Impact

Social Sciences Worth an Estimated £24 Billion to UK Economy

January 15, 2014 1278

This post originally appeared on the London School of Economis (LSE) Media page here. It is kindly reposted with their permission.

9781446275108Social science is now big business in the UK, according to new research which shows that the sector is worth approximately £24.3 billion a year to the national economy.

This figure is the collective economic value of social science teaching and research in UK universities (£4.8 billion a year) plus the costs that the financial sector, business corporations and public sector agencies spend on employing professional social scientists to mediate or translate academic research into their organisations (at least £19.4 billion a year).

The impact of the social sciences is outlined in a new book due to be released this week by the London School of Economics and Political Science, and published by SAGE, drawing on research from Cambridge Econometrics.

The Impact of Social Sciences: How Academics and their Research make a Difference puts forward a strong case for additional funding and calls for closer integration of the social sciences themselves, and far better co-operation with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines.

LSE researchers argue that despite receiving just 8 per cent of Research and Development (R&D) funds nationally, and 12 per cent of the total research grants flowing to UK universities, the social science sector is punching well above its weight in economic terms, both locally and globally.

Across the world, rough estimates suggest that around 20 million people are either employed in university social science departments or are students in these disciplines.

An additional 20 million professionals – working for governments, public agencies, major business corporations, consultants, civil society organisations and the media – make regular use of social science research in their work, the authors estimate.

The findings have emerged from a three-year project by Professor Patrick Dunleavy and his colleagues in LSE’s Department of Government, who have mapped for the first time the size and scale of social sciences in the UK and their influence across all sectors of British society.

The book is the result of this project and is officially launched at LSE on Wednesday 29 January. It analyses the significant impact of social sciences research on government, business, the non-profit sector and the public, arguing that the sector deserves a much bigger slice of the R&D funding pie.

Between 30-40 per cent of all UK university research takes place in the social sciences domain, providing answers to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Yet the effectiveness of social scientists has often been decried,” says Professor Dunleavy.

The social sciences need to work much closer together with STEM disciplines and medical sciences to tackle looming scientific and policy changes facing the world,” he adds.

Co-authors Dr Simon Bastow and Jane Tinkler also urge the social sciences to embrace unprecedented changes in scholarship and research in the digital era.

“Making use of ‘big data’ can greatly speed up the pace of research and deliver recommendations whose economic value can be quickly established in digital arenas,” the authors say.

“Social media and the growth of multi-author blogging sites are also highly effective forms of knowledge exchange and offer huge potential gains for high quality research to be speedily disseminated.”

The Impact of Social Sciences: How Academics and their Research make a Differencewill be published on Thursday 16 January. The launch on Wednesday 29 January coincides with a panel discussion of the issues raised in the book.

Sage, the parent of Social Science Space, is a global academic publisher of books, journals, and library resources with a growing range of technologies to enable discovery, access, and engagement. Believing that research and education are critical in shaping society, 24-year-old Sara Miller McCune founded Sage in 1965. Today, we are controlled by a group of trustees charged with maintaining our independence and mission indefinitely. 

View all posts by Sage

Related Articles

Pandemic Nemesis: Illich reconsidered
News
June 14, 2024

Pandemic Nemesis: Illich reconsidered

Read Now
How ‘Dad Jokes’ Help Children Learn How To Handle Embarrassment
Insights
June 14, 2024

How ‘Dad Jokes’ Help Children Learn How To Handle Embarrassment

Read Now
Why Social Science? Because It Can Help Contribute to AI That Benefits Society
Industry
May 28, 2024

Why Social Science? Because It Can Help Contribute to AI That Benefits Society

Read Now
Digital Scholarly Records are Facing New Risks
Research
May 21, 2024

Digital Scholarly Records are Facing New Risks

Read Now
Biden Administration Releases ‘Blueprint’ For Using Social and Behavioral Science in Policy

Biden Administration Releases ‘Blueprint’ For Using Social and Behavioral Science in Policy

U.S. President Joseph Biden’s administration has laid down a marker buttressing the use of social and behavioral science in crafting policies for the federal government by releasing a 102-page Blueprint for the Use of Social and Behavioral Science to Advance Evidence-Based Policymaking.

Read Now
Young Explorers Award Honors Scholars at Nexus of Life and Social Science

Young Explorers Award Honors Scholars at Nexus of Life and Social Science

Aiming to spur greater connections between the life and social sciences, Science magazine and NOMIS look to recognize young researchers through the NOMIS and Science Young Explorers Award.

Read Now
Survey Suggests University Researchers Feel Powerless to Take Climate Change Action

Survey Suggests University Researchers Feel Powerless to Take Climate Change Action

To feel able to contribute to climate action, researchers say they need to know what actions to take, how their institutions will support them and space in their workloads to do it.

Read Now
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments