Read the latest news from the Academy
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President's Message
Image of Jane Hall
Enough. What a difference the last month has made, with so much attention focussed on the consequences of power and entitlement.

I pay tribute to those women who have spoken out about sexual violence, misogyny, sexual harassment and the lack of justice, often courageously sharing their own stories. I congratulate all those women who are taking leadership roles, particularly young women, and thank them. And I join my voice to those of hundreds and thousands of women, and men, who are outraged.

Enough. Change has happened in my lifetime. Women were told they were selfish in taking a university place from a man who deserved it more, could not get a mortgage, could not get a passport without their husband’s permission, were told they were bad mothers if they returned to paid employment (and more).

Change has happened but not enough to reform Australian society to be built on respect and justice. The Academy is committed to the values of equity, diversity and inclusion; and those go beyond gender. We are committed to working for greater involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognition of indigenous knowledge in social science research and engagement. We must all make sure that we do not just talk the values but that we live them.

Professor Jane Hall FASSA FAHMS, President

CEO's Message
Photo of Chris Hatherly
The demand and the momentum for change is certainly here. Attending the March for Justice in Canberra with colleagues from the Academy’s National Office then hosting a panel discussion on gender, power and violence for the Parliamentary Friends of Social Science the week after has shown just how deep the issues run but also how much the social sciences have to contribute to solutions.

In more positive news, the Academy is delighted to have finalised its first Reconciliation Action Plan which we’ll launch formally during National Reconciliation Week on 28 May.

Our State of the Social Sciences consultation is continuing apace; almost 400 responses to our survey and strong engagement with stakeholders during a series of virtual roundtables taking place this month and next.

And the Seriously Social podcast and videos are gaining real traction; engaging effectively and in new ways with people outside our usual audiences.

A final note for Fellows, we’ll soon be in touch regarding a review of the Academy’s panels and election processes. We’ve done a comprehensive analysis of comparable Academies in Australia and abroad, and our Executive Committee has identified a number of potential changes. There’ll be opportunities to provide feedback through a series of panel-based virtual roundtables in April and May. We hope you’ll have an opportunity to join us then.

Dr Chris Hatherly, CEO

Gendered, Power and Violence: Panel discussion with the Parliamentary Friends of the Social Sciences
Photo of Parliamentary Friends of the Social Sciences event
Just a week after thousands of Australians joined one of the #March4Justice events around the country, the Academy worked with the Parliamentary Friends of Social Sciences to host an event at Parliament House on the social, economic and cultural roots of gendered violence and the ways we can do better.

Fellow Michelle Grattan moderated the panel, and the packed room listened intently to what three experts had to say. The speakers were:

• Academy Fellow, Professor Pauline Grosjean – economist and expert on the institutional roots of violence and inequality. A preview of Pauline’s insights also feature on the Academy’s latest Seriously Social podcast Masculinity 2.0, which has been our most downloaded episode yet.
Associate Professor Michael Flood – expert on masculinities, gender equality, and violence prevention. Author of Engaging men and boys in violence prevention (2018)
Professor JaneMaree Maher – expert on gendered violence and judicial systems. Immediate Past President of the Australian Women’s and Gender Studies Association.

Audience members asked a number of questions and a heartfelt and constructive dialogue was held. As well as a number of politicians, many political staffers attended the event.

Save the Date: Launch of the Academy’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, 11:00-12:00pm AEST Friday 28 May
Academy’s Podcast breaking its own records
The Academy’s podcast Seriously Social was launched a year ago, and has definitely hit its stride. In March the pod was featured in the New & Noteworthy section of Apple Podcasts, a feature curated by Apple’s editors which is highly coveted by podcasters.

As expected, the impact was immediate: we quadrupled our subscriber base and have now achieved more than 20,000 downloads of Seriously Social – numbers not usually reached by podcasts without a large broadcaster behind them, and an excellent opportunity for us to communicate in depth yet accessible information about the social sciences to a broad audience outside academia.

