Today the Academy of Social Sciences launches the ‘The We Society: Ideas to Shape the Way We Live’, a brand new podcast series.
Presented by Academy President, author and journalist Will Hutton FAcSS, and produced by Whistledown Productions, the series interviews leading social scientists and thought leaders across public life discussing contemporary challenges confronting the UK and our world, and how we can best navigate our shared future.
The series will connect listeners to latest social science research and expertise, enabling them to engage with its significance in their everyday lives. How to understand everything from pandemics to the cost of living crisis, the world of work to the drivers of energy price hikes and much more.
The line-up for the first season includes Academy Fellows: Professor Mike Bradshaw dissecting geopolitics and energy, Professor Sir Cary Cooper exploring the future of work and wellbeing, Professor Sir Ian Diamond discussing the power of data, Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman analysing the war in Ukraine, Professor Mariana Mazzucato focusing on innovation and the economy, Professor Kate Pickett sharing insights on inequality, and Professor Gary Younge exploring the drivers of the new polarising politics of identity – and how the “we” can be reasserted.
The series also includes an extended interview with former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (released 14th June), who discusses the polarisation of democratic societies, the power of social media, the rise of “performative” politics, and the need to find a way to educate children “beyond the screen”.
The Academy’s ambition for the ‘We Society’ series is to open up discussion on what future we feasibly could build for ourselves, as individuals and as societies. We aim to reach listeners traversing all adult generations and backgrounds with a keen interest and curiosity about the world around them. We wish to broaden perspectives and deepen understanding of how society and economy really work using the best evidence to hand. We want to inspire genuine excitement about the subjects that contribute to understanding society – the social sciences.
Commenting on the Academy’s decision to launch the ‘We Society’ series, Dr Rita Gardner CBE FAcSS, CEO of the Academy of Social Sciences said:
“We live in fast-changing times both in the UK and the wider world. Many people are curious to understand more, so the Academy has decided to tap into objective expertise among its 1500 distinguished Fellows and other leading figures to help us make sense of those changes and to create a stimulating space to think about what society we want for the future. This goes to the heart of what we do as a charity – promote social science for public benefit.”
As host of the series and President of the Academy of Social Sciences, Will Hutton FAcSS explained the ‘We Society’ concept and what listeners tuning in to these conversations should expect. He said:
“2022 is the year the world is changing – a renewed recognition that individual agency, stressed so much for the last few decades, does not take place in a vacuum but rather within economic and social structures that we jointly create to deliver great societies and economies. The We Society aims to get to the bottom of the myriad of ways this alchemy manifests itself. I hope you will share my exhilaration and excitement at the exchanges between me and some of the very best in the social sciences – mind-blowing and engaging at the same time. I urge you to give the series a try.”
There are seven podcasts in the first season running from early June to mid-July with 18 podcasts in total during the first year of the series.