Academy of Social Sciences welcomes 47 leading social scientists to its Fellowship this spring

We are delighted to announce that 47 leading social scientists have been conferred to the Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences. Newly elected Fellows are selected through an independent peer review which recognises their excellence and impact, including their wider contributions to social sciences for public benefit.

The Academy’s Fellowship comprises distinguished social scientists from academia and the public, private and third sectors. They are drawn from across the full spectrum of the social sciences. Through leadership, scholarship, applied research, policymaking, and practice, they have helped to deepen understanding of and address some of the toughest challenges facing our society and the world.

We are particularly inspired by the diversity represented among our Spring 2022 cohort. Our newly elected Fellows are highly accomplished social scientists. Many are making exceptional contributions to tackling current and critical issues facing the UK economy, communities and places, and beyond. They are drawn from varied backgrounds, disciplines and institutions from across the UK and internationally. Here is a snapshot of just a few of the inspirational individuals who have joined our Fellowship this spring:

Professor Matt Cole (Professor of Environmental Economics and Deputy Dean of Birmingham Business School) – Professor Cole’s research examines the relationship between the natural environment and economic development. He is recognised for his significant contribution to developing environmental economics in the wider social sciences and beyond. He has been appointed to various leadership roles at the University of Birmingham and is known for his commitment to engage more diverse colleagues in debates to improve gender and ethnic representation.

Professor Kavita Datta (Professor of Development Geography, Queen Mary University of London) –  Professor Datta is a leading social scientist in migration studies and development geography. Her work has made significant contributions to understandings of the intersections between migration, work and financial practice. She holds leadership roles in Queen Mary’s School of Geography, and is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Migration. She is currently PI on a major UKRI-ESRC funded project on: ‘Migrant remittances and COVID-19: Practices of care during crisis’.

Ms Polly Neate (Chief Executive of Shelter, national housing and homelessness charity). Polly is a highly regarded leader in the third sector who has ensured that social science research is at the heart of the service provision and policy influencing work. She previously spent eight years at Action for Children where she enhanced its campaigning and engagement with government to address the serious problems of child neglect. Following this she became CEO at the charity Women’s Aid, where she used evidence to lobby government for changes in law and secured more funding for women’s refuges at a time of government fiscal austerity.

Professor Peter Fussey (Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy). Professor Fussey’s research interests focus on biometrics and facial recognition in terrorism, organised crime and child trafficking. His work has included studies of the human rights implications of policing and he leads on a major £6m ESRC project involving multinational studies in US, UK, Brazil, Germany, and India. He has worked as a consultant advising the UN Commission for Human Rights, the US Department of Homeland Security, the Metropolitan Police, the US police and others.

These are just some examples of the many achievements of these four individuals during the course of their careers.  We are equally proud of the exemplary achievements of all the new Fellows in our Spring 2022 cohort.

Will Hutton FAcSS, President of the Academy of Social Sciences, said:

The Academy of Social Sciences is delighted to welcome the Spring 2022 group of new Fellows to join our ranks – representing an excellent range of highly distinguished social scientists. We look forward to engaging with them in our work.

View the full list of our Spring 2022 Fellows


Notes to Editors

For further information contact:
Chizom Ekeh (Senior Communications Manager) at or call 0777 220 7398

About the Academy of Social Sciences
The Academy of Social Sciences is the national academy of academics, practitioners and learned societies in the social sciences. The sector’s leading independent voice in the UK, we champion the vital role social sciences play in education, governments and business.

The social sciences include: anthropology; business, finance & management; development studies; economics; economic & social history; education; human geography; law; planning; politics; regional studies; sociology; social policy; social psychology; social statistics & methodologies.