Professor Bill Clark was conferred to the Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences in spring 2022. He is a leading international scholar on demographic change, the housing market and segregation in large cities. For most of his illustrious 50-year career he has been based at UCLA, becoming Distinguished Professor and then finally Distinguished Research Professor.
Professor Clark has undertaken pioneering work on residential segregation in the USA, looking in particular at links to education and the housing market. He has been a consultant in many school districting and other legal inquiries regarding ethnic segregation and desegregation. His work crosses the fields of urban demography, segregation and housing and often uses statistical analysis of large scale data sets such as the census or large scale surveys.
His list of life time honours, achievements and publications is extensive. Among many important and prestigious accomplishments, he has held Guggenheim, Fulbright, Mellon, ESRC and Benjamin Meaker fellowships. He has honorary doctorates from the University of Utrecht (1992 and a DSc from the University of Auckland (1994). He has also authored and published numerous books and research articles.
What does becoming a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences mean to you?
I am honoured that my social science colleagues in the UK have chosen to elect me to the Academy. It is especially rewarding as it reminds me of the many visits with colleagues in Bristol, St Andrews and Kings College London.
Why does social science matter?
Social science is often viewed as less important than the physical and natural sciences, but in reality it is the problems of society, of equity, access to housing and shelter and to opportunities in education and employment which will ultimately define the success of societies, not just our ability to invent new cures for cancer.
What is the most urgent issue social scientists need to tackle at this time?
The most pressing issue for social scientists is redressing the drift away from equity and fairness. Unequal societies and divisions between those who are advantaged and those who are not, will lead to tensions across communities and neighbourhoods.