Professor Peter Fussey was conferred to the Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences in spring 2022. He is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy at University of Essex. His research interests focus on biometrics and facial recognition in terrorism, organised crime and child trafficking.
Professor Fussey’s work explores the viability of technological innovations and the ethical and human rights implications of these technologies. He has published numerous journal articles in leading international journals and has combined this with the production of commissioned reports for government and official agencies in Britain and across the world.
He is a director of the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy (CRISP) – a collaboration between researchers at St Andrews, Edinburgh, Stirling and Essex universities. He is also Research Director for the five-year ESRC-funded Human Rights, Big Data and Technology project. As part of this project Professor Fussey leads research teams analysing digital security strategies in the US, UK, Brazil, India and Germany.
He has worked as a consultant advising the UN’s OHCHR, the US Department of Homeland Security, the Metropolitan Police, the US police and others. He is also a member of a number of governmental and intergovernmental bodies including the Expert Advisory Board for EU Horizons 2020, the UK Government Committee on ‘Rebuilding a Resilient Britain After the Pandemic’ and the Advisory Council of UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner.
How do you feel about becoming a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences?
I’m delighted to be awarded the Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences and to join a community of such distinguished scholars. For me it also represents a fabulous opportunity to engage with leading thinkers across the social sciences and to support the work of the Academy in bringing positive impacts for society through informed research.
Why does social science matter?
Bringing informed and research-led insights to the way we think about Individuals, collectives and society has perhaps never been more important than it is in today’s uncertain world.
What is the most urgent issue social scientists need to tackle at this time?
We face many urgent challenges including climate change, pandemic, accelerating inequality, societal polarisation and insecurity. At the same time, digital innovation has brought radical transformations in the way we communicate and engage with each other, govern and decipher our environments. The implications of these significant and evolving processes are not yet clear. By offering robust evidence and informed analysis, social scientists have a major contribution to make in understanding and mitigating the harms of such developments, particularly among those most exposed and vulnerable to them.