Picture of the week: ESRC in the 80s

In 1980, ESRC celebrated its 15th anniversary. The ESRC (or SSRC as it was still known), had a tumultuous start to the decade. The British economy was in crisis and this had a knock-on effect on public spending. Budgets were cut and the 1980/81 Annual Report said that changes were taking place in ‘a cold climate financially for the academic world.’
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Alan Walker: active ageing, social justice and rampant individualism

Alan Walker is Professor of Social Policy and Social Gerontology at the University of Sheffield, Director of the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme part-funded by the ESRC, the research project Mobilising the Potential of Active Ageing in Europe, and the EU-funded project Social Innovations for an Ageing Population. In 2013 he became the ESRC’s first Impact Champion.

Alan Walker

Why did you pursue an academic career?

Becoming a professional social scientist was accidental. I was hooked strongly by sociology and social policy during my undergraduate degree at the University of Essex, and then Peter Townsend offered me a short term post working on his mammoth project Poverty in the United Kingdom.

Working closely with Peter on this and other projects persuaded me that social science had a critical role to play in public policymaking, and I found the prospect of becoming that particular kind of academic very appealing. The twin moral commitments to social science as a vehicle for the promotion of social justice and the duty of academics to speak the truth to power that Townsend exemplified have been the main drivers of my academic career. Continue reading

Is 62 the new 50? – Fifty years of Population Change and fifty years of the ESRC

Professor Jane Elliott is the Chief Executive of the ESRC.

Professor Jane Elliott

On Thursday evening (25 June) I attended an event hosted by the British Academy and organised by the British Society for Population Studies. The aim was to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of ESRC and the role we have played in supporting research in demography. Continue reading

Picture of the week: 50 years of ESRC Chief Executives and Chairs

The Council Chair and Council members share collective responsibility for the ESRC’s performance. The role of the ESRC Council is to decide on all issues of major importance, principally issues of corporate strategy, key strategic objectives and targets. Responsibility for delivering key strategy is delegated to the Chief Executive, who is also responsible for the implementation of our policies and decisions, and for the overall management of the ESRC Office.

Here are a few of the Chairs and Chief Executives.