Grab a cuppa for our end of year bumper edition
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Warning: Bumper read ahead. Settle in.

Grab a cuppa (or a glass of your favourite red) for our end of year bumper edition. Our thanks to everyone who has shared news, book announcements, opportunities and more to make this year’s newsletters a hit with our subscribers.

It’s been busy here lately, so we’d recommend grabbing a cup of tea or a glass of your favourite red and settling in for some quality time with our December edition! In fact, our last newsletter for the year is so jam-packed we are confident it will last you until the end of summer, so we’ll be taking a break from the keyboard in January while we all recharge.

Enjoy your read (and your red, if that’s the way you go) and see you again early February 2022.

From your 2021 newsletter team in the National Office.

President's Message
This is my last message as President, and the first thing to say is what a privilege it is to have been in this position. It has been a tumultuous three years, as you all know. But how much has been achieved.

The Academy has a strong outward-facing presence – particularly through the Seriously Social podcast which showcases social science insights on contemporary issues. Three years ago, we committed to a program of work on climate change and we have produced a major discussion paper, public statements, and submissions, with more to come. Two years ago we began working on our Reconciliation Action Plan, not the start of our reconciliation journey, but a significant step. We launched our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan after endorsement by Reconciliation Australia, which sets out priorities for action to mid- 2022. The State of the Social Sciences report, another major project which provides an assessment of the social sciences, its achievements and challenges, was launched just last month in conjunction with our annual symposium.

This year was the fiftieth year of the Academy and our annual symposium celebrated that while looking forward to The Social Future of Australia. This was held as a virtual event, due to lockdowns and travel restrictions. But as with so many areas of our recent life, we learnt that much can be achieved virtually, though we miss human contact. The Symposium and the AGM attracted record numbers of participants.

All of this has been possible due to the hard work and enthusiasm of the National Office team, my Executive Committee colleagues, and the many Fellows who have given their time and wisdom to Academy activities. The presentations of new Fellows each year have shown a depth and breadth of contributions to the social sciences, and enthusiasm for the work of the Academy. So as we start our second fifty years, I am confident the Academy will thrive and continue to grow in standing and impact.

It only remains for me to wish President Richard Holden and the incoming Executive Committee a successful term. And to all of you, a happy and safe holiday season.

Professor Jane Hall FASSA FAHMS, President

CEO's Message

Thanks to the hundreds of Fellows, colleagues and supporters who have contributed their time, insights and expertise to the Academy over this 50th Anniversary year. Despite the challenges, the Academy has held more than 60 workshops, webinars, symposia and other events, we've launched a Reconciliation Action Plan and our platform report on the State of the Social Sciences, and we've continued to grow and expand the Seriously Social platform; bringing expert insights and analysis to a growing audience.

We look forward to continuing with these and other initiatives, including many more in-person and hybrid activities in the new year.

My thanks to all again, and especially to Jane Hall on her three years as President, to members of the Executive Committee and our other committees, and to the small but dedicated National Office team.

With best wishes for a safe and happy holiday period.

Dr Chris Hatherly, CEO

Symposium round up
What an event! With over 50 speakers, more than 1,000 audience members and two days of thought-provoking presentations and roundtables: our 50th Anniversary Symposium, The Social Future of Australia, was a resounding success. If you missed a session or simply want to go back to the recordings, you can find videos of each presentation on the Academy’s YouTube channel. It was so meaty that we’ve even given the symposium videos their own playlist.

We know online events can be tricky, so we thank everyone for tuning in, engaging, and for the many who provided feedback in the survey we sent after the event. Please know that all comments and improvements have been received and will be factored into our 2022 activities.
Welcome to our new Fellows
In November the Academy welcomed 37 new Fellows from the range of disciplines across the social sciences. This occasion is a highlight for many in the Academy – it’s so exciting to see which of Australia’s leading social scientists have been elected each year. If you missed the announcement, all 37 are featured here on the Academy’s website. For those keen on a watch party with colleagues (or just an inspiring two hours from your favourite armchair), there are 3-minute presentations from each new Fellow on our YouTube channel. (The description below the videos shows the time codes for who is speaking at each time in case you need to speed through before heading to an end of year party.)
State of the Social Sciences Report launched
Social systems shape our lives – our health, our education, our happiness and grief, our families and our freedoms, and the social sciences are the key disciplines through which we explain, understand, predict, influence, and respond to our changing world. But what do we know about the State of the Social Sciences as a whole?

The answer? A lot more than we did last year, thanks to State of the Social Sciences 2021, a guide to the trends, challenges and opportunities relevant to the social sciences in schools, vocational education and training, higher education and in the broader economy. The report was launched by Steering Committee Chair Mark Western as part of our recent symposium and was featured in The Australian’s Higher Education section (link, behind paywall). In case you missed it, you can watch the launch presentation here.

