The Academy of Social Sciences is a representative body for
social science Social science is one of the branches of science, devoted to the study of societies and the relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the original "science of socie ...
s in the United Kingdom. The Academy promotes social science through its sponsorship of the Campaign for Social Science, its links with Government on a variety of matters, and its own policy work in issuing public comment, responding to official consultations, and organising meetings and events about social science. It confers the title of
Fellow A fellow is a concept whose exact meaning depends on context. In learned or professional societies, it refers to a privileged member who is specially elected in recognition of their work and achievements. Within the context of higher educatio ...
upon nominated social scientists following a process of peer review. The Academy comprises over 1000 Fellows and 41 learned societies based in the UK and Europe.

History and structure

The Academy's origins lie in the formation of a representative body for the social science learned societies in 1982, the Association of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences (ALSISS). From 1999 to 2007 it was called the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences before changing to its current name. The Academy is run by a Council of 21 members, with Professor Roger Goodman FAcSS as its current Chair, and Professor Sir Ivor Crewe FAcSS, Master of
University College, Oxford University College (in full The College of the Great Hall of the University of Oxford, colloquially referred to as "Univ") is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. It has a claim to being the oldest college of the unive ...
, as its current President. 7 Council members are elected by the Academy's Fellows, 7 by its Learned Societies and 7 are appointed. Since 2019, its Chief Executive has been Rita Gardner FAcSS.

List of presidents

* 2003–2008: Bhikhu Parekh, Baron Parekh * 2008–2013: Sir Howard Newby * 2014–2019: Sir Ivor Crewe * 2020–present: Roger Goodman


The Academy advocates social science by interacting with Government and other organisations, and co-ordinates the responses of social scientists to Government consultation documents. Past consultations include: * Independent Review of Implementation of RCUK Policy on Open Access. * Public Administration Select Committee Enquiry on 'Building Civil service Skills for the Future' * The
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consultation on the future of the Census The Academy also puts forward suggestions to the Government about which social scientists should carry out its Foresight research projects, which look at important issues and how these might change over the next 20 to 80 years. A developing part of the Academy's work is to bring researchers and organisations using research closer together to improve the evidence upon which public policy is based and to increase the impact of research.

Publications and events

The Academy has produced a series o
‘Making the Case for the Social Sciences’
booklets which give examples of important social science research which has made a difference to policy or practice. These are: Wellbeing; Ageing; Sustainability; the Environment and Climate Change; Crime; Sport and Leisure; Management; Scotland; Longitudinal Studies, Mental Wellbeing, Wales and Dementia. Further titles are in preparation. The Academy also publishes a cross-disciplinary peer-reviewed journal
''Contemporary Social Science''
The Academy holds regular events, such as conferences on the ethics of social media research and the future of the
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. It holds an Annual Lecture each summer, and its President's Lunch each winter. It also arranges (with the
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) a public lecture series Enduring Ideas.


Part of the Academy's work is to recognise social scientists who are held in esteem by their peer group and whose life and work have had an impact in advancing social science. They are nominated and the nominations are then subject to peer review. Fellows are academics, policy-makers and practitioners, and are entitled to use the letters "FAcSS" after their name. In November 2014 there were 1000 Fellows, just over 1% of the 90,000 total membership of the 41 learned society members of the Academy. Fellows were previously known as Academicians and used the post-nominal letter "AcSS". This was changed in July 2014 to bring the Academy in line with other British learned societies.

Campaign for Social Science

The Academy launched the Campaign for Social Science in January 2011 to advocate social science to Government and the general public. The Campaign is self-funded. It has campaigned for the restoration of the post of Government Chief Social Scientific Adviser,Guardian
/ref> promotes social science in the media and on the web, and organises roadshows around the country to emphasise the value and importance of social science.

Member societies

See also

* Campaign for Social Science



* * *

External links

Academy HomepageCampaign for Social Science HomepageCatalogue of the ALSISS archives
held at the
Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick The Modern Records Centre (MRC) is the specialist archive service of the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, located adjacent to the Central Campus Library. It was established in October 1973 and holds the world's largest archive collecti ...
{{authority control Learned societies of the United Kingdom Organisations based in the London Borough of Islington Organizations established in the 1980s Social sciences organizations 1980s establishments in the United Kingdom Members of the International Science Council