The Academy has already begun to engage in proactive work to provide input to social science and policy in areas that it considers important for public benefit (e.g. through seminars, public events, working groups and the Commission on the Social Sciences). A second very important arm of the Academy’s work is to respond to calls for consultation

Public consultation documents are regularly issued by the UK Government, its various departments, and organisations managed by those departments. The Academy invites Learned Societies and Academicians to bring relevant consultation documents to the attention of the Academy. It is hoped and intended that organisations issuing consultation documents will come to regard the Academy as an important and reliable source of information and guidance.

Public consultations sometimes concern matters of central interest to social scientists (and often to the general public). Occasionally a particular Learned Society, or a particular individual will submit a response to these consultations. The Academy is in a position to provide a response that represents a broader social science perspective, to consult a large panel of experts (Academicians) that is not discipline-based, and to locate and draw on a wide range of sources of evidence.

How can the Academy contribute to the consultation process? The Academy can, and will, approach consultation in several ways.

  • It will ask Learned Societies to submit copies of their responses to Council via the Executive Secretary, so that the Academy can identify gaps or areas that have not been addressed by other submissions.
  • It will ask Academicians for input directly to the Academy if they have not already offered evidence via Learned Society consultations.
  • It will invite Academicians to volunteer, or nominate individuals, to draft responses to consultations on the Academy’s behalf.
  • Over time, the Academy may also provide a source of expertise for contributions to public enquiries and Royal Commissions.

Representatives of Learned Societies, and Academicians are welcome to contact Council via the Executive Secretary if they want to draw attention to a forthcoming consultation, or to support the consultative role of the Academy in any way.


  • Applications to social science subjects at undergraduate level in British universities over time.

Active Consulations

Completed Consulations

  • DTI Foresight, Ageing Population Panel The Age Shift - A consultation exercise
  • Genetics and Human Behaviour: the ethical context
  • HEFCE (Follet) Library enquiry
  • Quinquennial Review of the Research Councils: Stage 2
  • Wales Higher Education Review