Academy of Social Sciences

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The Academy of Social Sciences is a representative body for social sciences in the UK. 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 upon nominated social scientists following a process of peer review. As of March 2015, the Academy comprised over 1000 Fellows and 43 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 the early 1980s, the Association of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences. From 1999 to 2007 it was called the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences before changing to its current name.[1] The Academy is run by a Council of 21 members, with Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE FAcSS as its current Chair, and Professor Sir Ivor Crewe FAcSS, Master of University College, Oxford, as its current President. 7 Council members are elected by the Academy’s Fellows, 7 by its Learned Societies and 7 are appointed.[2]


The Academy advocates social science by interacting with Government and other organisations, and co-ordinates the responses of social scientists to Government consultation documents. Recent consultations include:

The Academy also puts forward suggestions to the Government about which social scientists should carry out its Foresight research projects,[4] 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 of ‘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 and Mental Wellbeing. 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 future of higher education in the UK and the riots in England in 2011. It holds an Annual Lecture each summer, and its President's Lunch each winter. It also arranges (with the British Library) a public lecture series Enduring Ideas.[5]


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 43 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.[6]

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,[7] 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


  1., retrieved on 17 March 2010
  2. Academy website
  3. Academy website
  4. BIS website
  5. [1]
  6. "Academicians now 'Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences'". News. Academy of Social Sciences. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Guardian


External links