“The social sciences act as a secret sauce in ways that catalyse more effective and impactful research and innovation…”

Published on 30 January 2024

Recently published this new report from the Academy of Social Sciences emphasises the vitally important yet poorly-understood role of the social sciences to the UK’s current research, development & innovation system.

Hear from James Wilsdon, Professor of Research Policy from the University College London (UCL) and ACCESS Advisory Board member, talking about a new report that emphasises the vitally important yet underdeveloped role of the social sciences in the UK’s current research, development and innovation system.

Drawing on data which highlights the ways in which social scientists contribute to a diverse ecosystem of talent and impact, it sets out some distinctive flavours of the UK’s social sciences, and how they are transforming UK research into a recipe that is genuinely world-leading and future-focused. the report sets out four central themes, supported by examples, which demonstrate the essential role of the social sciences in the STEM sphere and the amplifying effect of collaborative work across both STEM and social science fields. 

  1. Social sciences enable whole systems thinking
  2. Social sciences are critical for good policy development
  3. Social sciences underpin smart and responsible innovation
  4. Social sciences are essential to international collaboration and tackling shared global challenges

The report is a joint publication between the Academy’s Campaign for Social Science and Sage, authored by Professor James Wilsdon FAcSS, Kathryn Weber-Boer, Dr Juergen Wastl and Dr Ed Bridges. Read the whole report here