We also embedded links to our podcast episode about toxic masculinity into the invitations to the Parliamentary Friends of the Social Sciences event on gendered violence; an important opportunity to reach advisors, policy makers and parliamentarians across parliament.

On that note – we’d love your help. If you or a colleague manage newsletters, mailing lists or networks which would be interested in occasional updates from the Seriously Social podcast, please contact Bonnie Johnson on
New Academy of Science report on climate risks
The Australian Academy of Science has released a new report highlighting the severe climate risks to Australia under a 3-degree or more increase in global average temperatures; the level facing the world even if all countries meet their current commitments under the 2015 Paris Accord.

Among its recommendations the report urges the Australian government to reduce greenhouse gas emission to net-zero within the next 10-20 years to give Australia and the world the best chance of restricting warming to 2-degrees and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. Academy Fellow Professor John Quiggin was a key contributor to the report, which can be found here.
Read, Listen, Watch
READ: The link between toxic masculinity and our convict past.
Academy Fellow Pauline Grosjean worked with our communications team on this piece in The Conversation: History repeating: the surprising link between toxic masculinity and our convict past.
LISTEN: Slang and sleeping dialects: the evolution of language.
The latest episode of the Seriously Social podcast, Slang and sleeping dialects: the evolution of language, featured two Fellows, Kate Burridge and Felicity Meakins. Kate spoke about how slang evolves, while Felicity and two of her PhD students spoke about their work documenting indigenous languages. The episode has been extremely well received: it had our highest first day downloads ever.
WATCH: Larissa Behrendt and John Maynard.
Have you seen this fantastic webisode series directed by Fellow Larissa Behrendt?
When Larissa Behrendt sat down with Fellow Emeritus Professor John Maynard to look at the Hidden Historical figures in the Indigenous movement the conversation culminated in a 6-part webisode series following the men and women who have been icons in John’s life.
From Our Socials
The Academy is increasingly active on social media, and you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. (You can also follow our Seriously Social stories, videos and podcast episodes on social media – find all those links here.)
Staff Profile: Anna Dennis
Photo of Anna Dennis
Job title: Events and Fellowship Coordinator

How long have you been with the Academy?
I started working with the Academy as a casual to help organise its annual events in July 2019 and became an ongoing member of the team in early 2020.

What does your workday look like?
My workday varies quite a bit because I work across both events and fellowship. I could be coordinating an event (arranging catering, booking venues, getting quotes from suppliers) or working with Michelle on all things fellowship (coordinating election processes, emailing fellows, supporting the grants and awards program).

When I’m working from home, my workday also requires giving a lot of attention to my dog, Uli, and my cat, Rosa – they’re both extremely needy. In fact, Rosa is supervising me right now from her comfy spot on my lap.

What do you like most about the job?
I started this job just after I finished my Honours degree in sociology, and I was so excited to stay connected to the social sciences. My favourite thing about my job is that I get to contribute to raising awareness about the value of social science research. I also really enjoy working with some of my most admired researchers to coordinate their events, and it’s always a bonus to get to hear their talks!

What would people never guess you do in your role?
I love being creative, so I actually do most of the Academy’s graphic design work. I’ve designed many of the graphics and layouts you can find on our social media and website – even the logo of the Seriously Social podcast.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
I haven’t had any particularly weird jobs, but I’ve had some fun ones! My favourite was working as a singer while I was in high school. I performed solo and with my band often, and we were lucky enough to sometimes get paid for it.

What can you be found doing outside of work?
If I’m not in the middle of a fiery political discussion with friends, I’ll be at the gym or cooking.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?
Trying to pat any cat I see! I have about 500 photos of me patting every street cat I came across while travelling in Greece and Italy (see above). I volunteer at a cat rescue once a week, but even that isn’t enough to satisfy my love of those furry aliens – I need to meet them all.

Favourite meal?
My favourite meal would have to be my Yiayia’s Kolokithopita – a Greek pie encased by homemade filo pastry, filled with sweet and spiced pumpkin.
Wish more people understood the social sciences? Introduce them to Seriously Social.
Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
ABN: 59 957 839 703
Location: 26 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601
Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
Tel: (02) 6249 1788

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