Grand challenges outlined in this future-oriented report include reconciliation with Australia’s First Nations, understanding and addressing threats to democracy, managing the response to climate change, and using the recovery from COVID-19 to build a stronger, more equitable and prosperous Australia.

You can find the State of the Social Sciences report on a dedicated website, where you can also read or download the report, drill into the data, and sign up to stay involved.
Vale Stuart Macintyre, Geoff Harcourt and Peter Fensham
The Academy and its Fellows were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of two central figures in Australian social sciences over the past fortnight. Our former President, Stuart Macintyre AO, FAHA, FASSA passed away on 22 November. Stuart was a distinguished historian and former Dean of Arts at the University of Melbourne, who served as President of the Academy from 2006-09. His contributions to the social sciences and to the Academy were remarkable and enduring. The Academy will be formally commemorating Stuart's contributions to the Academy and to the broader social sciences sector over the coming months. Colleagues may also wish to read a moving tribute to Stuart delivered by Frank Bongiorno.

Jubilee Fellow and renowned economist Geoff Harcourt AC FASSA passed away peacefully on 7 December. A brief reflection and information about a funeral service taking place on 17 December (with opportunities to join online) is available here.

Finally, a public memorial service will be held on 23 December for Fellow Peter Fensham, who passed away earlier in the year.

Hilary Charlesworth elected to the International Court of Justice
Huge congratulations to Fellow Hilary Charlesworth for her November appointment to the UN’s International Court of Justice. Hilary won the position with an absolute majority, and the UN noted her appointment makes her only the fifth female judge ever on the ICJ. Read more about Hilary’s appointment and the International Court of Justice.
Congratulations: Fellows recognised as Australian research leaders
Last month provided plenty of chances to pause and recognise the achievements of our Fellows.

21 Academy Fellows were recognised as top Australian researchers 2021. See the list of Fellows here and the full list of Australian research leaders here.

Congratulations to all of these Fellows and the many others who have received recognition and accolades for their work during the year.

Paul Bourke Award winners announced
The kudos continued last month with the announcement of the 2021 Paul Bourke Awards for Early Career Research. Congratulations to this year’s recipients:

  • Dr Michele Barnes, (Sociology) from James Cook University, whose work looks at how our social networks could have a positive impact on the environment and support climate adaptation. Watch a short video on Michele’s work.
  • Dr Tim Neal, (Economics) from The University of New South Wales, whose work contains new insights into the economics of climate change, COVID-19 panic buying, and child labour among other areas. Watch a short video on Tim’s work.
  • Dr Laura Rademaker, (History), from the Australian National University, a leading historian of Indigenous Australia, with an outstanding research record encompassing religious, gender and deep history. Watch a short video on Laura’s work.
  • Dr Nathan Caruana, (Cognitive Science), from Macquarie University who studies how people optimally process non-verbal information to coordinate with and understand others. Watch a short video on Nathan’s work.
Unlocking Science with the BBC will feature our Fellows in 2022
We are so pleased to share that the Academy has had a project selected in a collaboration between BBC StoryWorks and the International Science Council.

Unlocking Science is an international project showcasing multidisciplinary research in the sciences and social sciences on BBC online and BBC’s social channels for 12 months. The project is supported by the International Science Council, of which the Academy is a member. Earlier in 2021 our Communications team pitched a number of ideas to the ISC, and our idea to explore how First Nations languages of Australia are being given new life was not only accepted by the BBC team, but we were one of just four organisations across the globe to receive sponsorship from the ISC to cover the associated production costs.

Academy Fellows Professor Felicity Meakins and Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt will both share their expertise in the final story, which will be live at the end of summer. We will be sure to share it in our February edition, but until then, enjoy a taste of the broader Unlocking Science project.
New EMCR Network takes SHAPE
Early to mid-career researchers are an increasingly important focus of the Academy, so it was excellent to begin sharing the news that the Australian SHAPE EMCR Network will officially launch early in 2022.

The network is supported jointly by our Academy and the Australian Academy of the Humanities. It aims to ensure EMCRs in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts (or SHAPE; a new frame for the discipline grouping being led by the British Academy) thrive and excel in Australia. An executive committee for the network has been elected (pictured below) and they'll work collectively to foster an inclusive and diverse community that supports, empowers and promotes early and mid-career researchers in Australia, within and beyond academia. We’ll keep you posted on this project throughout 2022, but in the meantime, find out more here.
Workshop funding announced
The Academy Workshops Program offers Australian social scientists financial assistance to host multidisciplinary workshops which aim to advance research and policy agendas on nationally important issues. The Academy supports 8-10 workshops each year with funding to a maximum of $9,000 (excl GST).

