Press Release: Will Hutton takes on role as President of the Academy of Social Sciences

15 April 2021

London, 15 April 2021: The Academy of Social Sciences is delighted to announce that Will Hutton FAcSS will be our new president. Will succeeds Professor Roger Goodman FAcSS whose six-year term ends on 17 June 2021. As a political economist and one of UK’s leading economic commentators Will is a passionate and public advocate for the social sciences.

A prolific author and columnist, Will’s writing has brought research evidence and analysis to the attention of policy makers and the wider public, establishing him as one of the best critical thinkers and communicators of our times. Will brings this wealth of experience as an academic and practitioner of the social sciences, and as a public intellectual, to the Academy.

“Britain boasts some of the finest social science in the world. In the years ahead our social scientists’ research on everything from the resilience of public health systems through to the dynamics of genuine “levelling-up” are going to become as much a priority for our national well-being as our scientists’ work on vaccines and modelling climate change. As newly appointed President, it is a privilege to be able to build on what Roger, the Academy team and Fellows have achieved over the last few years, and to play a part in making the insights of all our social science disciplines as prominent as possible. I can think of no better time to champion the social sciences and to advance the Academy’s vital role as a leading voice for the sector. Follow the Social Science! says Will on his new role as president of the Academy.

Will’s presidency comes at an especially important time for the Academy, as we embark on a new and ambitious strategy for promoting the social sciences across the UK. An outward-facing focus and higher profile for our Campaign for Social Science, engagement with the business community, and a programme to understand the impacts of Covid, Brexit and the evolving higher education policy framework on social sciences in higher education, are developments already underway. They complement well-established work on higher education policy and draw on the deep knowledge and expertise of our Fellows.

“It’s fabulous that Will is to be our next President. He will be an inspirational figurehead and leader for the Academy. My colleagues and I look forward greatly to working with him to ensure the social sciences are better understood, valued and used beyond academia, and well supported within academia and education. It will be exciting to grow the profile and impact of the Academy further in the process.” says Dr Rita Gardner CBE FAcSS, CEO of the Academy. 

Will is a political economist, author and columnist. He is an associate with the London School of Economics Centre for Economic Performance, a non-executive director of the Satellite Applications Catapult, co-chair of the Purposeful Company, an associate of the Oxford Martin School, and writes a regular column for The Observer. He was principal of Hertford College, University of Oxford from 2011 to 2020. His many bestselling books include The Revolution That Never Was (1986), The State We’re In (1995), The World We’re In (2000), with Tony Giddens On The Edge (2001), The Writing on the Wall: China and the West in the 21st Century (2008), Them and Us (2011), How Good We Can Be (2015), and most recently with Andrew Adonis Saving Britain: How We Can Prosper in a New European Future (2018).

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Note to editors:

For further information, interviews or photos contact:
Aarti Basnyat
Communications Manager
Academy of Social Sciences/Campaign for Social Sciences
Phone: 07549636769
Email: [email protected]

About the Academy of Social Sciences
The Academy of Social Sciences is the national academy of academics, learned societies and practitioners in the social sciences. Its charitable purpose is to promote social science in the United Kingdom for public benefit. The Academy is composed of approximately 1400 individual Fellows, 47 Member Learned Societies, and a number of affiliates. Together, this body of organisations is a community of some 90,000 social scientists. Academy Fellows are leading professional social scientists from academia and the public and private sectors. The Campaign for Social Science is an integral part of the Academy.

The Academy’s mission is to enhance and safeguard the social sciences in research, professional practice, and education; and to champion and foster the understanding and application of social sciences in policy, business and public life.

Social science is the understanding of society in all its dimensions. It comprises the societal, economic, behavioural and geospatial sciences and includes the disciplines of anthropology; architecture & built environment; business, management & finance; economics; education; geography (human); international relations & development; law; planning; politics; psychology (social & behavioural); sociology; social policy; statistics & data science (human); tourism & leisure; and many methodological, sub-disciplinary and thematic areas such as criminology, gerontology and regional development studies.