Blog

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 »

Social science is needed for social change

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 an important part of decision-making: All attempts at social change and economic development need to make… Read more »

Two Campaign supporters given awards

Two senior members of the Campaign were given awards in the New Year’s Honours List. Professor Tony Crook, the first Chair of the Campaign, was awarded a CBE. Ceridwen Roberts, a member of the Campaign Board, was given an OBE.

Campaign concerned about new campaigning rules

The Campaign is one of dozens of non-profit organisations that have raised concerns about a new Parliamentary Bill on campaigning and are asking the Government to make the rules clearer and less restrictive

Social Science Parks

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, writes about her vision of Social Science Parks, where business, professionals and academics come together

Chief Social Scientist post is high on policy-makers agenda, says Campaign

The issue of the reinstatement of the post of Government Chief Social Scientist is much higher on the agenda of policy-makers now, the Campaign’s Director, Stephen Anderson, has said.

What works or what may work, and bets on whether it will

Opinion piece: by Michael Bassey AcSS, Emeritus Professor of Education of Nottingham Trent University: On 4th March the Cabinet Office issued this press release: LAUNCH OF THE WHAT WORKS CENTRES A new initiative will build on existing evidence-based policy making to guide decision-making on £200 billion of public spending. National government and local public services… Read more »

Campaign will stop social science being undervalued, roadshow hears

Social scientists have felt undervalued and unappreciated, but the campaign organised on their behalf was changing that, a roadshow at London Metropolitan University on 20 February heard.

Evidence informs, but only when it is understood

The Government Office for Science (GO Science) launched its eagerly awaited Foresight Report on Tuesday 27th November entitled “Reducing Risk for Future Disasters” looking towards shoring up communities – urban and rural – for scenarios anticipated up to 2040. Its focus was primarily on developing countries. It will influence much of the thinking of scientists… Read more »

‘A government must have senior social scientists in senior roles’

The Director of the Campaign for Social Science, Stephen Anderson, has spoken out in favour of the restoration of the post of Government Chief Social Scientist. In a blog on the Nesta website, Mr Anderson says: “Without this role, no government can be fully informed about the best policies.” Read more  (this opens a new browser tab)

From behaviour to benefit

We reproduce here an article written by Stephen Anderson, Director of the Campaign (from Public Service Review, European Union – Issue 23)  in which he urges the use of research to better inform public policy: It often seems to surprise us when other people don’t behave as we do or react as we expect. Our own ways… Read more »

Social Science – a few more reasons why we need it

Introduction Professor Audrey Osler has written ten reasons why we need social science for the Campaign’s website – see previous entries. Here she adds six more: 1. Democracy and devolution. Audrey Osler’s tenth reason is to do with the capacity of social science to assist in guaranteeing democracy by helping us to hold politicians to… Read more »

10 reasons why we need social science

Professor Audrey Osler has written ten reasons why we need social science for the Campaign’s website: 10 reasons why you need social science We know that Britain’s social scientists are world leaders in their fields, but why do we need them? And if they weren’t around to analyse what’s going on, would you miss them?… Read more »

How we can help build the case, by David Walker

Here David Walker, the Campaign’s Advisor, writes about building a case for social science: ‘Society, socialism sociology…Public money could not be spent to support such error.’ That was view of the Tory minister Sir Keith Joseph in the early 1980s, as paraphrased by Michael Posner, the then chairman of the Social Science Research Council –… Read more »

Springing into social action by Audrey Osler

When given the proper level of recognition, social science can change people’s lives for the better, declares Audrey Osler, Professor of Education at the University of Leeds, in an opinion piece for the Campaign’s website: Why, when we have such talented social scientists, has the impact of academic research on policymaking been limited? This question… Read more »