Read the latest news from the Academy of the Social Sciences
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President's Message
The Academy's General Ballot for election of candidates to the Fellowship is now open. This is the last step in the path to Fellowship. Each of the candidates has been assessed by a panel ballot, and by the appropriate panel committee, and by independent review. The main criterion for Fellowship is distinction though contribution to, or impact in, social science research, practice, social policy or public understanding of social issues in Australia. Our best contributors to social science are not only academics.

Every year many Fellows who are approached to act as independent reviewers decline. And many who do provide comments add little to help understand the candidate’s contribution. My request to Fellows is that if you do agree to act as a reviewer, you present your assessment in a way that clearly demonstrates the grounds on which your judgement is based. The strength of the election process relies on Fellows’ commitment throughout the process. Every one of us has benefitted from the generosity of other Fellows at every step of this process, from nomination supporters through to election. Reviewer reports are particularly important and do make a difference.

Next week - 6-12 September - is Social Sciences Week. Even a month ago, we were hopeful that this would be marked by a number of in-person events. Unfortunately, lockdowns have meant that this is not to be. Nonetheless this week should be a celebration of the great contributions social sciences have made to shaping Australian society though education, health and health care, justice and more. So take the time to join an event virtually and share a sense of achievement.

Professor Jane Hall FASSA FAHMS, President

The fourth annual Social Sciences Week is almost here, with over 65 events, film screenings, interviews, trivia nights and celebrations of everything that the social sciences contribute to our lives. Browse the website to explore the fascinating range of events on offer, or register your own event to be part of this vibrant national program. Some of the highlights and opportunities include:

We're grateful to our many event and university partners and to The Conversation; our new Media partner for Social Sciences Week 2021.
Applications Open: International Grants and Workshop Funding
Australia/China - 2022 ASSA-CASS Joint Action Program - closing November 1
In 2022, four research grants will be awarded to teams of social scientists from Australia and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). These grants are intended to provide Australian and CASS researchers the opportunity to collaborate in areas of interest to both parties. The grant is particularly suited to early career researchers who wish to investigate a research opportunity with an international colleague, and pursue preliminary study which could lead to a larger research project. More information and applications here.

Australia-France - 2022 Social Science Collaborative Research Program - closing November 1
This joint program of the Academy and the Embassy of France in Australia fosters and reinforces social science collaboration between Australia and France through:
  • Research activities on a topic of interest to both Australia and France, provided to eligible French and Australian researchers, especially early and mid-career researchers.
  • Research activities relevant to Pacific Island Studies (including those in French overseas territories).
  • Research activities with the capacity to support the development of strategic alliances between France and Australia.
Proposals with a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary character are encouraged. Find out more and apply here.

2022 Academy Workshops Program - closing 15 October
Eight grants of up to $9,000 to support multidisciplinary workshops (in-person, virtual or hybrid) that advance research and social policy agendas on nationally important issues. An important element of the workshops program is the involvement of early- and mid-career researchers. Find out more and apply here.
New books by our Fellows  
Academy Symposium: The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Social Sciences
Friday 10 Sept, 8:45am-12:15pm AEST. As part of its 50th anniversary program, the Academy is convening a free online symposium to examine the role of the Social Sciences in responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Three panel sessions feature distinguished speakers including Glyn Davis, Janet McCalman, Stephen Duckett, Nancy Baxter, Peter Doherty, Lenore Manderson and Pat McGorry among others. See the full program and register here.
Policy updates and opportunities for input
ARC recognition of preprints in grant and Fellowship applications. The Academy has been actively engaging with the ARC on a resolution to the issue of preprint eligibility. We expect further guidance from the ARC will be circulated soon.

Social Science research infrastructure.
  • The Learned Academies and ACOLA are working with the ARDC to understand Australia's research data landscape, needs and opportunities. Find out more about the project, including opportunities to share your views here.
  • HASS Research Data Commons and Indigenous Research Capability Program. The Australian Government has invested $8.9M through the ARDC in specific data infrastructure projects across social sciences, linguistics, TROVE and the Indigenous Data Network. The Academy is represented on the program advisory committee. A webinar for interested researchers will be held on Wednesday 8 Sept, 3:30-4:30pm AEST. Register here.

Policy Roundtables

  • Completing Australia's Retirement Income System roundtable was held in early March this year. A report on the discussions by Professor Andrew Podger FASSA and Professor Bob Breunig is now available here.
    2021 Intergenerational Report Roundtable
  • 2021 Intergenerational Report Roundtable is taking place in late September, 2021. Further information and a summary of the discussion will be provided soon.

Research plan for Australia’s future energy system – opportunity for input

The Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) is seeking feedback on priorities under the Australian Energy Transition Research Plan released earlier this year. Researchers wishing to comment on the themes of 1) energy system dynamics; 2) social engagement dynamics; 3) transition dynamics. Feedback and suggestions can be directed to by 10 September. ACOLA will also be running a series of roundtable on these issues. Any Fellows interested in participating please contact the Academy's Policy Analyst

Harnessing research for better health: A vision for integrating research into healthcare.
The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences is developing a strategy to improve healthcare for Australians by better enabling research within the health system. Help them build a robust understanding of current issues and opportunities by completing this survey.
The Academy was sad to learn of the recent passing of two of its Fellows.
Read, Listen, Watch
Money Justice and redress for victims
Read about the challenging dilemma of financial compensation in this article by Academy Fellow Professor Kathleen Daly and her colleague Dr Juliet Davis.    
Afghanistan - Academy Fellow Professor Amin Saikal AM explains the tangled history of Western intervention and the precedents of the unfolding disaster today.
Seriously Social S4E3: Money Justice
(Featured Fellow: Kathleen Daly)

Through most of history 'justice' has involved equivalent consequences - 'an eye for an eye'. Yet justice for victims of accident, misadventure and negligence in today's society is limited largely to financial compensation; often hard fought and subject to confidentiality. In this episode Ginger Gorman speaks with ultramarathon bushfire survivor Turia Pitt on her multi-year struggle in the courts, with lawyer Josh Bornstein on managing expectations of justice with clients, and with Academy Fellow Professor Kathleen Daly on the history and research on money justice in Australia and abroad.

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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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