

Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell was right to resign

Professor Saville Kushner has 30 years’ experience working with the Home Office and the police service on policing culture and national police training. He has served as advisor on a ministerial working party on police training. He has worked at the University of the West of England and is now at the University of Auckland.… Read more »

News Focus: Sexual exploitation of young people in Rotherham

Alexis Jay’s report on the sexual exploitation of young people in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 has rightly attracted a good deal of media attention and public concern. However, it is far from clear that either the report’s author or the media framing of the story has got to the heart of the problem.

Sexual exploitation of young people in Rotherham

Professor Robert Dingwall, a part-time adviser to the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University, writes about the Rotherham sexual abuse scandal: Alexis Jay’s report on the sexual exploitation of young people in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 has rightly attracted a good deal of media attention and public concern. The experiences described are… Read more »

News Focus: ‘verbal abuse is not readily recognised as criminal offence’

The Campaign’s latest News Focus piece, by Dr Kate Cook, looks at the government consultation on whether to make non-violent domestic abuse a criminal offence.

Harassment, monitoring and verbal abuse are not readily recognised as criminal offences

The Government has begun a consultation process on changing the law surrounding domestic abuse to establish whether we might move towards a specific offence covering this commonplace crime. Feminist groups have long emphasised the prevalence of verbal abuse and controlling behaviour as a part what used to be termed ‘domestic violence’. The consultation will explore… Read more »

Israel and Gaza

The death toll in the conflict in the Gaza Strip has risen to over 1,000, as Israeli forces undertake military operations in response to Hamas rocket attacks. As part of a series of News Focus articles, in which we draw upon the expertise of social scientists to throw light on important events, we talk to… Read more »

News Focus: Israel and Gaza

The death toll in the conflict in the Gaza Strip has risen to over 1,000, as Israeli forces undertake military operations in response to Hamas rocket attacks.  As part of a series of News Focus articles, in which we draw upon the expertise of social scientists to throw light on important events, we talk to… Read more »

Academy of Social Sciences welcomes appointment of new head of ESRC

The representative body of the social sciences in the UK has welcomed the appointment of Professor Jane Elliott as the new head of the Economic and Social Research Council.

Social sciences ‘will become more unified over next 10 years’

The social sciences will become more unified in their methods and conclusions under the influence of big data, software developments and innovation from STEM subjects, Professor Patrick Dunleavy told the Academy of Social Sciences annual lecture. “A lot of new methods are coming in from the STEM sciences [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] that are… Read more »

Chair of the Academy knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to social science

The Chair of the Academy of Social Sciences, Professor Cary Cooper, has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to social science

The impact of impact

Professor Irene Hardill, of the University of Northumbria, and Professor Jon Bannister, Manchester Metropolitan University write about the pressure to demonstrate the impact of academic research

News Focus: Promoting human right is not just about formulating law – social science is needed for social change

Opinion piece: The Campaign site gives many examples of how social science has helped our society. In this article Dr Lok Bhattarai, of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University, uses his expertise on Nepal to show how policy advocacy fails to deliver the desired outcome when social science is not made… Read more »