Campaign for Social Science Adds Board Members


Sharon Witherspoon
In addition to her new duties with the Campaign, Sharon Witherspoon will deliver the annual Academy of Social Sciences lecture on December 7.
Britain’s Campaign for Social Science has added eight new members to its board, including the recent director of the Nuffield Foundation and the chief executive officer of one of the country’s leading social research companies.

The campaign, established by the Academy of Social Sciences in 2011, has a board of 18 members chaired by James Wilsdon of University of Sussex. Board members are drawn both from academe and practice across the social sciences. Their goal is to protect and enhance funding for social science, to explain to a wide audience the impact and value for money from the disciplines, and to present that expertise and evidence to policymakers and Parliament.

“These are turbulent times for UK social science, with a spending review imminent and significant reforms being proposed to the architecture for higher education and research funding,” Wilsdon said in announcing the new board members. “Across Whitehall, further cuts to departmental budgets are likely to have knock-on effects for social research and the evidence base for public policy.”

He added that the Campaign’s own role and its ability to speak with a single, compelling voice from a diverse body of stakeholders “has never been more important.”

The new members of the board are:

Nick Bibby | Communications Officer, Centre on Constitutional Change, University of Edinburgh. He is a former freelance journalist and has written for the Scotsman, Herald, Independent, Telegraph and others, and has published three books.

Professor Colin Copus FAcSS | Professor of Local Politics and Director of the Local Governance Research Unit in the Department of Politics and Public Policy, De Montfort University. He has served as a councillor on a London Borough council, a county and a district council and three parish councils.

Professor Jon Glasby FAcSS: | Professor of Health and Social Care and Head of School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham. Jon is a qualified social worker and is currently a non-executive director of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

Desiree Lopez | CEO of TNS BMRB. Desiree is also a senior lecturer at the University of London, teaching various post-graduate courses on qualitative methods in policy development and assessment.

Professor Andrew Russell | Professor of Politics, University of Manchester. Andrew has published widely on many aspects of political parties, elections and campaigning and electoral engagement.

Dr Olivia Stevenson | A geographer by background, Olivia joined UCL as Public Policy Impact Facilitator with the Office of the Vice-Provost (Research). In 2015, she was appointed as (acting) head of public policy.

Sharon Witherspoon MBE | Based at the Nuffield Foundation for 19 years, first leading its programmes of social research and social policy, and then for three years as Director. Witherspoon also led the Q-Step program to improve quantitative research skills for social science undergraduates. She was awarded an MBE for services to social science in 2008, received the British Academy President’s Medal in 2011, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by University College London in 2015.

Dr Milly Zimeta | Freelance journalist and writer, with a background in PPE, who previously worked as a lecturer at Roehampton.

These new board members will help the Campaign to deliver its strategic plan for 2015-2018, which is organized under three broad headings: advocacy – targeted interventions on key policy agendas; coalition-building – growing the supporter base for UK social science; and engagement – with decision-makers, the media and wider public.


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Academy of Social Sciences

The Academy of Social Science’s mission is to promote social sciences in the United Kingdom for the public benefit. The academy is composed of individual academicians and learned societies; it responds to government and other consultations on behalf of the social science community, organizes meetings about social science and seminars on topics that span social science disciplines, and sponsors a number of efforts that promote social science and enhance its value to society.

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