The Royal Anthropological Institute joins the Academy of Social Sciences

24 February 2020

The Academy of Social Sciences is delighted to welcome its latest Member Learned Society – the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI).

The RAI joins 45 other member learned societies of the Academy. These embrace the major disciplines, and many sub-disciplines and areas of study, which make up the social sciences. Together, the Academy and Member Learned Societies have more than 90,000 social scientists within their collective memberships; a powerful voice for the sector.

The Academy of Social Sciences is the national academy of academics, learned societies and practitioners in the social sciences. Its mission is to promote social science in the United Kingdom for the public benefit. In addition to the Member Learned Societies, the Academy has around 1400 individual Fellows, and a number of affiliates. Fellows are distinguished scholars and practitioners from academia and the public and private sectors. The Academy’s purpose is to ‘promote the social sciences in the UK for public benefit’. It currently does this through advocacy linked to its Campaign for Social Science, by bringing evidence to influence policy, by providing an active forum for learned societies, and by recognising excellence.

Rita Gardner, Chief Executive of the Academy, says “Its excellent news that the RAI is joining our thriving group of 45 Member Learned Societies which encompass all the leading disciplines in social science. The  more our community can act together for the social sciences at a time of change and possible challenge is vital to securing the future health of our sector. The UK is a world leader across the social sciences and they have key roles to play  in understanding and managing the grand challenges facing the UK and the world, and in educating a highly employable  workforce”.

The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (RAI) is a long-established anthropological association, with a global membership. Its remit includes all the relevant sub-fields of anthropology, including social anthropology, evolutionary anthropology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and shares an interest with neighbouring fields such as archaeology, human genetics and linguistics. It seeks to maintain a long tradition of scholarship, as well as services to students. The RAI promotes the public understanding of anthropology, as well as the contribution anthropology can make to public affairs and social issues. It includes within its constituency not only academic anthropologists but also those with a general interest in the subject, and those trained in anthropology who work in other fields.

David Shankland, Director of RAI says: “The Royal Anthropological Institute is very pleased to join the Academy of Social Sciences, and the many associations that it works together with. In these days of highly complex and rapid social change, it is only by working together that we can develop best practice for the learned societies as they seek to remain leaders in their respective fields and enhance their contributions to public life. We are convinced that the RAI will gain a great deal from being together with such a distinguished group. “

Further information about RAI’s activities may be found on their website