Its purpose is to be a catalyst for innovative ideas in social science research and social policy, to build capability amongst young researchers and to foster networks across social science disciplines and with practitioners from government, the private sector, and the community sector on issues of common concern.

We are pleased to announce that from 32 applications received we have been able to fund a total of nine projects this year. Read more about the successful recipients here.
AASSREC: Navigating the Future
In case you missed it, at the end of October, the Association of Asian Social Science Research Councils (AASSREC) held their 24th Biennial General Conference which provided members with an opportunity to share information on their efforts and creative thinking in dealing with the pandemic and more. To watch recordings of the conference, visit the AASSREC website.
Report Card: Australia's Health Equity
As the pandemic continues to demonstrate the results of global health inequity, a new report from Fellow Sharon Friel and colleagues examined 145 Australian Federal and State/Territory policies across employment, income support and housing policy.

The results? A mixed bag with some wins, but a few too many short term or status quo measures for the researchers' liking. Despite this, Sharon notes that positive change is possible, and hope the report might be useful to inform "policy discussions, advocacy strategies and election promises!" (Ah yes, 2022 here we come.) Find the whole report here.
Open research toolkit
Most readers will be familiar with the concept of Open Research, which extends the principles of Open Access to the entire research cycle. A new Open Research Toolkit now makes Open Research even more accessible. The Toolkit contains information, resources and good practice examples related to all aspects of open research, including policy, governance, pathways and processes as well as training materials. It was produced by an Open Research Working Group comprising representatives of the Australasian Research Management Society (ARMS) and the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).
Read, Watch, Listen
Holidays are coming so you’ve got some time up your sleeve, right? Lucky – because there’s plenty from the
Academy to read, watch and listen to over the next couple of months.

Still after a Christmas present for a favourite colleague? November was a big month in publishing. Move fast and you may just have time to grab one of the latest reads from our Fellows for your department’s Secret Santa.

As borders open (sort of, maybe? We’d hate to get ahead of ourselves), it seems the perfect time to grab an updated copy of Fellow Marcia Langton’s Welcome to Country: A Travel Guide to Indigenous Australia. This second edition has been fully revised.

New Fellow Nathalie Nguyen’s report, Helping Hands: Understanding Vietnamese Offenders in Victoria reports on the ongoing effects of trauma in Australia’s largest refugee community, while Fellow Ghassan Hage engages with the diasporic Lebanese community in his book titled The Diasporic Condition: Ethnographic Explorations of the Lebanese in the World.

The focus is firmly back home in Racism in Australia Today by Fellows Yin Paradies and Fethi Mansouri’s book with third co-author, Amanuel Elias. Using historical and current data, including the latest state and federal data sets, this work has much to offer students, researchers and policymakers.

To finish your stocking stuffers Anthony Elliott’s Contemporary Social Theory: An Introduction, is now in its third edition. If you’re looking for an addition to your textbook list for disciplines like sociology, politics, cultural and media studies, this one remains an indispensable guide.
Smart homes for seniors
We love this fantastic piece of research in action – a movie from Fellow Sarah Pink and her team, showing what happened when they went into the homes of 30 senior citizens in regional Australia to investigate the impact of technology on their everyday lives. The team won an Australian IoT award for the project last week and you can see a preview of the video to the project here.

3 minutes with a new Fellow (or 37)

While it’s hard to beat the creativity of the Smart Home for Seniors project, we reckon there’s another video which will wow readers: the one featuring 3 minute introductions by each of the Academy’s 37 new Fellows. Whether you have three minutes spare to watch a single introduction or 111 mins to gorge the lot, it’s worth watching this recording of our 2021 New Fellows introducing themselves and their work. (There’s also a third option – Anna from the National Office has put a time coded speaking order in the description below the videos, so you can dip in and out to see the work of new Fellows you are particularly keen to hear more from.)

Amongst the Academy’s busy November, we managed to publish the final two episodes for Season 4 of our Seriously Social podcast. In Are Buy Now Pay Later schemes changing our attitudes to debt? we heard about a study showing the impact of these schemes on young people, while Fellow Lenore Manderson led us through a thought provoking episode titled Finding hope in troubled times, a fitting way to end 2021. Missed an episode? The holiday season should give you plenty of opportunities to catch up on the entire season. Happy listening!
From our socials
November was our largest month for social media in the Academy’s history with 231 tweets being viewed over 420,000 times across the month. We ‘live-tweeted’ the Annual Symposium which created lots of buzz and excitement and the Academy was mentioned over 580 times by others in the month.
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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