David Walker, head of policy at the Academy, has been awarded an honorary degree by the University of Aberdeen, in recognition of his work in disseminating the social sciences during his career as a journalist and public affairs executive.
At the ceremony, the principal of the university, Sir Ian Diamond FAcSS, cited The Business of People, the Campaign for Social Science’s recent report on prospects for our disciplines. Using language from the report, Sir Ian reminded this summer’s social science graduates from Aberdeen of the ‘future orientation’ and economic importance of their disciplines.
‘Challenges facing the UK will be met by deploying social science knowledge, skills and methods of inquiry ever more intensively’, Sir Ian said, noting the centrality of social science thinking to the capacity of organisations to innovate.
So much, he said, depended on disciplines coming together, marrying insights from the life and physical sciences with the fruits of studying behaviour, place, economy and society.
Diamond noted David Walker’s seven years on the council of the Economic & Social Research Council and his chairing its Methods and Infrastructure Committee. In his various books of policy and political commentary, he had made copious use of data and analysis from social science.