Recent Appointments

Shamit Saggar New Chair for Campaign for Social Science

September 5, 2017 1610

Shamit Saggar

Shamit Saggar

Shamit Saggar, an associate pro-vice chancellor (research) and professor of political science and public policy at the University of Essex, will take the reins of the Campaign for Social Science effective October 1. He replaces James Wilsdon, who is stepping down after four years heading the advocacy group sponsored by the Academy of Social Sciences.

“Professor Saggar brings with him a wealth of experience across the whole spectrum of social science activity and in particular in creating bridges between the academic and practitioner communities,” said Roger Goodman, who chairs the Academy of Social Sciences. “We very much look forward to working with him as the incoming chair and are delighted that James Wilsdon will continue to be active within the academy as a member of its council and chair of its Policy Working Group.”

Saggar, a fellow of the academy, has held academic appointments at Sussex, Queen Mary, UCLA, Yale and Toronto, as well as leadership roles in the regulatory, legal, financial and non-profit sectors. He was appointed Commander of the British Empire for services to social science and public policy earlier this year in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He has also been active in guiding the South East Network for Social Sciences, or SeNSS is a consortium of 10 leading UK universities, all engaged in cutting-edge social science research and training.

For his part, Saggar also highlighted the bridges to be built between academics and practitioners. “I am alive to the fact that there are important allies for the campaign in the research user and practitioner communities, particularly in government, regulation, commerce and non-profits.” He said. “Social science research and evidence makes a real difference to how well each of these sectors performs and in turn the public standing of social science.”

“Shamit,” said Heather Laurie, the pro-vice chancellor (research) at Essex, “has consistently shown how high-quality social science research can deliver incredibly valuable insights to policy makers in government, the third sector and other policy forums.”

The academy founded the campaign in 2011 to promote social science to government of the United Kingdom and wider public. A coalition of universities, learned societies, charities and publishers, including the parent of Social Science Space, SAGE Publishing, supports the campaign.

Wilsdon, who was s professor of science and democracy at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, and was the founding director of the Science Policy Centre at the Royal Society before joining the campaign, was only its second head. He replaced the founding chair, Tony Crook.


The Campaign for Social Science was launched by the Academy of Social sciences in 2011 to celebrate the success of UK social science, at a time of change and uncertainty in the higher education system. The Campaign seeks to identify to the public what social science is, and make clear the benefits of a social science education.

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