In September 2012 the Academy’s Council agreed a Vision Statement to aid it in developing its strategic plan.
Academy of Social Sciences
The Academy exists to be the voice of the social sciences in the UK for the public benefit.
By 2022, the Academy will be a more significant, heavyweight body than currently, better able to fulfil its mission. It will have a standing and impact approaching that of the longer established Academies, such as the British Academy and Royal Society, and its name will be more familiar to the general public. It will be widely used and trusted as a central source of information on all matters social scientific.
The Academy will have in membership the leading individual social scientists, both academic and practitioner, and social science learned societies in the UK plus many in Europe and some from further abroad. It will also have in membership practitioner and policy bodies focused on the application of social science, plus affiliate members.
Development of international links and activity will mean that the Academy is known and respected on the world stage and that it is able to tap into global networks of experience and knowledge.
The Academy will be identifiably active across the four jurisdictions of the UK, as well as on a UK-wide scale. The Academy will encourage local and regional discussion across disciplines and across the four jurisdictions.
The Academy will be facilitating collaborative activities with and between its member learned societies, consulting them and drawing on their knowledge, expertise and networks.
The Academy will be a major contributor to innovation and creative thinking by actively bringing the whole social science community together in ways that allow debates to cross disciplinary boundaries.
The Academy will be recognising, publicising and promoting excellent social science, wherever it is found. It will be a major speaker in the debate around social science education, so developing the current professional community as well as defending and nurturing the social science community of the future. The Academy will be robustly maintaining standards and professional integrity in social science and contributing to professional development beyond what can be provided by learned societies.
The Academy will engage strongly with wider society for the public benefit. It will be a trusted intermediary between the social science community and governments and an automatic port of call for policy makers, the media and others when seeking high quality, trustworthy and independent advice in a prompt and efficient manner. It will also be proactively educating the media and the wider public about social science evidence, insight and issues. It will facilitate and encourage cross-disciplinary activity with non-social science disciplines for the advancement of knowledge and the benefit of all.
The Academy will be financially secure, with additional and regular income streams deriving in part from its brokerage work, whilst core funding from the UK government will remain a goal that is actively sought.
The Academy will monitor, and strive continually to enhance, its existing core values of inclusiveness, independence and transparency in order to promote the value of social science and its relevance to society most effectively. Intellectual rigour and sound ethics will underpin all its activity.
- Developing inclusiveness will entail the exploration of new channels and forms of membership in order to underpin and enhance the Academy’s right to speak on behalf of the entire social science community. The Academy of Social Sciences will set the pattern for how such a body can and should function. The Academy will strive to develop diversity amongst its membership.
- Independence – of view and action – will be strongly maintained at all times, even if core funding from government is achieved.
- Transparency will be developed through governance improvements and the development of other operational mechanisms to ensure that advice offered is independent and trustworthy.
- Intellectual rigour and sound methods in the conduct of social science research and teaching will be upheld and promoted.
- The Academy will work to ensure that social science research is undertaken on an ethical basis.
Agreed by Council